The Hornets got a pretty good haul for Paul, acquiring Al-Farouq Aminu, Erick Gordon, Chris Kaman, and the coveted (and unprotected) Timberwolves 2012 first-round pick.
John DeShazier of The Times-Picayune gives his take from New Orleans…
So while there’s relief that the Hornets removed the cloud that has been the Paul Stall, and joy that the NBA office might now go back to doing whatever it is that it does that doesn’t involve scratching its itch to be a general manager, the desire to backflip over this deal hasn’t yet bubbled to the top.
Yes, there’s “potential” involved, and plenty of it. The Hornets could be younger, more athletic and more dynamic, and the future could be bright enough to light the New Orleans Arena for years.
But tell me: When was the last time that potential paid the freight?
In other words, to take a step back only is palatable if the ensuing steps forward are delectable, and we have no idea if they will be.
That’s the truth. The Hornets’ hands were tied because of Paul’s impending free agency and unless they hit the jackpot with that Minny pick, they’re not getting back a star near his caliber.
And right now, the Hornets’ depth chart looks something like this…
PG: Jarrett Jack
SG: Eric Gordon, Marco Belinelli, Willie Green
SF: Trevor Ariza, Al-Farouq Aminu, Quincy Pondexter
C: Emeka Okafor, Chris Kaman
They’ve got several other bodies in training camp, and maybe one of them sticks. But they obviously need to bring back Carl Landry to fill the hole at power forward. And it would be nice if Willie Green didn’t have to be the back-up point.
The Hornets might be able to trade Kaman (who’s on an expiring deal worth $12.7 million) for something of value. But either way, this is not a very good team. They’ve suffered huge downgrades at both point guard and power forward, with David West taking his 17-footer to Indiana.
Still, New Orleans fans should have some fun scouting the college game, because their team will likely have two lottery picks in what should be a very talented Draft. Their star is gone, but tomorrow brings another day.