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.
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
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.