Hornets Beat: Jamal Mashburn, Trades, The Draft, and Winning on the Road

Published: January 10, 2012

Will Hibert joins us in discussing Jamal Mashburn and more on this edition of Hornets Beat.

We've seen more from Okafor this year on the offensive side than in recent memory

1. What’s your initial take on the news that Jamal Mashburn wants to buy the Hornets?

Jake Madison: I’m all for it as long as he’s committed to the city and region. The success he’s had since retirement and his ties to the team make him an ideal minority partner.

Mason Ginsberg: At first, I was worried because my gut told me he’d try to move the team if he got involved. After hearing otherwise, however, I love it. Ex-NBA players who find success in the business world are rare, and therefore he would likely be an asset to any NBA franchise.

Will Hibert (At the Hive): Indifferent. If this was anyone much, much richer than Mashburn, I’d be more interested. Good for him that he is successful outside of basketball and wants to own a team, but I doubt he has any local connections or connections with those who will be bidding on this team, so I saw it as kind of a throwaway line.

Ryan Schwan: Horror.  I can see him putting his stamp on the franchise and teaching all future Hornets “stars” to post up at the free throw line and shoot long fade-away jumpers.

Joe Gerrity: Sounds like the guy knows what he’s doing in business. Whether or not that would translate to being a successful NBA owner obviously is a different story, but I like the idea in theory.

2. On a scale of 1-10, how likely is it that Chris Kaman will be on the Hornets at the end of the season?

Jake: 2. The Hornets have no need for him after this season and team’s tend to covet expiring contracts, so the likely hood of him being dealt his high. The only reason I see him staying past the trade deadline is because no other team offers anything of value in return.

Mason: 1. Thanks to Eric Gordon’s injury, the already minimal chance that the team had at making the playoffs is virtually gone. Kaman isn’t a rebuilding piece, and the franchise would be much better served by dealing him for younger assets or a draft pick.

Will: Tough one. He has performed well enough to get some interest (especially on an expiring   deal), though I think the Hornets are only going for another young player or draft picks offered by a team desperate for frontcourt help due to injury. Whether Kaman is worth that, or if anyone will be that desperate, I don’t know. I’ll go with a 5.

Ryan: 4.  The Hornets should be trying to trade Okafor and his longer-term contract first.  If they move him, Kaman stays the year and turns into cap space – which may be just as valuable as a late first round pick.

Joe: 3. He has a lot of value for a contending team in need of size and depth. Hornets can get something for him, and likely will if they aren’t in the postseason hunt come mid-March.

3. On a scale of 1-10, how likely is it that Carl Landry is on the Hornets at the end of the season?

Jake: 1. Landry is on a highly affordable 1-year contract. That makes him a prime candidate to be traded to a contender looking to bolster their frontcourt for a playoff run. The Hornets should be able to get an nice young asset or draft pick for him.

Mason: 4. I think it’s more likely that he gets traded than not, but trading both Landry and Kaman would make Jason Smith the starter, and I wonder if the Hornets can afford to strip down their team to that extent from a fan support perspective. I wouldn’t mind it if doing so will better position the team for the future, but some fans might.

Will: A contending team could do much worse than Carl Landry as your backup PF. I think the market for Carl will be very similar to that on Kaman, dependent on who goes down with injuries and how satisfied playoff teams are with their bench. I also think the Hornets might be a little more hesitant to trade Landry if they are even going to attempt to stay respectable, as he is the only one on the roster who remotely resembles a starting PF. I’ll go with a 6 for Carl.

Ryan: 3.  Dealer Dell will deal if anything good comes up.  The only issue is that Landry can nix any trade if he wants to since he’s on a one-year contract.  It would have to be a trade to a contender – and those teams don’t typically have prime assets they are willing to trade.

Joe: 5. Hornets aren’t likely to trade everyone (or are they???), and Carl seems like he might be someone the Hornets are interested in keeping a bit longer than just this year.

4. If the Hornets got the number one pick in the 2012 draft, who would your choice be as of now?

Jake: I don’t watch college basketball so I’m going by what Ryan Schwan says and he likes Anthony Davis. He’s a smart guy; I trust his judgement.

Mason: It has to be Anthony Davis. Regardless of what pick you have, if you’re rebuilding, you take the best talent available, no matter what position that player plays. In my opinion, that guy is Davis. Besides, I can’t think of a player who would be a better fit with Monty Williams’ style.

Will: I haven’t really watched many college games or done any research into the draft yet, so take my opinion with a barrel of salt, but I’ll go with Anthony Davis. Defensive potential is off the charts, and though that slight frame is a little worrisome, I think he has the ability to make an impact in the league immediately. He really does have to shave/wax that bat wing off his face before I draft him, though.

Ryan:  Harrison Barnes!  Kidding, I just wanted to get a few people’s panties in a knot.  Davis.  He’s the prize unless Drummond suddenly explodes now that his face mask is history.

Joe: Sounds to me like Davis is similar to a porn star in that he’s a sure thing and that he’s big. Sounds like a real winner!

5. Following a nice win in Denver on Monday, when do the Hornets get their next win on the road?

Jake: January 19th against the Rockets. I fully believe that most of the Hornets’ younger crew simply needs playing time. I’m expecting a big game from Aminu in Houston. At least that better happen because it might be awhile otherwise.

Mason: I’ll say February 4th against Detroit; after their surprising win last night though, who really knows? Hopefully they can get it against the Pistons, because the only other game which could favor them before March is in Cleveland on Ash Wednesday, but that game is on the 3rd night of their lone back-to-back-to-back this season.

Will: I’m going with their very next road game, this Saturday against the Grizzlies. Memphis is missing Zach Randolph and the Hornets can throw the Okafor/Kaman combo against Gasol all game.  While we’re all out celebrating a Saints win, I think we get to see the Hornets win their second straight game on the road.

Ryan: January 30th against Miami.  It’s the day after a the Heat play their Conference Rival Chicago Bulls, and will be a classic letdown game on a back-to-back for them.

Joe: January 19th against Houston. Frankly I just think the Hornets are better than the Rockets if Eric Gordon is playing. It’s no sure-thing that he will, but I’ll take my chances.


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