Trade Darren Collison (Updated 2-24-10)

This post was updated : 2-24-10 (7:53pm CST)

  • I truly believe the Hornets will make a late push this season but will fall short of making the NBA playoffs this year.  

They’ll finish in 9th place missing the 8th and final postseason spot by a 1/2 game. (and really, if the Hornets got into the playoffs they’d face the Lakers and would be lucky to win one game in the best of 7 series).

  • But…this offseason the Hornets are in a GOOD SPOT…THEY HAVE A GOOD PROBLEM!!!

With Chris Paul (knee surgery) out Rookie Darren Collison is proving he’s capable of leading a team and being a full time starter in the NBA. 

The 22 year old from UCLA is averaging 20 points, 8 assists and 2 steals as a starter in place of CP3.

But…when Paul returns Collison’s minutes will decrease greatly.  Sure CP3 and Collison can play in the same backcourt when the team goes small…kinda like the Hornets did two years ago when they played Paul and Pargo together…but Collison & Paul cannot start together.  Collison is a true point guard, not a shooting guard, so unless the Hornets want to mirror the dysfunctional mess that is Golden State and start an insane lineup of all small guards they’ll have to bring Collison off the bench.  So…when CP3 returns at the end of the season Collison will see his minutes cut in half.

But having a surplus of good players is a nice problem to have and one I think the team can parlay into success next season.

In my opinion, the Hornets should look to trade Collison this offseason. 


I know Collison makes the teams bench (which has historically been a sore spot for the Hornets) better…but this team needs starting help more than bench help and trading Collison could mean getting a starter back in return.

Package Collison with a bad contract (MoPete, Posey, Stojakovic) or with David West or Emeka Okafor and really rebuild this team for a serious run.

Keeping Collison as a backup is foolish.  Sure, Paul needs a backup but a veteran journeyman player like Bobby Brown, Devin Brown or another minimum contract player can fill that role.  Even a player like James Posey can play point forward when Paul needs a breather. 

If the Hornets do not explore trade options with Collison they’re crazy!

  • And being the obsessive NBA die hard that I am….I have of course come up with several ideas for the Hornets:

Updated Collison Trade: (2-24-10)

Darren Collison to New York Knicks

Wilson Chandler to New Orleans Hornets

WHY:  The Knicks will have tons of money to spend this summer and although they probably won’t land a whale like Lebron or D-Wade…they could get Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh and re-sign David Lee.  So who plays the point?

Speculation is Steve Nash will re-team with his old coach and relocate to NYC (where he makes his full time home)….but even at a discount price Nash will be pricey.  So perhaps the Knicks would be tempted to swap Chandler for Collison one -for-one. 

Updated Collison Trade II: (2-24-10)

Darren Collison & Morris Peterson to Sacramento

Omri Casspi & Beno Udrih to New Orleans

WHY: Tyreke Evans is a tremendous rookie and in my opinion the favorite (along with Stephen Curry) to win the NBA’s rookie of the year award.  But is Evans a true point guard?  NO!  Evans is turnover prone and a true scorer.  He may be better served playing off the ball.  Team him with Darren Collison and you’ve got the best young backcourt in the league.

Casspi has been a huge boost to the Kings and could start at SF for the Hornets.  The Hornets would have to take Beno Udrih’s bad contract back in this deal but Udrih is a decent back-up point guard who can also play off the ball.  Plus, the Hornets have lots of expiring contracts in 2011 so taking on Udrih is not a bad thing.  Morris Peterson makes the deal work money-wise.  Peterson would lend depth to a young Kings team and he’s got an expiring contract.  

Collison Trade #1 (updated 2-24-10):

Darren Collison and Julian Wright to Detroit

Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye to New Orleans

WHY: The Pistons Rodney Stuckey is really a 2-guard playing the point in Detroit.  Acquiring Collison gives the Pistons a true floor general.  Jerebko is having a solid rookie season and could start at SF for the Hornets.   Longterm I actually like Daye better than Jerebko.  Jerebko is a better player right now but Daye has more upside.  If the Pistons fell in love with Collison and could swing this deal they’d get two young players who could start at the wing positions (Jerebko at SF & Daye at SG).

Collison Trade #2:

Darren Collison & David West To Golden State

Anthony Randolph & Monta Ellis to New Orleans

WHY:  The Warriors are one of my favorite teams in the NBA but as I stated above, they’re a dysfunctional mess.   Head coach Don Nelson will more than likely be fired when the season ends so the rebuilding will begin this summer.  Stephen Curry is the second best rookie in the league (Tyreke Evans is the best) but he’s more of a shooting guard than a point guard.  The Warriors get a true point guard to pair with Curry and an all-star power forward to team with Andris Biedrins in the front court.  Add Corey Maggette into that starting 5 and the Warriors look like a solid, balanced team on paper.  The Hornets get an all-star scorer in Ellis and a young power forward with worlds of potential in Randolph.          

Collison Trade #3:

Darren Collison, Julian Wright, future 2nd round draft pick to Memphis

Hasheem Thabeet to New Orleans

WHY:  The Hornets could certainly use size and rebounding help and Thabeet would provide that.  The Grizzlies seem set at center with Marc Gasol putting up all-star numbers so in my opinion Thabeet is kind of expendable in Memphis.  Memphis is in desperate need of a point guard so Collison could be just what the team needs to help get over the hump.  Wright needs a change of scenery and he makes the deal work money-wise…plus, he still may turn into a good player.   

Collison Trade #4:

Darren Collison & Julian Wright to Portland

Nicolas Batum & the draft rights to Victor Claver to New Orleans 

WHY:  Portland’s Jared Bayless is more of a combo guard who should be coming off the bench not starting at the point and veteran Andre Miller will more than likely be dealt this summer.  The Blazers have a surplus of wing players and could absorb the loss of Batum.  Claver is reportedly a solid talent who could return from overseas this summer.   

  • Bonus (non-Darren Collison) Trade:

Julian Wright to Cleveland

Draft rights to Christian Eyenga to New Orleans

WHY:  I, like many others, became enamored with Eyenga’s highlight reel before last year’s draft.  He’s a boom or bust type of talent who’s currently playing in Europe.  If Cleveland would take Wright it’s a deal I’d do in a heartbeat. 

  • One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure 2010 Free Agent Signing:

Ian Mahinmi

WHY:  Their is something about Mahinmi I’ve always liked.  Not that’s he’s played a lot…but he’s worked hard, proven himself in the D-League and could emerge as a solid contributor in the NBA.  The Spurs did not pickup Mahinmi’s option for next season meaning he’ll be a free agent this summer.  This is just the type of player the Hornets need…low risk, high reward.  Years ago, back in the spring of 2004, I wrote several blogs about a free agent named Chris Andersen….and in opinion Mahinmi falls into the same category as the Birdman.  Also, it’s worth noting that the Spurs traded Luis Scola to the Rockets and gave Houston a starter…because they gave up on Scola too soon.  Maybe the Hornets can luck into the same type of situation. 

  • NBA Draft:

Missing the playoffs may not be a horrible scenario for the Hornets.  Getting into the NBA draft lottery could help the team add much needed depth.  The guy I would love to see the team take is former Helen Cox High School star Greg Monroe.  Monroe is finishing up his sophomore season at Georgetown.  Every time I see Monroe I see David West.      

I also like Al-Farouq Aminu from Wake Forest…and small forward is more of a position of need for the Hornets than power forward so if the Hornets get into the lottery Aminu could be their guy. 



10 Responses

  1. trade #2 makes the most sense. get the warrior’s best scorer plus a great defender/local product with randolph. They also need to trade mopete, posey, and peja if they wanna last in the long run. also based on last night’s game, i am starting to lose a little faith in okafor…he doesn’t hustle like he did earlier in the season.

    • Trading Collison away would make the list of the top five dumbest things that the Hornets could do with its current roster.

      How many people would give their left arm to get back Brandon Bass?

      With Collison as a backup Paul doesn’t need to play the minutes that he was playing last season. This means he will be fresher and not be as winded as the playoffs approach and we make a push in the playoffs.

      If the hornets keep their current level of play up AND get CP3 back with a month to go, we will not only make the playoffs… we will also likely be the 7th seed (at least). We are only 2 games back of the 7th seed and 4 games back of the 5th seed. We have played high quality teams and beat them. We nearly beat the Orlando Magic if it wasn’t for Vince Carter going insane.

      Having a solid 1-2 punch (or 3-2 punch, numerically speaking) at the 1 position means that when Paul comes out, we won’t have to ease back. We can play fast basketball and outrun the aging teams.

    • You really are a horrible sportscaster and you know less than the average fan but you apparently have way too much time on your hands to play with the ESPN trade machine. Get a grip!

  2. Daniel Z-

    The hornets have so many others in their roster that need to be filled. If collison has high trade value then you trade him. Hornets need a solid big or shooting guard. By all means keep Thornton. Collison has proved he is a starter (how good of a starter is still up for debate) but hes not going to stay very long at New Orleans.

    Hornets already have the best pg and we can fill collisons role with a mediocre backup while also filling other gaps in starting lineup.

    Paul plays 38 mins a game, you expect someone who is performing as well as collison to get only the other 10 mins when he probably has good trade value? Stop acting like you are a know it all by saying ‘Trading Collison top five dumbest things Hornets could do’…. when you are just flat out wrong.

    Also to the person who wrote this article….every single one of these trades is unlikely to happen because you are under estimating collison. For example trading collison for austin o daye? Austin O daye hasnt even proven anything and has just sat on the bench. What makes you think this the hornets would be interested in something like this in the first place?

    • Joe, I must disagree. Paul should NOT be playing 38 minutes a game. If we can reduce his time on the court to 30-35, we would make sure he is fresher at the end of the season.

      And you must not have been paying attention to how the coaches have played Paul and Collison when both were healthy. When they decided to go small, both CP3 and Collison played on the floor at the same time. So your claim that if Paul plays 38 that somehow Collison would be restricted to 10 is flat out wrong.

      And why would you purposefully choose to have a mediocre backup for CP3? I don’t see that as being a good thing, ever.

      And how can you say in once sentence that we should trade Collison for a 2 and then in the very next sentence say that we should keep Thornton. Thornton will be our starting 2.

      I never claimed to be a know it all. But you have not refuted anything I have said.

  3. […] Fletcher Mackel had suggested a myriad of trades that the Hornets should have done, many including Darren Collison and some including both him and Marcus Thornton. Since getting Chris Paul, the Hornets have not had […]

  4. what i think Fletcher is looking at is the long run..we need to make moves that will impact us in the long term both financially and as a winning team. is collison in the plans long term? maybe. the thing is he has proven thus far that he can be a starter and his agent will demand that he gets starter money which the hornets can’t afford. i really am a fan of collison and I would hate to see him go but I just don’t see him in the hornet’s long term plans.

  5. Hello Danielz,

    Let me address some of these points…..

    “Joe, I must disagree. Paul should NOT be playing 38 minutes a game. If we can reduce his time on the court to 30-35, we would make sure he is fresher at the end of the season.

    And you must not have been paying attention to how the coaches have played Paul and Collison when both were healthy. When they decided to go small, both CP3 and Collison played on the floor at the same time. So your claim that if Paul plays 38 that somehow Collison would be restricted to 10 is flat out wrong.”

    Leaving how much time for collison? I want you to do some homework and before cp3 got injured how many minutes has collison averaged this season with cp3 in. You dont even have to count byron scott who happened to give collison ~3 minutes a game. But how much time?
    Now compare that to now.

    Also you are crazy to think that cp3 needs a starting caliber pg behind him. Its CHRIS PAUL JESUS. He is a future hall of famer. Why keep a valuable trade asset PG when we already have the best PG in basketball.

    “And why would you purposefully choose to have a mediocre backup for CP3? I don’t see that as being a good thing, ever.”
    Taking me out of context. I was saying you can get a backup pg who is not collison caliber but still a backup pg never the less along with ANOTHER more skilled player. collisons value diminishes greatly for the hornets with cp3 back. considering they are both 6’0 and play very similiar games.

    “And how can you say in once sentence that we should trade Collison for a 2 and then in the very next sentence say that we should keep Thornton. Thornton will be our starting 2.”

    It all depends on what we can get for collison. Most likely what will happen is that collison will be bundled with another player or something. It depends what is offered in return but I am saying that we should try to keep thorton unless a deal is offered that cant be refused.

    “I never claimed to be a know it all. But you have not refuted anything I have said.”
    Its just you speak in absolutes in things are that arguable and that you aren’t even correct on. Trading collison is not stupid. It actually is the most likely thing that will happen after the end of the season. I am not trying to act like a know it all but you clearly are.

  6. I would like to see him go the the Pacers. The Pacers can give up there higher draft pick (likely top 5), Price to back-up CP3 and expiring contract of Murphy for the Hornets pick, Collison and take Posey’s contract off the Hornets.

  7. Since it heavily relies on trading Collison, I wanted to share my own personal plan for the Hornets:

    1) Don’t let CP3 play another game (we’re not making the playoffs so why risk him getting re-injured) and get as good of a draft pick as possible (I’m not suggesting tanking the season, but we all know that we won’t win as many games without Paul in the lineup).

    2) We’re projected to get the #12 pick right now, but I think Chicago will pass us and we’ll end up with an expected 11th pick (which, of course, could fluctuate as a result of the lottery). Find a way to draft Greg Monroe (6’11” PF from Georgetown) to replace D-West (easier to do than you probably want to believe), even if it means dealing our 2nd round pick to move up 2 or 3 spots. Monroe is legit.

    3) Offer this trade to Indiana – . We get Danny Granger (who went to high school in the New Orleans area) as well as two scrubs to make the contracts line up (Brandon Rush and Solomon Jones), and Indiana gets a productive D-West and his very salary cap-friendly contract, as well as their new starting PG in Collison since their PG situation is terrible right now (TJ Ford? Not the answer). It makes sense for both teams.

    This would give the Hornets a starting lineup of – CP3, Thornton, Granger, Monroe, Okafor (maybe we start Songaila to begin the season, or even give Diogu another shot to not get injured, but Monroe will be there when the playoffs get close). I think we’d have a real good shot to go deep into the playoffs with that lineup, and we could potentially bolster our bench by utilizing our Peja and Mo Pete expiring contracts.

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