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New Orleans Hornets Free-Agent Big Board

Published: June 30, 2012

The Hornets are prepared for Free-Agency, but is this class more quantity than quality?

With the NBA draft now complete the Hornets organisation will now turn their sole focus onto free-agency. For players this is the time of great excitement, for agents it’s a time to push their clients market value, for organisations it’s a chance to push their team up the standings.

This Free-Agent Big Board will be Hornets focussed, that is it will take into account the following.

  • Cap Space this year and the future
  • Position needs (where the Hornets lack talent)
  • Roster development
  • Fit into culture (whether they fit with organisations’ way of thinking)

To be honest with you all I really don’t like this free-agent class. There might be a few hidden gems somewhere, but there’s a lot of players that have “overpaid” written all over them.

After the NBA finals I really feel like this Hornets team could use some more shooters. I also feel like they need length, but unfortunately there’s not a whole lot of big-men that are Unrestricted or within pay range (remember because there is less talent at Center in the NBA means their market value increases if a player is good.)

So with that let’s jump into it.

1. Eric Gordon (SG) – RFA

All indications for the past month have the Hornets retaining the main piece in the Chris Paul trade, Eric Gordon. Despite injury concerns Hornets management have no issue throwing money at Gordon despite strong interest from teams like the Indiana Pacers.

Whether their intention to match any offer scares off teams from even placing one seems suspect, the Hornets intention remains clear to build around Gordon.

Possible Landing Places: New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets

2. Javale McGee (C) – RFA

For all the flack Javale McGee receives most, if not all, is unwarranted. McGee is a supremely talented player who was stuck on an immature Washington Wizards team before being moved to Denver. There he showed his value, especially against the Lakers in the playoffs.

McGee is likely to return to Denver where he’ll be a staple for years to come. He will get a big contract from the Nuggets in all likelihood. If that does not happen expect a number of teams,  Hornets included, to go after him.

Possible Landing Places: Denver Nuggets, Most of the NBA

3. Omer Asik (C) — RFA

The Hornets front line is now a barren wasteland and they need to get a prototypical center. While there are more talented centers out there, the Hornets could have Asik for a reasonable price. This would help them in the future and keep their flexibility.

Should the asking price go too high, the Hornets might drop out.

Possible Landing Places: Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks.

4. Roy Hibbert (C) – RFA

The Indiana Pacers have found their center for the future. He’s skilled both offensively and defensively. There’s little doubt in my mind that the Pacers match whatever offer is thrown his way. They have the cap room and know he’s talented.

He’s this high because the Hornets really need a center to go next to Anthony Davis and Hibbert would fit so well.

It’s a shame we won’t get him.

Possible Landing Places: Indiana Pacers (Virtual Lock)

5. Ersan Ilyasova (PF) – UFA

Posting his best season as a pro, Ersan Ilyasova has raised his value astronomically to the point that he may receive close to the max. Milwaukee sounds like they’re resigned to losing him, though don’t expect them to give up without a fight.

Rumors have persisted that he’s a fit with the Brooklyn Nets with or without Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. It could be likely that the Nets let Kris Humphries walk and go after Ersan.

The Hornets would only persue Ilyasova if they believed Anthony Davis could play the five, which they don’t think he can do.

Possible Landing Places: Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks

6. Spencer Hawes (C) – UFA

As discussed before the Hornets are in desperate need of a center. I’ve tried to find some good value among this position, but the truth is there’s no future center out there.

Hawes would be a stop-gap either for the next draft or next free-agent. He’s weak down low but can rebound and shoot it.

The problem appears to be that his contract demands are quite out of proportion. He’s demanding $8 million per season which is a bit ridiculous considering he’s done little to convince anyone he’s anything more than a fringe starter.

Hopefully New Orleans doesn’t overpay for him.

Possible Landing Places: New Orleans, Philadelphia 76ers

7. Jeff Green (SF) – RFA

I’ve looked high and low on the free-agent market for a small-forward. I wasn’t even looking for a good one, just somebody to plug the hole. But it appears that there is absolutely nothing (unless you want Donte Greene starting at SF).

Jeff Green has had some medical problems recently, so it might decrease his value, even though his a restricted free-agent. If he could be a had for a cheap price maybe the Hornets go after him.

Again, it’s tough to find cheap and good value players in this years free-agent market, but that’s why Dell is paid the big bucks, to find them.

Possible Landing Places: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers

8. Carl Landry (PF) – UFA

Ah yes, good ole Carl Landry. A lot of Hronet fans have come to the notion that Landry is gone. I think that he might be back. It seems like if he can be had for the right price that he’ll be in a Hornets uniform once more.

I love Landry, this isn’t a secret. Sure he’s undersized, but he plays with toughness and can is a high impact player. He’s probably come to terms with not being starter material, so maybe that gives us an edge.

He loves the city of New Orleans and I think unless he sees more money elsewhere, he’s back to solidify the Hornets depth on the front-line.

Possible Landing Places: New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns

9. Courtney Lee (SG) – RFA

A player that is very underrated around the league is Courtney Lee. He’s one of the better defenders out there and combined with his much improved scoring/shooting ability he will be a hot commodity.

The problem is that the Rockets know of Lee’s value and will plan to match whatever is thrown out there. New Orleans doesn’t really need two-guards at the moment, but I like Lee that much that I felt I needed to put his name up on the board.

Possible Landing Places: Houston Rockets (Virtual Lock)

10. Rudy Fernandez (SG) – RFA

Again, another SG, but the crop for other positions is extremely weak. There’s always a need for shooters (especially if you want to make a playoff run) so Fernandez might fit in with his old coach.

Possible Landing Places: Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets

Just Missing the Cut

Goran Dragic, Lance Thomas, Nick Young, Willie Green, Shannon Brown, Patrick Mills, Brandon Bass


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