Plain and simple, the Hornets (from a basketball operations stand point) lack vision.
Some say the blame for moves that are best described as buffoonish falls on the NBA (the teams current owner)…others on general manager Dell Demps!
I’m not sure who gets the blame…all I know is that this organization is so lost right now it defies belief…but since its Dell Demps falling on the sword and taking responsibility for all the teams basketball related maneuvers…we’ll direct this blog towards him!
Lets Breakdown Just One Bit of FOOLISHNESS:
DEMPS (Last Thursday after the NBA trade deadline passed and the Hornets failed to trade Chris Kaman): “I wouldn’t rule out anything, we’re interested in talking with Chris Kaman this summer about a new contract…but what I’m really excited about are our two draft picks this summer.”
What crazy, contradictory quotes!!!
Excited about Kaman and draft picks? Kaman should excite a veteran team capable of winning immediately…lottery draft picks excite a team building a new foundation for the future.
Does anyone believe the two can truly coexist?
Make no mistake, Kaman is playing only for his next (and final) big contract. Kaman is not a legitimate part of the Hornets rebuild moving forward, so why not move him at the trade deadline? Why not buyout his contract right now?
Look, no one in the NBA wants to use the word “tank” but teams throw in the towel at a certain point and play for the future. As I write this the Hornets are 11-34 overall. They have the 3rd worst record in the league and if it weren’t for the strong play of Chris Kaman they may have the worst record.
So why keep playing Kaman? Back in January the team sent Kaman away…the Hornets said in a statement they were working to trade the 7-footer and wanted to play younger players.
Kaman, a soon-to-be free agent, was brought back when a deal could not be reached.
So, in about 6 weeks, Kaman goes from banished player with no future as a Hornet to a 35-minute-a-night starter that you now want back….HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???????
The Hornets have 22 games remaining this season and the only thing Kaman is going to do is help the team win meaningless games and help himself get a big contract from another team this summer.
Kaman should have been dealt at the trade deadline!!! Even if all the Hornets got for him was a 2nd round draft pick and other expiring contracts. I hate when people tell me 2nd round picks are garbage…that’s a bunch of bull! Trevor Ariza, Carl Landry, Marcus Thornton, Brandon Bass, Glen Davis…all 2nd round picks fans in Louisiana are familiar with.
Keeping Kaman seems to be in direct conflict with “being excited” about the draft.
I asked Dell point-blank the other night, “doesn’t keeping Kaman in essence hurt your draft position if he keeps playing well and helping to win games?”
Dell’s answer, “I don’t think like that.”
YOU SHOULD!!!! Because other teams do. Golden State is talking about shutting down Steph Curry who’s been nursing a bum ankle and keeping newly acquired Andrew Bogut sidelined (he’s also rehabing an injury). The reason, the Warriors keep their 2012 1st round draft pick only if it falls between 1-7…..they lose the pick to Utah if it falls after #7. The Warriors realize they are not a championship team this year…so they are considering…say it with me…TANKING (or if you want to be classy about it…building for the future)!!!
The future for the Hornets is Eric Gordon and the two lottery picks (as well as Ayon, Vasquez and even Jason Smith).
After listening to Dell’s answers about Kaman I felt sick…then I think I threw up in my mouth when he said he was planning on bringing Eric Gordon back as soon as possible.
If Gordon, as expected, returns to the court and starts scoring 20 a night and Kaman keeps playing hard the Hornets could go on a season-ending winning streak and really ruin the draft! Forget Anthony Davis at #1, Thomas Robinson at #2 or Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes or Jared Sullinger at #3!
Like Kaman, Gordon coming back is for purely selfish reasons. While I believe the Hornets will match any offer Gordon receives as a restricted free agent this summer…EG coming back this season would only be to show other NBA teams he’s healthy and that they should try to sign him as a restricted free agent. EG’s other motivation for coming back during this forgettable season is so he can start getting warmed-up for his Team USA tryout this summer. Those are not reasons that benefit the Hornets. Gordon passed on the massive contract the Hornets were offering him…so in my mind, he loses all opportunities to come back this season. Tell him to shut his knee down and get ready for 2012-2013. Or better yet, if he wants to play, send him to the D-League and let him rehab there for the rest of the season.
I should have asked Dell the following: Why would a respectable GM allow two players to take the court when their motivation is simply for selfish reasons and not team?
Hopefully this ugly duckling of a franchise will one day grow into something beautiful…but right now those responsible for nurturing it’s growth are turning out to be poor parents.