James Grayson: So Jake when Marcus Thornton was traded to the Kings what were your first thoughts?
Jake Madison: First things first, I’m a fan of his and that part just honestly sucks. He had the biggest reaction from the crowd at games and it may have been greater than Chris Paul’s. I think this may have been the reaction from most fans. Especially as you pointed out on twitter and the first reaction on Atthehive.com, Yours?
JG: Again at first I thought it sucked, a lot. Marcus is a terrific talent and gave us fond memories throughout what was a bad season last year. But as I gathered the pieces and tried to ignore my sentimentality towards Thornton I realised it wasn’t a terrible trade per se. In terms of value it was fair and all of that, the only problem with it was that it’s left our shooting guard position wide open.
JM: It leaves us slightly thinner at the 2 guard spot but it seems it was worth it to upgrade in the front court. I like Jason Smith and all, but I don’t really want him being the first big off the bench when Okafor is healthy. I like when my front court players attack the rim.
JG: Precisely and that’s what you get in Landry an attacking big-man that also has a mid-range game. What do you think of our chances to re-sign him after this season along with David West?
JM: I think it’s going to be either or. But that’s what makes this trade so important too. If we can’t sign West, and he has stopped talking extension currently, then it gives us a chance to bring Landry back for similar money to what West currently makes.
Both would be ideal, but it’s hard to speculate about that until the CBA becomes final
JG: In terms of Landry’s defensive rebounding it’s been fairly criticized once the trade went through. What annoyed most people was that Monty and Dell talked about Carl as if he’s a great rebounder, when in fact he’s a mediocre one. As Rohan over on At The Hive pointed out, it’s likely that the Hornets can “cover up” his weaknesses as we are a terrific defensive rebounding team.
I tell you what though; having both him and D. West on the floor would be terrible if you wanted to grab a board…yeesh
JM: But as a great defensive rebounding team, maybe he doesn’t need to be as active on the glass since he has help? I also think Marcus’ numbers were slightly inflated. The Hornets have a defensive rebound percentage of 76.95% but it’s not like that’s all from him.
JG: True, he did have an individual rebound rate of 17%, which is also inflated. I think that perhaps Landry’s rate of, what? 10% will go up with the team and the philosophy that have installed. He’s athletic and tough, it’s not like he’s a spastic
JM: Yeah, hopefully it goes up. He also had a few good players on the boards with him in Sacramento too. But let’s be honest, the team didn’t trade for him for his rebounding. Offense is why this trade was done. Baseball has a stat called Wins above Replacement, and basketball to an extent does too, and really that’s what this is all about.
JG: Ding! Ding! Ding! Our bench stinks and having him as an isolation player off the bench is why this team is better today than two-days ago. So with this, how do you think we fair in the playoffs? I mean, I think it improves our chances, but I’m known to be way off in many of my predictions. Just like Willie Wonka and his Candy experiments
JM: Hahaha, this helps a lot. We can’t keep scoring in the low 90′s and expect to win a series. Landry should provide more consistent bench scoring and provide a low post presence which we lacked. I’m tired of our first big man off the bench shooting 18-foot jumpers. Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams heading off only helps too.
JG: Well that’s another aspect of it, the fact that the East is now looking like the stronger conference, does Landry (among other moves) help Chris Paul realize that staying in the west might be his best option?
JM: Honestly, it should but who really knows. I didn’t think Denver and the Jazz were going to be a huge factor in the West anyway and this only reinforces that the middle and bottom of the conference is fairly wide open. Hopefully he just likes Landry.
JG: I think if the Hornets can add another starting-like SG and a decent 7-footer (like Nazr Mohammed) then this team is primed.
JM: Mohammed would be huge. That’s a great fit for this team. I would even settle for a solid bench guard. Willie Green has been very solid since moving into the starting job.
JG: Personally I don’t think Willie can keep up his production
JM: I like consistency which is what he brings. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thornton, but Green has a more calming influence on the offense. It’s less reckless when he’s in.
But, yeah, it remains to be seen if Green can keep up his current level of play. Nothing exactly indicates that he can.
JG: We need another shooter. Outside of Belienlli we have zero three point shooting to help Chris Paul (and Belinelli isn’t even THAT good)
JM: Absolutely. Having an outside presence to keep defenses from collapsing is going to be big to close out the season and secure a good seed in the playoffs.
JG: So at the end of the day, does this help or hinder the franchise?
JM: I think it is a huge help actually. They added a piece that was missing and stayed under the luxury tax.
Thanks everyone and if you have anything you’d like to add discuss it here at Swarm and Sting!