Point Guard Jannero Pargo was released by the Hornets as concerns over his knee rehabilitation linger. The team is hoping Pargo can rehabilitate his knee and then reassess where he is and the team too.
This is an obvious sign that the team wants to give guards Tupac Shakur and DJ Strawberry every chance to make the roster. What do I think of it? Well I’m not that sure. Okay Pargo is a veteran familiar with some of the players and the city as well. But his inefficient play combined with his very small potential were not worth a roster space.
The team will now look at Willie Green and Shakur as their backup’s to Paul. I’m not all that happy with our backup situation. Sure there are few options out there, but if Monty wants to keep Paul from playing 40+ minutes in the first half of the season he better of found some gems in Green and Shakur.
So let’s assess who will make the roster, does Green get traded? Does Pargo come back? Where do the minutes go? Let’s judge in a mini “Sting this Thing: Backup Point Guard Style”
So it’s down to just three guys.
- Willie Green
- Mustafa Shakur
- D.J. Strawberry
This isn’t just about NBA experience, it’s about point guard experience. First, Green has had the most NBA experience, but he’s often alternated between the point and the shooting guard positions. Versatility is a premium in this league, but our Willie’s ability (hehe…) to run the point is still somewhat questionable. I do think though, if you’re asking for a guy to come in and control a bench unit he’d probably be the best and safest option.
With Shakur you are getting a world of potential. He’s travelled the far landscapes of the basketball world, from Summer League, to Europe to various Training Camps. He is a very defensive minded point guard, which has me thinking he wins the job because after all that is what Monty Williams is looking for. As well he’s somewhat athletic and has the basic skill-set to run the break. Sure in a half-cour offense he probably isn’t the right thing. Physically he’s quite intimidating. At 6’4” his length and height will prove problematic for back-ups he goes up against. Many though think that a big weakness for Shakur is that he’s never held down a long-term NBA job.
Sure it’s not great that he’s never been in the NBA for a long period of time, but the dude has some serious accomplishments no matter the league.
- 2010 NBA developmental league second team
- 2010 NBA developmental league All-Star
- 2007- 2008 Polish National Champion
- 2007- 2008 Polish Supercup Champion
- 2007 All Pac 10 Honorable Mention
- 2004- 2005 Pac 10 Champions
- 2004 pacific 10 all freshman team
- 2003 MCdonalds all American
- 2003 Ea sports roundball classic co-MVP (Lebron James)
That’s right he was MVP in a game with Lebron James. Alright maybe that’s not the most important thing. But he’s torn it up in the D-League, Europe, College and in high school with Lebron James. This guy gets my vote on pure potential alone, he can’t be worse than Julian Wright…can he?
Oh and DJ Strawberry how can I forget you of all people…
But if he has these kind of hops he’s our starter…
Oh…wait that’s his father…oh okay maybe not then.
In all seriousness DJ Strawberry is really a shooting guard, but he’s spent quite a bit of time hoping around the league after suffereing a knee injury that kept him out for sixth months in 2009.
So who makes the roster?
I’m going to go with the Willie and Tupac show just simply because of what they bring to the team. Green can play both the point and the shooting guard position and is extremely well NBA weathered. Shakur will bring a defensive game that this bench unit has lacked a lot in the past several years. Unfortunately I think Strawberry is let go based upon the fact he may still have some knee problems, but more importantly he’s to much a shooting guard and has little point guard experience.
As for the Green v. Tupac battle I’m going out on a huge limb here and say that Mustafa Shakur wins the backup job. (Okay wait for gasps…) The reason I say Shakur get’s the nod is one word, defense. I think Shakur’s ability to defend and run the floor is to good to pass up. If it doesn’t work out in the first few games, he’s caned and the veteran Green takes over, no biggie (Smalls).
I’m hoping the team finds the right balance because Paul cannot afford to get tired legs early on in the season because of his previous injuries and the fact we will need him at the end of the season.