New Orleans Hornets Free-Agent Big Board: Volume Two

Published: July 3, 2012

There’s been a lot of movement in free-agency thus far. Are the Hornets a part of it?

It’s been a few days since the start of free agency for those of you just turning on your computers now. There’s been quite a bit of movement around the league which is what we’ll get to soon.

All signs point to the Hornets matching any offer for Eric Gordon, even if it’s up to the max-contract range. Some of you may not dig this, but deal with it; he’s our dude.

Dell made it quite aware right after the draft that they had “plans” for the center position. I don’t know if this is where the Jason Smith card is played or whether The Dealer is being cheeky.

Dwight Howard and the PR Nosedive

The Dwight Howard saga goes on, and I continue to wonder what in the world his management team is advising him to do. He’s made a complete mess of things for himself, for his future and for teams around the league.

Reporters, well respected ones, had word that Dwight called “Blackmail” on the Orlando Magic for forcing him to opt-in on the last year of his contract. Howard has since denied such words ever being transpired.

Not only that, but Dwight has then cut his “wish-list” to one team, the Brooklyn Nets.

Joe Johnson Traded to Nets

Along side all of this, Joe Johnshon’s behemoth contract was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Chris Sheridan (I know you all love him) reports that this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of contention for getting both Howard and Deron Williams.

The Hawks receive Jordan Farmer, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with DeShawn Stevenson (sign-and-trade) and a future first round pick.

Deron Williams has met with Dallas as well as meeting with Brooklyn. It would seem that now both teams are very much running alongside each other. The Nets are haemorrhaging their cap room and are unproven winners, while Dallas are the opposite of that.

Hornets Free-Agents

Eric Gordon has been planning meetings around the country. Good for him getting those Frequent-Flyer Miles because that’s really the only purpose for these trips. He’s had dinner with Phoenix last night (probably trying to get free dinners) and they are seriously considering offering him the maximum 4 Year/$58 Million deal.

It’s very tempting to call out Gordon for not wanting to be in New Orleans, but that is absurd because he does. To temper this notion, try and put yourself in Eric’s shoes. He’s never been a free-agent before, and it’s very rare that a player actually gets to go through the process.

Why wouldn’t you want to at least see what’s out there? Get a feel for what the league thinks you’re worth?

Moving on from Eric, there’s been little news on Carl Landry who repeats his desire to remain in New Orleans. The Hornets have a stack of power-forwards and plenty of space at the Center position. It remains to be seen whether Landry returns, but should the Hornets fail to land a quality Center they could opt to sign Landry and work to move pieces on their roster.

Marco Belinelli is also garnering a lot of interest around the league. He’s stated that he wants to play for a winner and that he does not see Europe as an option. The Dallas Mavericks are one of the teams interested, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see teams like Chicago or the Los Angeles Clippers get involved as well.

Hornets Show Interest in A Number of Free-Agents

Dell Demps is trying to see what’s out there on the market and as we discussed before there’s not a whole lot of options. As such, most free-agents that are of decent talent are seemingly being overpaid (or paid a lot of money).

There have been inquiries to the following players as being reported:

  • Nicolas Batum (SF)
  • Nick Young (SG)
  • Goran Dragic (PG)

Many have been hoping that the Hornets make a run after free-agent center Javale McGee. Well, now he has been extended the qualifying offer from Denver and is planning to meet with them soon. Demps has had a keen eye on the talented center for some time putting together a package at last seasons trade deadline only to be beaten by a better one from Denver.

Hornets Free-Agent Big Board

1. Eric Gordon (SG) – RFA

Same as before, Gordon has now met with a handful of teams traveling across the country stealing dinners from GM’s. Demps is probably encouraging him to seek as many offers as possible because maybe Eric might come back with some kind of inside scoop.

Expect New Orleans to match any offer made to Gordon.

2. Javale McGee (C) – RFA 

One of Denver’s higher priorities this off-season it remains to be seen how much money McGee will command. It’s likely that the Nuggets retain Javale, though they’ll have to start thinking how they will give both he and his team-mates fair market value.

3. Nicolas Batum (SF) – RFA (Before: NA )

Shooting up the board, Batum has done so because New Orleans is very interested in acquiring a starting small-forward. The numbers being offered to Batum from the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the range of $45-50 million over 4 years.

That’s very heavy for a guy who’s averaged 10 points per game over his career. Expect Portland to match the Wolves offer, even if it is a little crazy. Batum does have a meeting with the Hornets scheduled. 

4. Jeff Green (SF) – RFA (Before: 7 )

There is a reason that Green has come up the board and it has little to do with his demand for a $9 million a season contract. While that is a ridiculous amount for a guy coming off a serious medical procedure, the crop of small-forwards is so small that he’s here until the Celtics or someone else gives him his money.

5. Ersan Ilyasova (PF) – UFA 

Ersan stays here and he’s drawing interest from Milwaukee, Cleveland, San Antonio and Toronto. Expect him to slide down the board soon.

6. Spencer Hawes (C) – UFA 

Hawes remains at six and awaits offers from various teams. If the Hornets plans for McGee fall through, expect them to plug the hole with Hawes. That might not happen if Spencer demands Omer Asik money.

7. Carl Landry (PF) – UFA (Before: 8 )

I think we will find ourselves with a number of power-forwards next season. Hopefully Jason Smith can fill the role of center, though I wouldn’t hold your breath on that working out. Landry is a great player and if he signs it’s because we can get him for good value.

8. Nick Young (SG) – UFA (Before: NA )

The Hornets have shown interest in Young and they also did at last seasons trade deadline. It’s quite odd considering that New Orleans’ backcourt is more crowded than a Russian prison.

9. Brandon Bass (PF) – UFA (Before: NA )

A returning LSU player would be a nice touch to new ownership. Bass proved in the playoffs that he can be a reliable big-man. He’s come a long way since the Byron Scott days of riding the pine.

10. Goran Dragic (PG) – UFA (Before: NA )

Another player who New Orleans has shown a keen eye towards. For the same reasons as Nick Young, it’s unlikely that the Hornets actually sign him for a contract that’s manageable.

Missing the cut

Omer Asik (Before: 3), Roy Hibbert (Before: 4 ), Courtney Lee (Before: 9 ), Rudy Fernandez (Before: 10 ), Willie Green, Shannon Brown, Lance Thomas

Volume One


  1. Pingback: New Orleans Hornets Free-Agent Big Board: Volume Three | New Orleans Hornets |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.