More Bad News For Hornets/CP3

The Hornets selling their 2011 2nd round draft pick for $750,000 last night only enhances my belief that the team is in an absolute free-fall until the new NBA CBA gets worked out and the Hornets get a new owner.

(Sidebar: I agree with what Charles Barkley said today…their will be no 2011-2012 NBA season because of the upcoming labor battle…but that’s a blog for another day)

The Hornets move last night cannot be spun into something positive!  I know in 2008 the Hornets sold a 1st round pick to Portland for $3 million and used that money to sign James Posey…but $3 million is a lot different than $750,000….plus, back then ownership and experts felt the Hornets were on the cusp of greatness.

Plus, if you make a pick you may land the next Manu Ginobili, Marcus Thornton or Jason Terry (all 2nd rounders)….making no picks ensures that you don’t!

As I wrote in my last blog…the NBA will keep the Hornets afloat…but that’s it!

Winning? PLEASE!

The Hornets franchise has value no matter what the team does on the court so don’t expect the Hornets to be anything more than a group that is barely competative…at best, a fringe playoff team. 

Plus, adding long term debt only hurts the value of a franchise so don’t expect any big name free agents with big contracts to come buzzing into the hive if/when free agency starts.   

Hornets management saying that they’ll use the money they obtained last night towards free agency is simply a LIE!

Let’s do the math:

Assuming their is a season and assuming the salary cap/luxury cap limit is $68 million (we use that figure because that was the luxury tax limit last season).

As I write this blog the Hornets have only 5 players on guaranteed contracts for next season (CP3, Okafor, Ariza, Jack & Pondexter) and those contracts total $40 million.

Most NBA teams carry 13-14 players (the max is 15, the minimum in 12).

If David West picks up his option the Hornets are at $47.5 million.  I truly believe West will pick up his option…we should know by this weekend.

Now we’re at $47.5 million and 6 players. 

$21 million dollars to spend on 7-8 players.

The NBA veteran minimum is $1.06 million. 

Lets add in three veteran minumum players.

We now have $18 million to spend on 4-5 players. 

The free agent players that you are going to get for 3-5 million dollars annually are mostly journeyman guys like Willie Green, Marco Belinelli and Jason Smith…I like all of them…but they are not difference makers.   

Certain people out there will write me and say the Hornets can spend $10 million of that $18 million on one big-time free agent (Marc Gasol?) and then sign rookie free agent players to fill out the rest of the roster.

That thought is technically correct, but the NBA will not allow the Hornets to take on a long-term, big contract while the team is for sale.  Bad debt is not going to help a property that’s for sale.      

That said…if their is NBA basketball in 2011-2012 (which is highly doubtful)….THE HORNETS ARE DOOMED!

Chris Paul won’t have to demand a trade…he will just refuse to sign an extension and the Hornets will be forced to trade him to ensure they do not lose him for nothing (a situation very similiar to Carmelo Anthony & Denver).

That said, here are some possible trades involving CP3.

I only put the teams on here that Paul may be interested in signing with when he reaches free agency…because realistically those are the only teams that will trade for him:

Charlotte Bobcats (CP3 is from North Carolina and has a close relationship with team owner Michael Jordan)

  • Send Boris Diaw, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and 2012 1st round draft pick to Hornets for CP3

Golden State Warriors (new ownership and coaching staff truly committed to winning…passionate fans and how can you beat the bay area?)

  • Send Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, Jeremy Lin and 2012 1st round draft pick to Hornets for CP3

Detroit Pistons (storied franchise with new ownership and a solid GM, Joe Dumars, who loves CP3)

  • Send Ben Gordon, Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, Kyle Singler & 2012 1st round draft pick to Hornets for CP3

Atlanta Hawks (Paul has family in ATL and wanted to be drafted by the Hawks in 2005)

  • Send Josh Smith, Keith Benson and a 2012 1st Round Pick for CP3

Oklahoma City Thunder (Paul played his first two seasons in the NBA in this city while the Hornets were gone for Hurricane Katrina)

  • Send Russell Westbrook (who would have to sign a long term extension and come in a sign-and-trade) & Serge Ibaka for CP3

Boston Celtics (It’s the Celtics, no explanation needed)

  • Send Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis/or Jeff Green and 2012 1st Round Draft Pick for CP3

Los Angeles Lakers & Minnesota Timberwolves:

  • Lakers get CP3
  • T’Wolves get Trevor Ariza
  • Hornets get Andrew Bynum the Lakers 2012 1st round draft pick & Michael Beasley

The best situation for keeping Chris Paul is having the NBA labor battle take 10-12 months…miss the entire season…hope the league fixes itself and then hope Gary Chouest buys the Hornets next summer.  If the NBA lost an entire season Paul would not become a free agent until 2013….allowing Chouest time to convince the superstar he is committed to winning…and truly can win in ‘the new’ NBA. 

We’ll see.

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5 Responses

  1. Fletcher – great take. But please brush up on your spelling and grammar. “Their” is only used as a possessive – Two times you should have used “there.” Also, it is “competitive.” Just want to help – not trying to be an a*s. Thanks for all the good work.

  2. we don’t want nor need rondo.he can only pass the ball .we need a shooter(scorer)/passer.why would we trade trevor ariza?when will people get it through their heads…andrew bynum sucks!!!!!!!!!!he’s hurt EVERY year.big body with bad knees.he’s big and takes up space.but out of 82 games he’ll play maybe 40.keep him we don’t need him.we can get someone from the d-league with more upside.charlotte or detroit would be the best deals.rule number one of sports trades-don’t trade to the competition!!!!jeff green didn’t do much for boston why would we want him.davis is getting better but we need more substance.our team may not have a bunch of difference makers but that’s why they play the game.on paper everyone was on the san antonio spurs,the bulls,the lakers,knicks and the miami heat bandwagon too.look where they went.DOWN.

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