Archive for May, 2009

More Shaq Rumors
May 28, 2009

“If Tyson Chandler was on the market in February, wouldn’t he be on it again now and wouldn’t the Suns have an interest given the type of pick-and-roll defenders they want in that role? The Hornets were looking to cut payroll last time but would adding Shaquille O’Neal in his former college state add intrigue? New Orleans may not need it with season ticket renewals reportedly already at 80 percent, a great number considering its market, the recession and the team’s first-round exit. Trade talk in general will fire up more around July 1 because of base-year compensation in contracts.” 

Arizona Republic



 {Fletcher’s Take: If the Hornets can get Shaq without giving up David West it would be coup!!!!!  If the center-piece to any Hornets trade with the Suns involves Tyson Chandler I think the Hornets would jump at any opportunity.  CP3, West and Shaq.  The trio would sell boat loads of tickets and win.  Now, if getting Shaq means giving up West…don’t even think about it!}



Nando De Colo
May 28, 2009

No…I didn’t close my eyes and type on the keyboard.

Nando De Colo is a persons name.

Nando De Colo is actually a guy Hornets fans may want to remember.

Nando De Colo could be the 21st overall pick in the 1st round of the 2009 NBA draft.

So, who is Nando De Colo?  He’s a 6’5 combo guard from France.


To Read more about De Colo click on the article below.

To see De Colo in action check out the youtube clip below.


Look, I think the player the Hornets should draft with the 21st overall pick next month is University of North Carolina power forward Tyler Hansbrough.  I think the Hornets need front court help and Hansbrough is a perfect fit behind David West.  Hansbrough is a seasoned, mature college player who’s tough and hustles.  Even Byron Scott would seemingly like this guy…and Scott doesn’t care for rookies.     


But, if the Hornets pass on Hansbrough (and LSU sharp shooter Marcus Thornton) then maybe they make an inspired move and draft De Colo….who knows…..maybe he’ll become the next Manu Ginobili.

Great Article About Tim Floyd
May 26, 2009

A man of character
by Paul Shirley / May 26, 2009

  For most people, the name Tim Floyd doesn’t evoke any particular image. In their minds, he performs a meaningless task – head basketball coach – at a college – USC – that’s not even well-known for having a basketball program. Therefore, his is just another name and he is just another overpaid coach who may or may not be guilty of paying a young man to play basketball.

I’m writing to make an appeal to those people. I want them to know that Tim Floyd is not just another forgettable basketball coach. He happens to be a very good basketball coach, but that’s not the point, and that’s not why you should care what happens to him. You should care for this reason: In a world that sees fewer of them with each passing year, Tim Floyd is a good man.



I played for Coach Floyd at Iowa State. I was no hotly-pursued recruit; the closest thing to a scandal during my senior year of high school was the coach at Navy telling me I’d never amount to anything if I didn’t play for him. Coach Floyd learned about me through an old assistant of his when I turned down that coach’s employer, the University of North Dakota. (That they didn’t know where the roads were buried under the snow in winter did not help that school’s case.) Floyd became interested in my basketball abilities late in the year, though, and by the time we made contact, he had given away his last scholarship.

{Fletcher’s Take: Tim Floyd of course coached the UNO Privateers and the New Orleans Hornets.  I always though Floyd was a good man and a tremendous coach.  I though he got a raw deal from George Shinn when the Hornets fired him and that he should have gotten more time to build an NBA team.  I remember two games (at home vs. the Pacers and on the road vs. the Pistons) during the 2003-2004 season where he drew up amazing plays coming out of a time outs.  I wish Floyd the best and hope the shaddy characters associated with OJ Mayo don’t drag his name through the mud too much.}

Thornton Working Out For Hornets
May 26, 2009

Marcus Thornton, a shooting guard who just finished his senior at LSU will workout for the Hornets on June 8th.



The Hornets will workout dozens of college and international players in preparation for the NBA draft which is the last week of June.

New Orleans has the 21st overall pick in the 1st round of the 2009 draft. 

Last year the Hornets sold their pick to Portland for cash.    

Thornton was named the SEC player of the year following a senior season in which he led LSU to the NCAA tournament.   

LSU Kentucky Basketball


The Hornets need help scoring and Thornton seems to be the kind of player coach Byron Scott likes (a tough, seasoned college player).

Many experts predict that Thornton could turn into a Jason Terry type player.

Lets just hope that if the Hornets select Thornton coach Scott doesn’t bury him on the bench like the last SEC player of the year the Hornets picked in the draft.  That player was Brandon Bass in 2005…..he’s now a tremendous bench player for the Dallas Mavericks.  Scott buried Bass on the Bench for two seasons and let him leave when he hit free agency because he thought Bass would never be a solid NBA player.

Stop Talking About Pargo
May 24, 2009

I’ve got to say, I’m sick of hearing people ask questions about Jannero Pargo.  I’m sick of listening to people try to tell me Pargo was the missing link for the Hornets last season.



Look, I like Pargo.  I think he’s a good guy, a solid veteran and a nice bench player…but Pargo is not a difference-maker, Pargo is not a star…Pargo is barely a good bench player.

Am I the only person who remembers the articles and TV commentaries from the first half of the 2008 season?  All the media could talk about was how bad the Hornets bench was…and the bench was led by Jannero Pargo!

Pargo and the bench were so bad the team was forced to take on a terrible contract in a trade in order to acquire Bonzi Wells.

Pargo was a complete non-factor in the post season against Dallas and San Antonio.  Pargo only woke up in game seven of last year’s playoffs finishing  with 17 points against the Spurs in that contest (but despite those 17 late game points he still missed a wide open three point shot that would have sent the game to overtime).

Sure, Pargo had moments where he came off the bench and delivered big shots but those moments were few and far between.



Their was a reason no team in the NBA gave Pargo a deal better than the Hornets offered.  HE’S NOT WORTH IT!

{When no NBA team would meet his demands Pargo signed a 1 year $4 million dollar deal with a Russian professional team}

I understand sports fans in New Orleans understand football much better than basketball so I’ll break it down in a language people understand: That language being called “hut hut.”

If the Saints had lost Devery Henderson to free agency would the Saints offense stop moving the ball?  NO WAY!

Devery is a nice player who at times shines but who’s also inconsistent…and Devery is a football version of Pargo.

Devery & Pargo are good players but guys who are not necessary for a team to win. 

So all the Hornets fans out there….please please please stop e-mailing me and telling me that the reason the Hornets under achieved this season and the reason they got throttled in the playoffs is because Jannero Pargo was not on the roster.

Could the Hornets use Pargo?  Yes.  Is Pargo better than Antonio Daniels?  Yes.  But Pargo should only be back on a deal that pays him $2 million dollars annually…Pargo is not worth a penny more than that!

What the Hornets have to focus on finding is another go-to starter.  A player that can provide a major impact each and every night along side Chris Paul and David West. 


That’s what Hornets fans should be yapping about…signing or trading for another impact player!

Greek Festival 5K Run
May 23, 2009

For the first time ever I ran a race!

I have not done much running since finishing my college baseball career 12 years ago.  3.1 miles…no walking.  It might not sound like much…but it was big for someone like me who’s not exactly an exercise enthusiast and who didn’t train one bit. 

The 36th annual Greek Festival was also tremendous.  Maybe the biggest crowd ever.  Great weather, great food, great atmosphere. 

Top Row: Carl Servat, Dr. Casey Iverstine, Fletcher Mackel  Bottom Row: The Sevier Sisters (KC, Brittany and Stephanie)

Top Row: Carl Servat, Dr. Casey Iverstine, Fletcher Mackel Bottom Row: The Sevier Sisters (KC, Brittany and Stephanie)

Deconstructing Byron
May 11, 2009

Let me start this blog by saying I truly love covering Byron Scott.  In the 7 years I’ve worked at WDSU I have never met a more honest, secure and open coach or player.

Ask him a question…he’ll answer it.

I know that that sounds simple, but when dealing with coaches who enjoy being secretive, guys like Les Miles and Sean Payton, it’s refreshing to be around Scott.




I also think Byron is a tremendous coach that commands amazing respect from his players.  I think he’s the guy to lead the Hornets to an NBA title and that he should be back and even get an extension from Hornets owner George Shinn.

That said, I also think Byron has to tweak his coaching process.  He has to be more understanding of young players and players with odd personalities.  

Now, to the point of this blog: At the Hornets media event last Thursday team President Hugh Weber and Executive of the Board Chad Shinn laughed when a reporter started off asking a question with the following words:

“Byron Scott does not like young players”

They shrugged off those words as comical and untrue…but the reality is that Weber and Shinn should not be laughing about those words…they should be taking them to heart and doing something to rectify what’s become a bad trend.




Look, the facts are the facts and the Hornets are in a bad situation because some of the best young players to pass through New Orleans are now on other rosters, helping other teams.

How good would the Hornets bench be with JR Smith & Brandon Bass instead of Devin Brown and Melvin Ely????  LOTS BETTER!!!!!

What about Chris Andersen coming off the bench instead of Ryan Bowen? 

And please don’t tell me the team was only able to acquire Tyson Chandler because they traded JR Smith!


The Hornets acquired Chandler by trading PJ Brown.  JR Smith was an after thought throw-in to make the contracts work.  JR Smith went in that deal because Byron Scott wanted him gone and that was the easiest way to ship him out of town.

JR was young and immature….we all know that…but what do you expect from an 18 year old kid?  JR needed nurturing and Scott wasn’t the guy to nurture! 

Scott loves hard nosed veteran players…and no one faults him for that…those are the players that are the core of championship clubs.  But New Orleans is a franchise that has to develop young talent to stay relevant…and they have not.  New Orleans cannot afford to go sign the tough vets Scott loves year in and year out…they have to start developing them themselves.

So in my opinion, it’s Scott’s fault his bench is the worst in the NBA.

Look at Scott’s track record as a head coach…he’s developed three young players in 9 years as a head coach.  Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson & Chris Paul….all three were lottery picks with Martin and Paul being top 5 selections.  Besides those three, NO DEVELOPMENT!




2000: Kenyon Martin & Soumaila Samake

-Martin is a star big man, Samake was a bust with 3 NBA teams.

2001 New Jersey: Eddie Griffin & Brian Scalabrine

-Griffin was traded for Richard Jefferson and Scalabrine has developed into a solid back-up.  With Jefferson and Scalabrine…this is arguably the best class Scott developed. 

2002 New Jersey: Nenad Krstic & Tamar Slay

-Kristic never played for Scott.  He continued playing in Europe for two years after being drafted….and that was probably a good move…he now averages 10 points a game for Oklahoma City.  Slay was a wash-out in the NBA.

2003 New Jersey: Zoran Planinic & Kyle Korver

-Planinic rotted on the Nets bench under Scott but has gone on to have a terrific career in Europe.  Kyle Korver was traded immediately to Philly on draft night for cash.  Korver is now considered one of the best shooters in the NBA.  Like Krstic, thank goodness he did not have Scott during his rookie season.   

2004: New Orleans: JR Smith & Tim Pickett

-Despite being named rookie of the month in the NBA several times Scott grew tired of Smith’s childish antics.  JR Smith is now averaging nearly 20 points a night for the Denver Nuggets after Scott sent him packing.  Pickett plays in China.

2005: New Orleans: Chris Paul & Brandon Bass

-CP3 is the best point guard in the NBA and an MVP candidate.  Bass should be the Hornets best bench player but after rotting on the pine for two seasons he signed as a free agent with Dallas and now averages 8 points and 7 rebounds a night for the Mavericks. 

2006: Hilton Armstrong, Cedric Simmons & Marcus Vinicius

-Armstrong is a complete underachiever…Simmons and Vinicius are out of the NBA.

2007: Julian Wright & Adam Huluska

-Wright has shown flashes of being a good player but has never earned a consistent spot in Scott’s rotation.  Huluska is out of the NBA.

2008: Pre-arranged Deal: Traded 1st Pick to Portland for Cash, No 2nd Round Pick

David West:  Some people will say Scott developed David West.  UNTURE!  West played his rookie season for coach Tim Floyd and did a nice job backing-up PJ Brown.  West was injured for 75% of the season in 2004-2005 during Scott’s first year in New Orleans and only earned playing time the following season because Scott was forced to play PJ Brown at center all season.  If the Hornets had had a center one could argue that Scott might have stunted West’s all star growth.    

And don’t get me started on European players.  Besides Peja Stojakovic it’s obvious Scott has some type of disdain for the way these guys play or their perceived lack of toughness.  A perfect example of Scott missing on a euro: Bostjan Nachbar.  Boki’s playing time in New Orleans with Scott decreased during each of his three seasons.  But once he got to New Jersey he averaged 10 points and 3 rebounds a game as a top reserve playing about 20 minutes a night.  Nachbar parlayed his success with the Nets into a big contract in Russia.  And how can we forget Arvydas Macijauskas?  The Lithuanian sharp shooter that the Hornets beat out the Mavs and Celtics to sign.  Considered one of the best scorers in all of Europe….Macijauskas played in just 19 games all year during the 2005-2006 season and became so upset with Scott he left after one season to go back to play in Greece.  I know it’s a reach…but who’s to say Arvydas would not have become the next Manu Ginobili???   

Am I being too hard on Byron?  I don’t think so.

Byron Scott has to realize that he works for an organization that is not like the Lakers, Mavericks or even the Cavaliers.  Those teams have no problem spending money…exceeding the NBA’s luxury tax to sign as many veteran free agents as necessary.  The Hornets cannot do that and Scott has to realize the situation. 

The Hornets cannot continue to miss on draft picks.  They cannot continue to let promising young players go to other organizations.

Byron Scott simply has to be more patient with young players and realize that developing them is arguably the most imortant part of his job!  


Fixing The Hornets (Take 4)
May 11, 2009

After listening to Hornets President Hugh Weber and Executive of the Board Chad Shinn during their media briefing last week I’m convinced the team will not trade David West this off season.  Not for Shaq, not for salary reasons….not at all!

I think Tyson Chandler is gone….so is Peja (if they can find a team willing to take Peja) and don’t be surprised to see James Posey dealt.  But mark my words…the team will do everything possible to keep Chris Paul and West together. 

The more I think about what Weber and Shinn said the more it makes sense.  Paul & West are the core of this team and need to stay together…at almost any cost.

So, that said…how should the Hornets get better in an effort to help CP3 and West?

First: Give Tyson Chandler to Detroit. tc4


Seriously, give him away.  Last year Denver sent Marcus Camby to the LA Clippers for a $10 million dollar trade exception.  It was a PR nightmare at the time but the deal seems to be working out fine for the Nuggets right now.  Detroit has money to burn after losing Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace and could use some interior defense.

Second: With Tyson Gone Sign Chris Andersen or Glen Davis


Andersen is a fan favorite tearing it up in the playoffs right now.  He deserves a chance to start and I believe would be a player who’d be a cheaper, more productive Tyson Chandler.  If Andersen won’t leave Denver or gets a better offer from another club go after Glen Davis.  Davis is a restricted free agent but Boston will probably not be able to match most offers.  Playing Davis at center next to David West makes the Hornets a smaller team but ‘Big Baby’ is a mammoth man who’s about to come into his prime and like Andersen deserves a chance to start.  Both of these guys will reportedly be looking for 2 year deals valued at 5-6 million dollars. 



Third: Trade James Posey To Portland For Travis Outlaw & Sergio Rodriguez

Hornets Posey Basketball


This is a deal I’ve outlined in past blogs.  The Blazers get a proven playoff tested veteran…the Hornets get a young wing player capable of scoring in multiple ways (Outlaw) and a point guard who can back-up CP3 (Rodriguez).

Fourth: Trade Peja Stojakovic to Utah for Andrei Kirilenko

Like my third suggestion this is a trade I’ve proposed on this blog before. Utah gets a classy veteran shooter who’s salary would come off the books two years earlier than Kirilenko’s contract.  The Hornets get a super-athletic wing player who can defend and would no doubt be re-envigorated with a change of scenery.    

Fifth:  Trade Antonio Daniels & Julian Wright to Detroit for Allen Iverson (This deal would have to be a sign and trade with the Pistons.  AI would have to re-sign for 2 years/15 million).



I know taking on one of the most selfish players in the NBA (Iverson) is a ridiculous risk but one worth taking.  Iverson still has some gas left in the tank and he sells tickets.  I know pairing AI & CP3 in the same back court looks like a defensive liability but the Hornets need scoring and Iverson can score.  Byron Scott also loves tough veteran players and AI falls into that category.  I truly believe CP3, West & Scott can control AI and not let him become a cancer.  Detroit gets a young athletic player who needs a change of scenery with Wright and a veteran point guard who’s got an expiring contract in Daniels.     

Sixth: With The 21st Pick In The 2009 Draft Select UNC Power Forward Tyler Hansborugh

I want the Hornets to draft LSU shooting guard Marcus Thornton because I think he’s a tough-as-nails leader who could be the next Jason Terry in the NBA.  But, because the Hornets are so woefully thin on their front line I think that Tyler Hansborugh is a better fit.  Hansborugh is David West-lite!  A player who could come in immediately and back-up West.

2009-2010 Hornets Roster & Salaries (in millions):

-PG. Chris Paul  $13.7

Back-up: Sergio Rodriguez   $1.5 

-SG. Allen Iverson   $8

Back-up: Rasual Butler  $3.9

Back-up: Morris Peterson   $6.6

-SF. Andrei Kirilenko  $15.1

Back-up: Travis Outlaw   $4

-PF. David West   $9

Back-up: Tyler Hansborugh    $1.6 

Back-up: Ryan Bowen  $1.1

-C. Chris Andersen or Glen Davis    $2.5

Back-up: Sean Marks   $1.1

 Back-up: Hilton Armstrong   $2.8

13 Players: $70.9 million (projected NBA luxury tax for 2009-2010: $72 million) 

The Hornets could add a very cheap free agent or two to fill the final two sports on the roster…but those are moves that are not necessary.

Fixing The Hornets (Take 3)
May 5, 2009

This is the third installment of what will be many aimed at fixing the Hornets.

And remember, last year my plan to fix the Hornets and get the team to the NBA finals would have worked perfecly…had anyone listened!

One year ago on this blog I proposed three deals.  Looking back, all would have worked out perfectly.

I suggested the team Sign restricted free agent Delonte West, Re-Sign center Chris Andersen and trade for Sacramento’s Ron Artest.  I outlined how all the deals were possible.  NONE HAPPENED! 

Now all three of these guys are starring in the post season while the Hornets are sitting at home trying to answer dozens of questions about the future of the team on the court.

So…now that I’m done gloating…let’s get back to work fixing the Hornets.

If you scroll down to past blogs (fixing the Hornets take 1 and take 2) you’ll find several proposed trades that help the team on the court.  But this off-season is not just about helping the team on the floor….the Hornets must shed salary to get below the NBA’s dreaded luxury tax.

With Tyson Chandler being banged up moving David West is in fact a real possability.    

That said, long-time Chicago based NBA writer Sam Smith wrote and article this morning and what he proposed is something I’ve gotta believe the Hornets will consider.

Trade David West To Chicago For Tyrus Thomas And Two 1st Round Draft Picks


Trading West for the former LSU star and two picks gets the Hornets under the luxury tax…gets them a young player (Tyrus) who could be an all-star and gives the Hornets three picks in the 1st round of this June’s draft.

Granted, none of the three picks is a lottery pick but getting guys at #16, #21 and #26 would provide the Hornets with some young guns to help CP3 and Tyrus Thomas and no doubt deepen a weak bench…..[with the three picks I’d take SF Chase Budinger from Arizona (16th), PF Tyler Hansborugh from North Carolina (21st) and SG Marcus Thornton from LSU (26th)].   

Add Julian Wright to the mix of Cp3/Thomas and the rookies I mentioned and the  Hornets have a young group still capable of competing.

Just a thought.  I know trading a valuable commodity like David West seems unfathomable but the Hornets have to make moves that keep the team viable financially and this deal does that.

The big question with this deal is will Byron Scott be patient and willing to coach a team that’s filled with guys he’ll need to take some time with???

My bet is NO!!!

But if a deal between Chicago and New Orleans could be made and the Hornets could workout a deal with Portland to move James Posey (a deal I wrote about in fixing the Hornets take 2) the Hornets would be a dangerous (young and cheap) team.

Also from my earlier “Take 2” blog I’d also try to move Peja Stojakovic one-for-one to Uath for Andrei Kirilenko. 



Fletcher’s 2009-2010 Hornets: 15 man roster (below the luxury tax & competative)

1. Chris Paul (Back-up: Sergio Rodriguez, Antonio Daniels)

2. Rasual Butler (Back-up: Marcus Thornton, Morris Peterson)

3. Travis Outlaw (Back-up: Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger)

4. Tyrus Thomas (Julian Wright, Tyler Hansborugh)

5. Tyson Chandler (Back-up: Sean Marks, Hilton Armstrong)

Fixing The Hornets (Part 2)
May 2, 2009

Okay, I’m not gonna lie….some people find religion….I found the NBA.

Since the Hornets moved here in 2002 I’ve become enamoured with the franchise and the league they play in. 

That said, after watching the Hornets embarrassing playoff defeat against Denver I’ve come up with two trades and one free agent signing that will fix the Hornets…are you paying attention Jeff Bower and Byron Scott???  Get these deals done! {Unfortunately, These deals do not in any way help the Hornets significantly get below the NBA luxury tax}. 

FIX #1:tyson_chandlerrichard_hamilto

Trade Tyson Chandler for Rip Hamliton

The deal works perfectly salary-wise and helps both teams.  Chandler gets a fresh start with a team tweaking it’s roster and in need of interior defense.  The Hornets get a dynamic scorer who would immediately start at shooting guard.  Both of these players are reportedly being shopped in trades and both are class guys who would be great in new lockerooms.

FIX #2:andrei_kirilenkopredrag_stojakovic1

Trade Peja Stojakovic for Andrei Kirilenko

This deal works perfectly under NBA salary/trade guidelines.  Kirilenko is constantly fueding with coach Jerry Sloan and seems to need a change of scenery.  Peja is as classy a veteran as a team could ask for so he would no doubt fit in immediately with Sloan and team leader Deron Williams.  Besides, the Jazz could lose sharp shooter Kyle Korver to free agency and Peja would be a great replacement for Utah.  Kirilenko could return to a starting role in New Orleans and provide the Hornets with a super athletic slasher that the team is lacking.  Kirilenko is also a tough defender who’d probably be re-charged to be away from Sloan and playing with all-stars Chris Paul and David West. 

FIX #3:bird11

Re-Sign Chris ‘The Birdman’ Andersen

Letting Andersen go is just one of several blunders the Hornets have made with their bench and young players in recent years.  Hornets executive Chad Shinn loves Andersen and Chris is playing his way into a nice contract for next year.  After forfiting close to 12 million dollars when he was suspended from the NBA Andersen will look to cash in this off-season and could probably be had for a 2 year 5-6 million dollar deal.  And for all the naysayers out there who want to tell me Andersen can’t be a starter…I say…be quiet!  In just 20 minutes a night during the regular season last year ‘Bridman’ averaged 6 points and 6 rebounds per game.  In 35 minutes a game last season for the Hornets Tyson Chandler averaged 8 points and 8 rebounds. Andersen can start and would start at center on my rebuilt Hornets club!    

BONUS FIX:james_poseytravis_outlawsergio_rodriguez

Trade James Posey to Portland For Travis Outlaw and Sergio Rodriguez. 

The Blazers are looking for a veteran force to get their young team over the hump and Portland is reportedly willing to part with Outlaw and Rodriguez to get this done.  Outlaw would give the Hornets more bench scoring and Rodriguez would most certainly beat out Antonio Daniels to be the back-up point guard.  The Hornets also save about a million dollars in this trade. 

Or trade Posey to Dallas for Jerry Stackhouse.

If the Mavs would take Posey this would help the Hornets financially.  Stack’s contract next season is 7.2 million but only 2 million is guaranteed so the Hornets could trade for him then pay him 2 million…cut him and save 5.2 million toward the luxury tax.   

Personally I’d have no problems entering 2009-2010 season with the Following line-up and bench:

1. Chris Paul 

2.  Rip Hamilton 

3.  Andrei Kirilenko 

4.  David West 

5.  Chris Andersen

Bench: Antonio Daniels, Sergio Rodriguez, Morris Peterson, Rasual Butler, Travis Outlaw, Sean Marks, Julian Wright and Hilton Armstrong…as well as the Hornets 2009 1st round draft pick (and hopefully the Hornets pick one of three players in the draft at #21 in the 1st round: Ohio State C BJ Mullins, St. Mary’s College PG Patrick Mills or North Carolina PF Tyler Hansbrough).