Now The Hornets Start Over

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU – The Chris Paul trade has been made and now, we can move on to focusing on basketball (at least until the Dwight Howard rumors start flying again).

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
PF: ????
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.

29 Comments

  1. Max. W says:

    With the unofficial addition of Baron Davis, we begin to wonder if the expectation of a title could be realistic. How does this team stack up against the elite teams in the NBA? This offseason, they really made a jump from an average team, to an elite team. However, the expectations of winning a championship put a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Let’s analyze their game and see if they have what it takes.

    To read more go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress.com

  2. CoachAiree00 says:

    I say they should have Emeka Okafor at PF and have Landry back him up. Okafor isn’t a pure center(he played PF in Charlotte) and Kaman would add length and size to their front court. Having 2 PF’s in the starting lineup would make them smaller.

  3. SYDALE says:

    This is a way better deal for the Hornets… They more than likely won’t make the playoffs and neither will the T-Wolves… that gives them 2 lottery picks and 2 chances at the #1 pick… Either way this draft will be so deep with quality players that the 2 picks they get will likely be able to step right in as starters next year… Plus, Gordon is a way more exciting player to watch than Scola, Odom, and Kev-Mart all together… And, finally… there’s the cap space… Oh wait… one more thing… they could use either Kaman or Okafor (or both) as trade bait…

    That’s WAY better than rebuilding your team with 2 30+ year old forwards and a boring SG… and being stuck having to pay their contract for the next few years while either barely making the playoffs or just missing the playoffs…

    As for the balance of power in the West:

    1. Mavericks (Only because they’re still the champs)
    2. Thunder
    3. Grizzlies (They’ve re-signed Marc)
    4. Lakers
    5. Spurs
    6. Clippers
    7. Blazers
    8. Jazz

  4. Joe says:

    If you really think the Lakers will struggle to make the playoffs, you really know nothing about basketball Botto. They may not get far in the playoffs, but to say they will struggle to even make the playoffs is pretty dumb.

  5. ollstar says:

    PG – Gordon
    SG – Ariza
    SF – Aminu
    PF – Okafor
    C – Kaman
    6 – Landry

    Why not do something like this.

  6. JJ87 says:

    I’m very new to NBA, but couldn’t Okafor play the PF alongside Kamen at C?

    Keep Kamen’s expiring contract and use that space to resign Gordon to a good deal (provided he adjusts to the system well). This way, they would have space to potentially bring in another big gun next season? Maybe?

  7. ACJ says:

    I think he was right, this is a much better trade for NO. Scola, Odom (who clearlly didn’t want to go) and Martin was not a good deal, other than a few extra wins this season.

    As a side note why did the rockets try to give up 3 key pieces for an ageing Gasol?

  8. topher25 says:

    i saw this and thought it was a great move for the hornets. gordon shoots for fun and kamen’s a decent centre, but of course the prize is the twolves pick – which knowing the wolves will be a top 10 and more than likely top 5! PF is a big gap,with not alot on the market but they must have tons of cap space, so will probably look to move on okafor to get rid of his terrible contract. in a couple of years this might look a great move (maybe not so for the clippers if Paul doesnt resign)

  9. humanhighlightreel says:

    i think the trade totally suited hornets and clippers, clippers get a top PG to pair with blake, hornets get young pieces to rebuild for the future. the ppl who are not happy are the lakers fans who are b*tching abt not getting cp3. oh well, lakers dynasty officially over

    top 8 in west (in no particular order):
    dallas
    okc
    memphis
    clippers
    spurs
    rockets or warriors
    lakers (barely)
    minnesota (LOL)

    • 21 says:

      What? Lakers barely make it in the Top 8 in your opinion? I’m not a big Lakers fan, but WOW some people are stupid. Just because they didn’t manage to get to the finals for the first time after 3 consecutive finals appearances (winning 2 of them), they’re instantly a bad team? Even though they’re largely the same (besides Odom)? Let me tell me something, the Lakers still have the most dominant frontcourt in the NBA with Gasol and Bynum (alongside the Knicks new frontcourt of Stoudemire and Chandler). And they also have Bryant, who is, despite his age, still one of the best players in the league. And he’s finally healthy and past the injuries he had to deal with last season. With the current roster, I’d say the Lakers finish 3rd in the West, with Dallas and OKC at #1 and #2, respectively. And it’s not like the season has already started. People that know Jim Buss and especially Mitch Kupchak know that things aren’t done and that they’ll probably conduct some trades before the season starts, with focus on Dwight Howard of course. Guess why the Lakers gave away Odom just for a pick and a trade exception. And if they don’t do it now, they’ll definitely try to land some big names next season. Deron Williams will be a free agent, just as Dwight Howard (if he stays put in Orlando, which seems to be the case right now).

  10. upside and downside says:

    N.O will trade kaman in my opinion, probably for a point guard, if they can get kemba walker and give kaman to fill the void in bobcats front court that would be great for N.O.

  11. nbeatz says:

    This team is not the best, but it’s not the worst.

    have this team with
    1)Jarred Jack 12PPG 7APS 2SPG (Good devensive status, and can handle the floor as we have see befor)
    2) Eric Gordan 24PPG 4RPG 4APG 1SPG (The new franchise player, should make the alstart team this year)
    3) Trevor Ariza 15PPG 5RPG 3APG 1SPG (Time to step up and be 2nd or 3rd option, play good defence run the floor with eric and hit the open threes).
    4) Emeka 10PPG 10RPG 1BPG (Why not the 4?, if not Carl ALndry can turn into the 2nd option at times on this team if Okafor starts at the C position)
    5 Chris Kaman 12PPG 8RPG 1BPG (If the team starts EO at the PF position).

    Bench

    Landry 10PPG 6RPG (If he stays will be there 6th man)
    Marco 7PPG 3RPG 2APG (can play 1-2-3 posistions)
    Aminu 6PPG 3RPG 1APG and 1SPG (can play the 2-or the 3)

  12. johnnny g says:

    im a huge clipper fan and not a new bandwagon fan like the thousands out there since Blake joined the team. I am way beyond pissed they got rid of Eric Gordon. He was my favorite player, solid player and underated. I hope he shoots the lights out in New ORleans and Clips relize they screwed up. I think im gone as a Clip fan and need to find my new losers,

  13. upside and downside says:

    i think you are a laker fan who is upset that clippers will dominate this season. i don’t think stern made things worse for N.O, they wouldn’t be a playoff team with the parts, lakers and rockets were offering, they would be just an average team. i think by making this deal happen, he made the team attractive to buyers. they have cap space they can use, they have e.gordon, they have the top 2 picks for next season, instead of getting totally obligated by the old players contracts. if i was a buyer, i would totally prefer this trade over the lakers suggested. cause clippers was in the situation last year, look where are they now, they probably end up in semi-finals or finals.

    • 21 says:

      Sorry, but did you seriously say that the Clippers will dominate? No way. Okay, they got a very good player in CP3 and a solid center in DeAndre Jordan. And Blake Griffin, who’s way overrated if you ask me. Being able to pull off some fancy dunks doesn’t make you a good player. His offensive skillset is still very limited and he’s predictable. And he’s got flaws in defense.
      Anyhow, I think the Clippers will finish 4th or 5th in the West. Mavs or OKC will be first, with the other team taking #2. Lakers at #3 (they’re basically still the same team (-Odom) that had 3 straight finals appearances and won 2 championships in the last 3 years. Losing to a superb Dallas team last season doesn’t instantly make them a bad team).
      As for the playoffs, I doubt that the Clippers will go past the 2nd round. Because there they’ll most likely meet either the Mavs, OKC or the Lakers (if they didn’t already meet any of them in the 1st round). And I don’t think that they have a chance (yet) against any of those teams, especially if you consider that CP3 is basically the only player on the Clippers roster that got any playoffs experience.

      • Gary says:

        Did you seriously say Blake Griffin is overrated? Yeah I guess all rookies come in averaging double-doubles. I have to call you a hater (for a lack of better terms) for that one. Who in your opinion is not overrated? Pretty much anyone you think of can be called overrated by someone who doesn’t like that particular player. It’s just a hater statement.

        As for the Clippers in the playoffs, yeah people are jumping the gun, but I think it’s more of expectations than actual predictions by the analyst. Fans of course are going to blow it out of proportion. Umm and I’m not sure if you’re aware but Paul isn’t the only person on that team with playoff experiance. There’s a guy called Billups who won a championship, Caron Bulter and Mo Williams, you may have heard of them.

      • CoachAiree00 says:

        Being able to do fancy dunks doesn’t make you a good player??? You know NOTHING about basketball. How about the fact that he averaged a double-double all season with 24 points and 13 rebounds as a ROOKIE, AND he scored 46 points in a game

      • Kaneb says:

        I can only agree that!

  14. Batto says:

    LOL Dec 19, Laker will be the D league team facing clippers. With Phil Jackson gone and with Kobe and Gasol with no desire to win. Lakers will strugle to be in the playoffs.

    • QuestionMark says:

      And just handing out a player like Odom to the Mavericks to TRY and sign Dwight who pretty much said he is staying in Orlando for now. Lakers officially dropped to 5th-7th in the West when its Playoff time, can’t wait to see OKC get revenge or Dallas mop the floor with them again.
      But that is only IF they don’t get Howard.

  15. B-Ball says:

    Think that team will win more than:

    Dragic
    Martin
    Ariza
    Scola
    Okafur

    Odom

    ?? I don’t!

    Think more people will come to watch… I don’t!

    Shame on you David Stern

    • HeatWave says:

      They may win a few more games but neither team would be playoff contenders; however, with the Clippers trade there is more young talent and they can build over the next couple years. With Lakers trade they have 2 years worth of good play from those guys, then what?

    • Jolan says:

      Are you kidding me?! thats a boring team! Gordan is way more fun to watch and so is jarret jack. Okafur and kamen kinda even out. Kamen also gives better turnover options if they want to trade him.

    • upside and downside says:

      i think you are right about the winning part but, i don’t think the main focus was to get more wins, the main focus was make the team more attractive to the buyers and this trade did just that. with taking gordon (potential allstar) and with the two picks for next year (nearly every year there is an above the avarage point guard in the picks) N.O looks like they will be the new clippers next year. And they will have a cap which they can use in the way they want. so i think it was much better move then stern rejected, because that team may win more games but probably would be elminated in the first round of the playoffs (if they even make it to the playoffs) and they wouldn’t have a pick in next years draft which is highly promising.

    • ajpotpot says:

      it’s the unprotected draft pick that three way can’t offer that made it lucrative you fool ignorant idiot, haha, =’P

  16. Law064 says:

    They have a nice roster and they are young. I say the came away good in the trade a lot better than the Lakers trade would’ve gave them. Laker fans should be happy that trade didn’t go thru. Odom and Gasol gone for CP3. I think the lakers would’ve suffered more making that trade. Now Odom is gone for nothing. The Clippers are the LA team to watch now

    • QuestionMark says:

      Odom is gone to Dallas, They would have had to trade Bynum/Gasol or Bynum/Artest or Gasol/Artest. If the Lakers don’t get Howard, they just made themselves from a contender into a regular playoff team by trading Odom for nothing. They made their biggest rivals in the West stronger while they got weaker, not the smartest move… in fact a stupid move.