Archive for December, 2009

Go All In Hornets!!! Major Rebuilding Effort Is A Good Thing
December 30, 2009

So….what a crazy day….Yahoo sports reports that the Hornets traded Devin Brown…but they didn’t….the report was wrong!

But the fact that the Hornets were close to moving Brown in a salary dump to Minnesota proves to me that the team is on the verge of  tearing down and rebuilding. 

But how big will the rebuild be?  Will the Hornets move spare parts like Brown and keep the core of the team intact?  Or will they try to totally overhaul the team?

I’m hoping for a total overhaul and here’s why:

As we speak the Hornets are completely healthy….and they’re not good.  West and Okafor are not the front court management envisioned…the Hornets get killed in the paint.  The team also has no consistent shooters and is terrible in transition.  So what kind of a team are the Hornets?  NO ONE KNOWS!  But what we do know is this team as is will be life for death to make the playoffs and if they got in they’d get killed in a first round series by the Lakers or Nuggets or Suns. 

So blow it up!!!!!

Here’s how:

4 team trade: Deal Works Under NBA Trade Guidelines

Teams: New Orleans, Utah, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Lakers

  • New Orleans Hornets Obtain: Mehmet Okur, Elton Brand, Adam Morrison, Jason Kapono
  • Utah Jazz Obtain: David West & Emeka Okafor
  • Philadelphia 76er’s Obtain: Peja Stojakovic & Carlos Boozer
  • L.A. Lakers Obtain: James Posey

Breakdown:

Hornets:  The Hornets pick-up two quality starters (Brand and Okur) and get tremendous financial freedom once they buy the other two players in this deal out of  their contracts (or when the two guys contracts expire this summer).  This deal keeps the Hornets competative and gives them room to operate for the future. 

The Hornets get a new frontline with Brand and Okur. Brand is coming off the bench and needs a fresh start.  Okur is a player I’ve always really liked but he’s slumping now and could use a change of secnery.   As I said a few sentences ago…the Hornets would immediately buyout Kapono and maybe Morrison.  It might be worth keeping Morrison till the end of the season and seeing what he’s got since he never got a real shot in the NBA.

Jazz: The Jazz pick-up an all star forward in David West and a solid center in Okafor.  Utah also gets closer (if not under) the NBA’s dreaded luxury tax if they’re part of this trade.  I also truly believe Jerry Sloan would get the most of out Emeka Okafor.  And let’s be honest, like the Hornets…the Jazz need a shake-up trade!

76er’s: The Sixers rid themselves of Brand’s lengthy contract.  With Boozer they get an all star power forward who’s got a $12 million dollar expiring contract this summer.  Peja’s contract is not what Philly would like to take on but he’s coming off the books in 2011 and he is still a servicable player.      

Lakers: The Lakers need bench help bad and Posey will provide a ton of help to a great contender.  Moving Morrison for Posey is a steal for the Lakers.

My Last Trade Proposal
December 27, 2009

Okay….I’m addicted to the trade machines on www.ESPN.com  and www.realgm.com.

That said….I’m trying to ween myself off those sites.  But like quitting smoking….it’s HARD!!!

But, I’m going to try and I’m going out with a bang.  MY LAST TRADE PROPOSAL (at least until February when the trade deadline nears!).

Is this ridicously far fetched?  Yep!

But, here goes.  If the Hornets go into full blown rebuild mode (like they should) I’ve come up with a mega 5 team deal that actually helps all parties involved and amazingly works under NBA trade guidelines. This deal also gets the Hornets under the NBA luxury tax, provides them with salary space to work this summer and gets young, talanted players for Chris Paul to run with.

…and away we go….

TEAMS: New Orleans, Portland, Atlanta, Memphis and Sacramento:

  • New Orleans gets:
  • Rudy Fernandez, Kenny Thomas (who’d immediately be bought out), Spencer Hawes, Andres Nocioni, Steven Hunter (who’d be immediately bought out), Hamed Haddadi & Darrell Arthur
  • Portland gets:
  • Hilton Armstrong & Zaza Pachulia 
  • Atlanta gets:
  • James Posey
  • Memphis gets:
  • Andre Miller
  • Julian Wright
  • Sacramento gets:
  • David West
  • Peja Stojakovic
  • Devin Brown

BREAKDOWN:

  • New Orleans: I hate to involve David West in any deal but the Hornets aren’t winning with him and moving him allows the team to move their two worst contracts (Peja & Posey).  Make no mistake, the Hornets are giving up the most in this 5 team deal but the mega-trade gets them under the luxury tax and gives the front office enough financial freedom to go sign a quality free agent this summer.  The Hornets also pick up three talented young players in Fernandez, Hawes and Arthur.
  • Portland: The Blazers might be hard pressed to trade away Fernandez but he’s been complaining about playing time since last summer and the Blazers need size with Oden and Przybilla out for the season.  I know Portland is good but they can’t play super small (they had Roy, Blake and Bayless on the floor at crunch time last night) in the post season and expect to win.
  • Atlanta: The Hawks trade a back-up (Pachulia) and get a ‘glue’ guy (Posey) who’s won two titles and might be just what the Hawks need to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference.   
  • Memphis: The Grizzlies add a veteran point guard (Miller) who could lead a team loaded with talent and that seems to be getting a lot better. Memphis also gets a talented former lottery pick (Julian Wright) who needs a change of scenery.
  • Sacramento: The Kings pick-up an all star power forward (West) to play alongside Jason Thompson.  Sure, Peja’s contract is horrible but it expires a year sooner than Nocioni’s does.  Peja is also a fan favorite in Sacramento and he may be rejuvinated going to back to where it all began to finish his career. Devin Brown is a throw-in to make the deal work.

Odds a deal like this will ever happen? WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!

But lets suspend reality for a second and pretend it does.

Your 2010-2011 Hornets would look as follows:

1. Chris Paul

2. Rudy Fernandez

3. Andres Nocioni (or 2010 free agent player X)

4. Darrell Arthur (or 2010 free agent player X)

5. Spencer Hawes or Emeka Okafor

Bench: Darren Collison, Marcus Thornton, Bobby Brown, MoPete, Hamed Haddadi, Darius Songaila, Ike Diogu (if he ever recovers and plays again), 2010 Lottery Draft Pick (perhaps one of these two players: Greg Monroe or Donatas Montiejunas)

From the NBA Insider (and another NEW trade)
December 26, 2009

Chris Paul says he wants to remain a member of the Hornets, and the team, for now, has no interest in trading him.

He’s also quite popular in town.

But can the Hornets continue to not entertain trade offers? Will Paul opt out of the final year of his contract in the summer of 2012?

ESPN’s Marc Stein investigates.

Marc Stein

Teams will continue to inquire about Paul

“The reality, though, is that teams are bound to keep trying to pry Paul away from the Hornets, no matter how determined they are to keep the backcourt dynamo. It’s the ultimate quandary. The Hornets don’t appear to have the financial flexibility or the trade assets to significantly upgrade Paul’s supporting cast, but trading him is the last thing that they want to do, not only because of his status as one of the league’s revolutionary point guards but also given his popularity in town. … Yet Paul is also aware that outsiders will remain skeptical about how long he can stomach life with the Hornets’ status as a team flirting with .500 and struggling to crack the top eight in the West, just two years removed from a Southwest Division title and a seven-game series with San Antonio that left New Orleans one win shy of the Western Conference finals.”

Fletcher’s Take:  Look, their is no way in hell the Hornets are trading Paul anytime soon…NO WAY!!!!!

That said…what will the Hornets due when the February NBA trade deadline rolls around?

NOTHING MAJOR! 

My bet is the team makes a few minor trades to get under the NBA luxury tax…dealing guys like Darius Songaila, Devin Brown, maybe Julian Wright but that they’ll keep everyone else intact and hope that a new coach next season can bring this core group back to prominance.

Is that the smart play? NO!

I’ve suggested before on this blog that maybe the Hornets need a ‘shake-up’ trade.  A trade that moves major pieces in an effort to get the right mix around Paul. 

Here are some of those trades (plus a NEW…kinda crazy one that I really like).

TRADE

  • David West, Darren Collison & Hilton Armstrong to Memphis for Rudy Gay, Hasheem Thabeet & Steven Hunter

WHY: I love David West and hate to put him in any trade.  West is a fierce warrior that any team would relish and that any franchise would be lucky to have.  That said, he and Emeka Okafor are not the front court dynamic duo that the Hornets envisioned.  The Hornets have been killed rebounding and defensively in the paint this season and West is averaging 4 points less than last season because Okafor’s game is similiar to his and they steal shots from one another.  In David West Memphis would get an all star PF who won’t hog the ball the way O.J. Mayo and Zach Randolph do.  This move would also give Memphis a classy leader (West) and a player who is under contract for two more years at a bargain basement price.  Randolph would have to move to SF for the Grizzlies but he played that position last season for the Clippers.  The Grizzlies are also thin at point guard so landing Darren Collison would bolster that position.  At best Collison would emerge as the starter, at worst he forms a nice tandem with Mike Conley.

Rudy Gay is a restricted free agent this summer so he could be a short term rental for the Hornets.  But, if the Hornets are serious about winning it’s a gamble they take.  It would be hard to pry Thabeet away from Memphis but with the emergence of Marc Gasol, who’s playing at an all star level, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think Memphis would move him in the right deal. 

Hunter & Armstrong make the deal work money-wise.

TRADE

  • David West, Morris Peterson & Julian Wright to Detroit For Rip Hamilton, Kwame Brown & Jonas Jerebko

WHY: Rip Hamilton has 4 years left on his massive contract…that’s why this deal would be risky for the Hornets.  The Hornets could use a playoff tested SG who averages 2o points a night but Hamilton will be 35 years old when his deal ends.  Detroit would also no doubt like to rid themselves of Hamilton’s contract…espicially since they now have Ben Gordon.  West gives the Pistons a starting PF for their playoff march. In Morris Peterson Detroit gets a back-up SG and a player who might be rejuvinated being back in his native state.  Julian Wright sweetens the deal because he could still be a good player in the NBA.  Jerebko is an up-and-coming rookie PF who’s become a fan favortie in Detroit for his relentless style of play.  I like Jonas Jerebko and think he’s got a bright future.  Kwame Brown has an expiring contract that gives the Hornets some much needed salary relief.  

NEW TRADE: 3 Team Deal

  •   New Orleans Hornets Get: Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, Nicolas Batum, a future 2nd round pick from Portland & the rights to Joel Freeland (owned by Portland).
  •  Utah Jazz Get: Emeka Okafor, Peja Stojakovic, Patrick Mills & a future 2nd round draft pick from Portland.
  •  Portland Trailblazers Get: Darius Songaila & Hilton Armstrong

WHY: Peja for Kirilenko is a wash, Okafor for Okur is a wash…those two deals are just high paid, relatively under productive players with comparable contracts getting a change of scenery.  The Hornets also get a young wing player in Batum. With Mills, Utah picks up a young point guard to replace Eric Maynor (who was traded to OKC for financial reasons).  Portland gets a good big man in Songaila and a servicable one in Armstrong to replace Oden & Przybilla who are both out for the season with injury. 

Nate To New Orleans?
December 21, 2009

Why not?

Maybe the Hornets should call the Knicks and talk trade.

Below is an excerpt from ESPN today:

As we noted this morning, Nate Robinson‘s agent, after seeing his client get no playing time the last nine games, is asking for a trade.

Robinson signed a one-year, $4 million deal before the season, so his expiring contract might be attractive to teams unwilling to take on salary past this year.

But as Larry Coon of the New York Times writes today, it’s not so easy. First, Robinson, who will have full Bird rights this summer, can veto any trade deal. Though, considering his current status, he probably shouldn’t be too choosey.

Second, Base Year Compensation is at issue. Since the Knicks re-signed Robinson with a raise greater than 20 percent and were over the salary cap, Robinson’s salary for trade purposes is actually only $2,020,179 — what he made last season as a Knick — not the $4 million he’s currently making.

“The team at the other end of the transaction would use Robinson’s full $4 million salary, rather than his BYC amount,” writes Coon. “Working the math the other way, this means that another team would have to trade away at least $3.12 million in order to acquire Robinson.

“See the problem here? The other team would need to trade away more salary than the Knicks could accept. Robinson could not, for example, be traded straight-up for another $4 million player.”

Coon notes some potential creative options for the Knicks to work around this pitfall, but bottom line: trading Robinson isn’t going to be so easy.

——————————————

Fletcher’s deal: Nate Robinson to the Hornets for Julian Wright and a future 2nd round draft pick.

That deal works under NBA trade regulations and for both team.  The Knicks get a player who fits coach Mike D’Antoni’s system and who doesn’t hurt their chances of landing free agents this summer.

The Hornets get an electric combo guard and potential salary relief this summer.

Yes…Another Hornets Trade
December 19, 2009

Inspired by John Hollinger’s new column…

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-091218

I have come up yet another trade.

New Orleans Hornets Get:

  • C/PF Anthony Randolph
  • SF Vladimir Radmanovic  
  • SG Raja Bell

Golden State Warriors Get:

  • C Emeka Okafor
  • SF Julian Wright

WHY:

In Okafor, Golden State gets a player who excells defensively, something that team desperately needs.  Okafor could team with Andris Biedrins to form a formidable front line (all be it a very offensively challenged one, but Golden State has enough fire power to absorb them).  Plus, the Hornets don’t even play Okafor in crunch time so do they really need him anymore?  The Warriors get a super athletic wing defender in Julian Wright…and Wright needs a new home.

The Hornets get an offensive minded C/PF (and a former LSU Tiger) in Randolph.  The Hornets also pick up a very servicable forward in Radmanovic and a veteran SG in Bell.  Plus, Bell’s expiring $5.5 million dollar contract helps the Hornets big time this offseason.

Decisions…Decisions
December 15, 2009

Talk about an identity crisis.

Are the Hornets an aging team that can no longer compete?
Are they a team that can compete now?

Are they a team that’s young and in a rebuilding phase?

WHO KNOWS?????  The Hornets are in some ways all of the above. 

That said, the NBA trade deadline is just over 2 months away and the Hornets are one of the most confusing teams in the league.

Some nights it looks as if the Hornets can compete against any team and will slide into the 7th or 8th playoff position.  Other nights the Hornets look terrible…like a team that has no business in the post season.

So the big question is…what will the Hornets do?

Will they stand pat …do nothing and hope that the group thay have can figure it all out and go on a roll? 

Will they go out and add a player trying to make a run?

Or will the Hornets sell-off some assets in an attempt to shed payroll and maybe even pick up a younger player? 

Basically, will CP3 and the gang be buyers, sellers or watchers???

My bet is management decides to watch from the sidelines and keep this team intact.

But, that’s probably not the right decision.  If the playoffs started today the Hornets would not make it.  The Hornets are currently in 11th place in the Western Conferecne (the top 8 teams get in).

Maybe Hornets management will make one small move to try to shed salary but I expect them to do nothing.

I cannot envision the Hornets making a major move to try to make a run because they would more than likely have to take on more salary and that will not happen.

What should happen…in my opinion…is the following.

The Hornets should try to trade away an asset or two in an effort to shed salary and get young players.

And of course…I’ve got a trade ideas (so get ready to go crazy www.hornetsreport.com).

TRADE #1: The Easy Deal

  • Darius Songaila to Portland for Nicolas Batum and the draft rights to pick Victor Claver.

WHY:  I did a report the second day of Hornets training camp and I said Songaila would emerge as the best bench player on the team…and he has!  A solid veteran who’s playoff tested Songaila has tremendous worth to a team looking to add depth for a push against the Lakers twin towers.  Portland would get a player capable of filling a void in the paint left by the loss of Greg Oden. The Hornets get salary relief and two young players.

TRADE #1A: The Kinda Easy Deal

  • James Posey & Darius Songaila to Boston for Glen Davis, Brian Scalabrine, the draft rights to Semih Erden & a future 2nd round draft pick

WHY: Boston gets two playoff tested veterans who can help them in a variety of ways.  Posey of course won a ring in Boston and almost re-signed with the Celtics before joining the Hornets.  In Davis The Hornets get a young C/PF from Louisiana would could emerge as a starter and will be a huge fan favorite.  The Hornets also get salary relief because Scalabrine has an expiring contract.  Erden is a 7-footer who’s still in Europe and who could one day emerge as an athletic big man who can handle the NBA.      

TRADE #2: Big for Big

  • Emeka Okafor to Cleveland For Zydrunas Ilgauskas

WHY: The Hornets rid themselves of the remianing four years on Okafor’s contract and free up $11 million dollars as soon as the season ends and Ilgauskas becomes a free agent.  The Cavs get a center that they can count on for four more years and they still have enough money to sign a max contract player (something that could help keep Lebron James) this summer because Shaq’s $22 million dollar deal is coming off the books in July. 

TRADE #3: The Blockbuster       

  • David West, Darren Collison & Hilton Armstrong to Memphis for Rudy Gay, Hasheem Thabeet & Steven Hunter

WHY: I love David West and hate to put him in any trade.  West is a fierce warrior that any team would relish and that any franchise would be lucky to have.  That said, he and Emeka Okafor are not the front court dynamic duo that the Hornets envisioned.  The Hornets have been killed rebounding and defensively in the paint this season and West is averaging 4 points less than last season because Okafor’s game is similiar to his and they steal shots from one another.  In David West Memphis would get an all star PF who won’t hog the ball the way O.J. Mayo and Zach Randolph do.  This move would also give Memphis a classy leader (West) and a player who is under contract for two more years at a bargain basement price.  Randolph would have to move to SF for the Grizzlies but he played that position last season for the Clippers.  The Grizzlies are also thin at point guard so landing Darren Collison would bolster that position.  At best Collison would emerge as the starter, at worst he forms a nice tandem with Mike Conley.

Rudy Gay is a restricted free agent this summer so he could be a short term rental for the Hornets.  But, if the Hornets are serious about winning it’s a gamble they take.  It would be hard to pry Thabeet away from Memphis but with the emergence of Marc Gasol, who’s playing at an all star level, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think Memphis would move him in the right deal. 

Hunter & Armstrong make the deal work money-wise.

TRADE #4: The Gamble

  • David West, Morris Peterson & Julian Wright to Detroit For Rip Hamilton, Kwame Brown & Jonas Jerebko

WHY: Rip Hamilton has 4 years left on his massive contract…that’s why this deal would be risky for the Hornets.  The Hornets could use a playoff tested SG who averages 2o points a night but Hamilton will be 35 years old when his deal ends.  Detroit would also no doubt like to rid themselves of Hamilton’s contract…espicially since they now have Ben Gordon.  West gives the Pistons a starting PF for their playoff march. In Morris Peterson Detroit gets a back-up SG and a player who might be rejuvinated being back in his native state.  Julian Wright sweetens the deal because he could still be a good player in the NBA.  Jerebko is an up-and-coming rookie PF who’s become a fan favortie in Detroit for his relentless style of play.  I like Jonas Jerebko and think he’s got a bright future.  Kwame Brown has an expiring contract that gives the Hornets some much needed salary relief.       

 TRADE #5: The Steal

  • Emeka Okafor to Orlando For Marcin Gortat, Brandon Bass and a future 2nd round draft pick

WHY: The Magic are all in for a playoff run and Okafor would make them that much stronger.  The Hornets would get an athletic young center dying for the opportunity to start and a quality PF in Bass who’s from Louisiana, used to play for the Hornets and who’s currently rotting on the Magic bench.

This deal is a wash money-wise, neither team comes away with any more flexibility.

I think this deal would be a steal for the Hornets because I’ve always liked Bass and was touting Gortat over a year ago before he jumped up on everyone’s radar.

Orlando may even think this is a steal for them because they get a veteran C/PF  in Okafor who could perhaps help them beat the Lakers in the finals.    

TRADE #6: The Dump

  • Emeka Okafor to New Jersey for Yi Jianlian, Tony Battie & Jarvis Hayes

WHY: The Hornets get a lottery bust who could still turn out to be a nice player in Yi and nearly $9 million dollars of cap relief because Battie & Hayes contracts come off the books this summer.  The Nets get a quality big man to play alongside Brooke Lopez.  New Jersey also still has plenty of players with expiring contracts and enough money to try to lure a big name free agent this summer. 

This deal would be a straight salary dump for the Hornets.

TRADE #7: The Wild Card

  • Any Trade with the Golden State Warriors!!!

WHY: Reportedly the Warriors are shopping every player on their dysfunctional team.  Maybe the Hornets and Warriors will workout a deal to try to jump start their franchises.  I would suggest some deals but their are too many combinations that are interesting and that work on the ESPN trade machine.  Obviously the only player on the Hornets who’s untouchable is CP3.

Insane…A MUST WATCH!!!
December 9, 2009

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather In NOLA?!?!?!?!
December 2, 2009

The much-anticipated bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is all but set for March 13, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

Mayweather has agreed to terms and promoter Bob Arum is making a trip to Manila, Philippines, to finalize a deal with Pacquiao, the source said.

Las Vegas, Dallas and New Orleans are the front-runners to host the bout, which is expected to become the highest-grossing boxing match in the sport’s history.

Pacquiao is the top pound-for-pound fighter in nearly every major ranking, including Yahoo! Sports. Mayweather is No. 2 in most rankings and was No. 1 in nearly all of the polls before he briefly retired in June 2008.

http://sports.yahoo.com/box/news;_ylt=AvARAxcCIsgZ74H0QUCjrQU5nYcB?slug=ki-floydpac120109&prov=yhoo&type=lgns