The Hive Is Burning

The Hive is buring!!!!

The clock is ticking on Byron Scott and Jeff Bower!

Look, I’m not even going to talk about bad drafts (Cedric Simmons, Hilton Armstrong and Julian Wright)), awful decisions (Letting Brandon Bass and Birdman walk away) and the poor development of young players (JR Smith)….because that’s water under the bridge…..I want to talk about how to salvage this year’s  Hornets season.

The next 7 days could determine Scott’s future as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets.

After losing at home by 17 points on Friday night to the Toronto Raptors the Hornets play 5 games over the next 7 days and 4 of those contests are against teams that right now look better than the Hornets.

Sunday: @ Lakers

Monday@ Clippers

Wednesday @ Phoenix

Friday vs. Portland

Saturday @Atlanta

The Hornets are 2-4 overall and have not looked like a team in any of their 6 games.  Even coach Scott says his charges are playing like individuals and not as a team.

Coach Scott and General Manager Jeff Bower can keep saying that the team will come together and that this group will eventually surge but I just don’t see it.

Taking the “it’s all eventually going to come together and be harmonious” mentality to me is like telling a person to keep trying to shove a square peg into a round hole because it’ll eventually fit. 

I’ve watched every second of every game this season and don’t see any way that this group gets better.    

If the Hornets fall flat this week…go 1-4 and stand at 3-8 would management make a change of some kind?  Fire Scott?  Make a trade to jump start the club?  Or will the Hornets stand pat and continue to say that they just have to gel and that time will get them on track?

My bet would be on the latter….stand pat and wait till the trade deadline.  If the Hornets are in 9th-12th place in the Western Conferecne when February’s trade deadline rolls around then they’d probably fire sale as many veteran players as possible and fire Byron Scott to make a statement.

That said….my suggestion is to make a move now to get better!!!

Basically, make a trade that jump starts the club and keeps superstar Chris Paul happy.

One year ago this week Denver was floundering when they decided to trade Allen Iverson for Chanucy Billups.  That move helped the Nuggets surge to the Western Conference finals and has them in a great position this season.

Fletcher’s Jump Start Trade:

David West to the Golden State Warriors

Stephen Jackson and Kelenna Azubuike to the New Orleans Hornets   

WHY: David West is a tremendous player and a cornerstone of the Hornets franchise but in my opinion the acquisition of Emeka Okafor has hurt him and will continue to hurt him.  West and Okafor are similiar players so the presence of Okafor has resulted in fewer shots for West.  West’s rebounds are also down through the first 6 games of this season.  But, David West is a two time all-star who would no doubt flourish and add toughness to the fast break style that Don Nelson runs in Golden State.  West and Andris Biedrins would form an athletic front line that would work nicely with scorers Ellis, Maggette, Curry and Morrow. 

The Hornets would get two very talented wing players to run with Chris Paul.  Jackson could start at small forward and Azubuike shooting guard. Sure, the Hornets are now thin at power forward and would have to piece that position together with Sean Marks, Ike Diogu, Hilton Armstrong, Darius Songaila and even James Posey but adding two good scorers might help jump start this club. 

This deal does not in any way benefit the Hornets financially.  If anything it hurts them a little because they’d be taking on a bit more in salary with two players and they’d have to let a player go (Devin Brown?) to meet the NBA mandate 15 player roster…but they’d still be paying the player released.

But..if the Hornets want to try to save this season and are serious about winning NOW…this deal might be something to consider.

If the Hornets decide to wait and sell off assets at the trade deadline look for these deals to possibly happen:

Fletcher’s Trade Deadline Salary Dump Deal #1:

David West & James Posey to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Zydrunas Ilgauskas & Jamario Moon to the New Orleans Hornets

WHY:  West and Posey are former Xavier University (Ohio) players who would return to the state where they played their college ball and help Lebron and Shaq compete with Orlando and Boston for an Eastern Conference title. 

Ilgauskas has an expiring $11 million dollar contract that would give the Hornets tremendous financial flexability…Moon is a high flying young player who’d make the deal work money-wise.     

Fletcher’s Trade Deadline Salary Dump Deal #2:

David West & Darius Songaila to the Chicago Bulls

Brad Miller to the New Orleans Hornets

WHY:  The Bulls get an all star PF to team in the front court with center Joakim Noah and a tough-as-nails playoff tested back up big man in Songaila.  The Bulls are a dark horse contender in the east and could use both players.

The Hornets get Miller’s expiring $12 million dollar contract.

I put David West in every above trade because he’s the teams only player with good trade value.  CP3 is not going anywhere and Okafor has a contract that very few teams are interested in.  Also, Peja is immovable.  So it’s got to be West in a trade. 

A salary dump trade by the Hornets will probably not initially sit well with Chris Paul but it may not be a bad move.  If the Hornets can use the money they’d get from an expiring contract to sign a big time free agent in the summer of 2010 they could be right back in the mix in the west.  If the Hornets do make a salary dump move and have money remember the name Rudy Gay.  In my opinion their is no way one of the mega-free agent players (James, Wade, Bosh, Nowitzki) lands in New Orleans so Gay may be the big get if the Hornets have money to burn. 

Add Gay and a lottery pick like local player Greg Monroe who’s playing his college ball at Georgetown and the Hornets could be right back in the mix.

UPDATE (11/08/09):

Allen Iverson is reportedly on the way out in Memphis because he’s unhappy to be coming off the bench.  With the Hornets lack of punch at the 2-3 spot I truly believe that if AI is cut loose the Hornets should consider bringing him on board.  

Iverson comes cheap and the Hornets can guarantee him a starting spot….because lets be honest….AI is light years better than the Hornets current starting shooting guard….Devin Brown.

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6 Responses

  1. i don’t to jump the gun on the hornets just yet. we knew there would be chemistry issues considering they have 3 new starters. with that being said they do need to make a trade for a superstar/superstar “caliber” player. as much as i would hate to see west go, he is the only with actual value. But they need to fire-sale guys like mopete and hilton.

  2. I hope that this season will go well for the team. GEAUX HORNETS!!

  3. Fletcher,
    i can’t claim to have watched every Hornets game this season which, as a Sportscaster, i’m sure you have done.

    i’m also sure after reading your blog entry above and just listening to your 10pm newscast and report of our 16 point loss to the Lakers tonight – and the sour tone of each toward the team and your casting of aspersions to our ENTIRE season – i’m sure you’ve seen all SEVEN of the Hornets games so far.

    By the way, we’re two and five, and beat the division leading Mavericks in overtime this past week. They’re four and two. So, we’re three games out of first. Hopefully, our season has at least three games left. Oh wait, we have SEVENTY-FIVE games left!

    Now, i agree our team isn’t up to the caliber we’ve been accustomed to as of yet – but give me a break. And give them one too. i can expect this kind of tone and talk from a national sports outlet but you are a HOME TOWN guy. You are supposed to care more and be more supportive. And when we lose by sixteen points, to last year’s champs – you point out our positives and stop glowing about how Kobe Bryant is a superstar (uh, so is Chris Paul).

    And after seven games in the season, you don’t call for the head coach’s head and you don’t trade away arguably our second (or third) best player, David West. (And sending him to the Bulls? David’s back isn’t strong enough for that physical team and division)

    Maybe you’re being the way you are because you care SO much. But that’s not the sense i get. i think you’re jumping the gun because you feel entitled. Be a reporter sure, but also be a fan. Give the coach a chance to do what he can do to get this young group of guys to figure each other out – do YOUR part to help YOUR hometown team – INSTEAD of chopping them up in a sixteen point loss.

    Give’em at least a quarter of a season – maybe a third – before you throw in the towel. And just maybe, with your help, after 20 or 25 games they’ll have turned things around and rather than throwing in that towel – you’ll be at the arena holding onto it and twirling it around your head.

    Sincerely,
    Cayne Collier

  4. about the AI situation…i really hope we don’t bring him in…he might be talented but he’s a chemistry killer…look what he has done in detroit…complete chaos…he will guarantee the firing of scott.

  5. I agree about AI.

  6. We’re not surprise by the firing of head coach Scott. Didn’t want to see it happened, but it has. My only disappointment is that Mr. Shinn didn’t clean house all at once.

    Look at what Mr. Bower has done, hired Tim Floydd, which is a good coach, what he’s really saying is Mr. Shinn you made the wrong decision when you fired Tim Floydd, so I’m gonna bring him back and let him redeem himself.

    As far as the players are concern, every offseason trade that was done this last off season, was horrible. Jeff boweer made those trades so I feel as though he should have been the first to go and not coach Scott.

    So now we have to put up with a team that might just go out there and play only because they have to, not because they want to. We as New Orleanians have a major problem on our hands this NBA season.

    So lets get ready for a very, very, long haul

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