Redesigning the Hornets… with Anthony Davis
By: Lee Rittenberg
What a great time to be a Hornets fan! Everything in New Orleans is on the rise – including the number of unibrows. Now that the Hornets have won the lottery and will have draft picks #1 and #10 overall, it’s time to change the team so we can bring a basketball championship to New Orleans in the near future. After selecting Anthony Davis with the 1st pick, here is my plan for the Hornets:
The Hornets will trade the #10 pick and Trevor Ariza to the Golden State Warriors for the #7 pick and Jeremy Tyler.
Why: If Harrison Barnes is sitting around when Golden State’s pick comes up, the Hornets have to make this deal. Barnes is a perfect fit for this team as he is a great shooter and is a high character guy. He is a true professional and I believe his game will translate to the NBA much better than it did to the college game. The Warriors get a quality small forward in Trevor Ariza. With a future star in Klay Thompson at Shooting Guard, the Warriors are able to put Ariza on the floor to guard the opposing team’s best wing player. While there is a very good change Ariza will not be a Hornet next year, he is still only 26 years old. Tyler is a fill in so that the trade works salary-wise, but I believe he has some potential. At #10, GSW can take Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger (if still available), or Terrence Jones, who ESPN’s Chad Ford believes they like and would be a good fit.
I just don’t see Okafor being a good fit next to Anthony Davis. Because Tom Benson is willing to spend, he will Amnesty Okafor and his remaining 2 years and $28 million. With this cap space…
The Hornets sign JaVale McGee for 4 years and $40 million. Some may argue this is overpaying him. However, he is a legit 7-footer with a 7’6” wingspan. He averaged 11.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, and 2.2 bpg last season. He took 9 shots per game last season and was 5th in the NBA with a 55.5 FG Percentage. He is only 24 years old and is definitely what Charles Barkley would call a “knucklehead,” but this is where you trust Monty Williams to bring the best out of him which I believe he will. The Hornets have plenty of cap room so they can give him $11 million per year or maybe even $12 million if that’s what it would take.
Also, the Hornets re-sign Eric Gordon for 4 years and $56 million. If someone offers Gordon a 4 year, $58 million max then the Hornets will match that.
Say what you want, but I believe Chris Paul will come back to the Hornets after the following season. The Hornets will have enough cap space to offer CP3 the max (4 years, $75.8 million), and why wouldn’t he take it? He may love Los Angeles, but he says he is all about winning a championship and this would be the perfect fit. He loves Monty Williams and Dell Demps who have done a great job creating a winning attitude and brining in character guys. This young team would give Chris his best chance to win a title. He would help out JaVale McGee and McGee is a very similar player to his good old friend, Tyson Chandler. The pick and roll possibilities would be endless with CP3.
NEW 2012-2013 Hornets Roster with current ages and 2012-13 salaries:
PG – Jarrett Jack (28, $5.6 million)/ Greivis Vazquez (25, $1.2 million)/ Jerome Dyson (25, $762,195)
SG – Eric Gordon (23, $14 million)/ Xavier Henry (21, $2.3 million)
SF – Harrison Barnes (20, $2.3 million)/ Al-Farouq Aminu (21, $2.9 million)/ Lance Thomas (24, $762,195)
PF – Anthony Davis (19, $4.3 million)/ Jason Smith (26, $2.5 million)/ Gustavo Ayon (27, $1.5 million)
C – JaVale McGee (24, $19 million)/ Smith/ Jeremy Tyler (20, $762,195)
This is a 13-man roster with a salary of $57.95 million. This is still below the $58.044 salary cap. Because it is only $48.95 million with McGee making $10 million, the Hornets can frontload McGee’s contract giving him $19 million this year and $7 million the next 3 years when Chris Paul’s max contract will be 30% of the salary cap and about $15.5 million according to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ (http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q16). The Hornets can then sign an undrafted rookie or two to fill the end of the bench. Jack, Dyson, and Thomas would be our only expiring contracts next year and we would let Jack go with CP3 coming in.
The team is young, well-coached, and full of potential and guys who want to win an NBA Championship. When Chris Paul comes, the team becomes an immediate contender and may not win the championship in 2013-14, but it is very close. This team will finally have a great player in Eric Gordon that will allow Chris Paul to play off the ball at times. The frontcourt is freakishly long and athletic with 6’10” Davis and his 7’4” wingspan and 7’0” McGee and his 7’6” wingspan. I also believe Xavier Henry will soon develop into a solid backup guard to Eric Gordon.
There you have it! There will soon be many trophies in the 504.