Running in Place

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Published: December 9, 2011

I’ve already ranted once about the killing of the trade.  I just want to vent a little more of the miasma of anger I’m feeling right now.  Sometimes it’s good to have a blog, yes?

The Hornets are screwed right now.  Again, we could debate the merits of the trade, but the way I look at it, the NBA blocking the Chris Paul trade has done the following to the Hornets:

  1. Shattered big market team offers for Paul.  Because why would they risk alienating their own players for a deal that could be nixed?  I wouldn’t.
  2. Lowered the offers by small market teams.  The leverage the Hornets had was “look at this great Laker offer!  You don’t have to beat it, since Paul won’t guarantee a signing with you, but at least come close!”  Those offers, such as they were, are now bound to be less because that Laker offer is gone.
  3. Broke Demps plan to field a competitive team.  I mean the Hornets have one restricted free agent, five under contract, and one of those isn’t too inclined to report to camp, right?  But Demps has spent the last three days courting teams for trades to obtain multiple pieces to fill out the roster.  With that trade, the Hornets had a complete rotation.  Okafor, Scola, Odom as bigs, Ariza, Martin, Pondexter and Belinelli on the wing, and Jack and Dragic at the Point.  9 players.  Sign and Trade West somewhere for another good piece or two and you are in great shape.  That’s the core.  Now they have nothing again.
  4. Caused the Hornets to missed out on the Free Agent market.  Demps said he wanted to obtain players during trades, and although we had some reports that he’d reached out to a few players, he was clearly spending his time on this trade, not wooing free Agents.  At this point most of the intriguing players on the Market have deals – or are closing in on them.   Does Dell drop his hopes for this trade and go after them?  Will they even sign considering the turmoil in New Orleans?

Best case scenario?  The Hornets bring back last year’s team with hopefully a single upgrade.  West, Smith, Gray, MBenga, Green?  Still available.  Pick four, find a fifth, and go get McNamara’s wet dream Patrick Ewing, Jr.

Then, 46 wins here we come!  If Paul shows up.

One last note.  I wanted to include here a statement from David Stern last year at the press conference when the Hornets were purchased by the League.  (Hat tip to Mark Haubner of the Painted Area):

Q. Can you explain when trades are made, or if a free agent wants to be signed, what is the process that Dell [Demps] has to go through, do you say yeah, we’ll do that trade or we won’t do that trade?

DAVID STERN: Actually, the league generally approves all trades, number one. And number two, as far as we’re concerned there have been while this process has been going on, there have been two significant transactions. And our response to both of them was you guys are management, you understand your budget and your instructions, just go ahead, because we’ve got Jac Sperling, Hugh Weber here, and if they recommend it, then we’re going to be approving it.

Right.

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