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Free Agency: It’s not too late

Published: December 13, 2011

I don’t know if I believe the NBA wants to trade Chris Paul at this point.   The demands seem a bit ridiculous, really.  However, what I do know is a decision needs to be made in the NBA’s front office:  unleash Demps to start signing Free Agents to put around Paul, or just take one the lesser offers and blow everything up in a fire sale.  I wanted to talk about the former.  Building a team around Paul, with trades out of the picture.

The Hornets have around $13.8 million in cap space to tear through, and despite all the quality free agents seemingly already snatched up, there are still valuable pieces out there.  Pieces, that even without David West, the Hornets could turn into a solid team.  So here’s what I want the Hornets to do if Paul is sticking around:

Offer Carl Landry 3 years, $13.5 million.(starts at 4)

Landry has been looking for more money than that, but there aren’t a lot of suitors left out there that can offer much – or that have a glaring need for an undersized, scoring Power Forward who can’t rebound.  The Hornets, on the other hand, do need that.

Offer Samuel Dalembert 2-years, $15 million(starts at 7) with a player option for the second year.

Centers command more money.  Hell, Kwame Brown just got a 1 year, 7 million dollar deal. Combine him with Okafor and Landry and the Hornets already have a trio of big men that are already better than last years  Okafor-Landry-Gray frontline from the playoffs.

Offer Reggie Williams 4 years, 13 million.(starts at 2.8)

With the unexpected news that the Warriors cut Williams in the hope of making the Deandre Jordan offer too big for the Clips to match, the Hornets should pounce.  Williams is better than Belinelli and much better than Green, and even if the Hornets do blow things up, you have to have a veteran or two on the squad, and this isn’t a massive contract.  Oh, and if Reggie wants it, give him an out after 2 years.

Start strewing minimum contract offers across the league veterans:

I’m looking at Craig Smith(PF), Michael Redd(SG, McGrady took it!), Earl Clark(PF), Ben Uzoh(PG), Krylyo Fesenko(C), Jason Smith(PF) and Troy Murphy(C).  See what sticks.  I’m sure Willie Green will get one too, but I’m not sure I’m excited about that.

Best case, we could see a lineup of:

  • C: Okafor/Dalembert/Fesenko
  • PF: Landry/Craig Smith/Earl Clark
  • SF: Ariza/Pondexter
  • SG: Reg Williams/Belinelli/Redd
  • PG: Paul/Jack/Uzoh

If Paul comes back and plays hard, does anyone refute that that team couldn’t push for a lower seed in the West?  And that team would be just as easy to dismantle as the current one is, should Paul walk out that door.


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