Bringing Back Carl Landry: Is The Price Right?

When the Hornets were undermanned in the playoffs it was the depth provided by Carl Landry that covered up what would have been a gigantic hole. While Hornets fans still quibble over the Marcus Thornton trade, New Orleans would have been severly deprived for this seasons playoffs if it weren’t for such a move.

However, Carl Landry’s addition to the team was not for starting minutes. He was supposed to provide a low-post scoring off of the bench. In that role (which was somewhat limited) he seemed to be coming into his own before David West injured himself on a clutch dunk against the Utah Jazz.

Depth is very important for every NBA team looking to compete. Acquiring more talent is what the Hornets need to do on a constant basis.

Landry becomes a free-agent this summer as his $3 Million contract runs out. As Carl heads back to his hometown of Milwaukee the Hornets situation becomes more delicate by the days. The mass hysteria that is the Chris Paul situation will dominate headlines from New York to New Orleans. However, the underlying subtext is that the Hornets must build a more complete squad heading into next year’s NBA season. Will Carl Landry be apart of that? Should he be? These are the types of questions we must ask, if the Hornets are to build a highly competitive team.

Prospects Of Resigning

Carl Landry can be a starter in the NBA. When he was traded to the Sacramento Kings a few seasons ago, that’s what the organisations thought they were getting. The problem was that the Kings had a number of talented power-forwards on their roster. With that log-jam the pressure to perform on a consistent basis was of the upmost demand. Unfortunately for Carl he fell by the way side seeing his minutes and role decrease, none of his own fault.

This starter prospect was no secret to team mate David West “He’s been a contributor for the last few years, a solid NBA guy,” West assessed. “Carl is a starter in this league. He’s doing a great job.”

The question is, does Carl want to be a starter on a lowly team, or does he want to have a prominent role of the bench for a playoff team? In my humble opinion Landry’s best work was when he was a sixth-man of the year candidate for the Houston Rockets. The energy, hustle and scoring he provided for them was in many ways the big contributing factor to their playoff success. General Manager Dell Demps is hoping the same.

Estimating his contract is a large determinate of whether or not he’ll resign here. Demps, when making the trade for Landry, hoped they could demonstrate why he should stay on. The man from Purdue will likely garner anywhere between 5-8 million dollars a year. With the upcoming CBA that could be tougher to predict.

If the Hornets offer a competitive price I think he could very well resign.

Does He Make The Hornets Better?

What the Hornets lacked in the playoffs was clear. They needed rebounding, length, scoring and more creativity on offense. Landry indeed played well against the Lakers, but does he create mismatches or really pose trouble in the playoffs? I don’t think it’s entirely fair to judge the playoffs as the be all and end all. Without David West it is very tough to say how Carl would have added value otherwise.

However getting better across the entire roster with an impending CBA hanging over the GM’s head may make free-agent signings that much more important and riskier.

I’ve been a big advocate of the Hornets acquiring more talent, more depth in order to take a bigger load off of Chris Paul. More scoring from the shooting guard position is one thing, but bench scoring, hustle, toughness is another. Landry is talent. He’s valuable to this team even if his rebounding is a particular weakness.

But demanding him to grab ten a game or even keep up big man rates is somewhat unfair. Demand his strength’s and cover (work on) his weaknesses.

There’s an alternate reason why New Orleans should resign Landry. It’s because of the David West injury. The former All-Star won’t be ready to play by seasons start, so having Landry in the same role as the playoffs is a must if the Hornets are to get off to a solid start. On the free-agent market there isn’t another low-post, high volume (and relatively highly efficient) scorer, so resigning him through such a perspective is a must.

Summation

When (or whether) Free Agency begins it’s likely that both Carl Landry and David West will be the top priorities for Hornets management. If Landry gets the memo that he’s one of the most important players on the team then perhaps he’ll resign. Seeing guys like Lamar Odom, Manu Ginobili and other bench players succeed, why is it a strange thought that “The Tooth” wouldn’t want the same?

But does it all depends on if the price is right?

Tags: Carl Landry Chris Paul David West Dell Demps New Orleans Hornets

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