Here it is plain and simple…THE HORNETS ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!!!
Less than an hour ago Hornets general manager Dell Demps told the media that he is looking to reload…not rebuild!
But the question remains…HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?????
While the upcoming NBA draft lacks superstar appeal their are plenty of solid players who could come in immediately and help teams in various ways.
The only problem is that the Hornets do not have a 1st round pick and Demps says he doubts the team will acquire one.
Once the NBA gets a new collective bargaining agreement and free agency starts Demps will of course try to sign players that can help Chris Paul contend…BUT THIS WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE!
Here is an example: The Hornets are on record saying that they want to re-sign free agent power forward Carl Landry. Landry is expected to receive other offeres from teams in the NBA. Let’s say Landry gets contract offers from the Hornets, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons. If I’m the owner of any of those teams I’m on the phone with the league office telling Commissioner David Stern that I will not lose a player I want to a team that the league owns!!!
I cannot see any owner losing a player to a team owned by the league!
In essence, the owner would be losing to himself….since all owners have a 1/30 stake in the Hornets.
This situation holds true not only for Carl Landry but also for Jeff Green, Glen Davis and any other free agent that is in demand. The Hornets will not land any player they have to get into a bidding war for until they have a new owner!
So reloading through free agency is out. The only free agent players the Hornets will be able to sign are guys no one else wants! Kwame Brown, Sasha Vujacic, Aaron Gray, DJ Mbenga. Heck, if Marco Belinelli & Jason Smith get solid offers the Hornets may not be able to sign them.
I know this is a depressing outlook…but if you think about the situation it’s the truth!
Until the Hornets have a new owner the NBA will keep them afloat…but that’s it! The NBA will not allow the Hornets to outbid teams with owners who have a plan and a more certain future.
Now remember back to last year…it was nearly one year ago today that Chris Paul came out and said that he wants to remain in New Orleans…but he also wants to win and he wants the team to put players around him that can help him win.
I doubt CP3’s stance has changed…but what has changed is the fact that the Hornets will not be able to put any new quality players around him.
Last year the Hornets had chips which allowed them to acquire veteran players who helped the team win (Collison & Thornton were dealt for Ariza and Landry…the Hornets also had two 1st round draft picks…one of which was used in a deal to acquire Jason Smith and Willie Green).
This year the Hornets have no chips to acquire veteran help!
So buckle up New Orleans…it’s gonna be an interesting summer and fall!
One last item since I’ve had way to much coffee and have more to say on this topic.
I have stood firm on my stance that the Hornets should NOT trade Chris Paul.
I am now of the belief that no matter what Dell Demps does this summer the Hornets will be at best a fringe playoff team…and….I believe that CP3 fully intends on testing free agency in the summer of 2012…so, perhaps it’s time to start exploring a massive tear down and rebuild.
If Demps can get a kings ransom this week from OKC for CP3 (Collison, Westbrook, Ibaka and a 1st round draft pick…consider it!)….if Golden State would send Ellis, Udoh, and their 2011 lottery pick for CP3…consider it!
Moving CP3…along with Ariza in another separate trade for picks or young players might be the only way to go for this franchise.