Mistakes The Hornets Could Make This Offseason


That's right boys and girls, it's time for Odds Makers

Here at Swarm and Sting we’ve been discussing the importance of this off-season. From whether or not we bring back Marco Belinelli, to the Draft prospects in the second round, to whether Carl Landry returns also. It’s no doubt this is a pivotal off-season. We always look at what the best situation is and what the Hornets need to do.

However it doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. Sometimes teams make bone-headed moves, resign guys they shouldn’t, don’t resign guys they should and so on. I’d love to get out of this off-season looking much better than before we went into it, but I don’t think that is realistically possible.

I’m not saying we are doomed, far from it. I think though, we must try to take a “guess” at some things that could leave us worse off before the beginning of the regular season.

We’re going to do this Odds Makers Style (a la PTI) which gives a run down of my reasoning and the percentage of it happening. Hopefully Reali gives me the win against myself.

Sign David West To A 10-Million-A-Year Contract

I love David West, he’s my favorite player in the entire league. I do think though, that if he expects a massive pay-day like this that it would be a grave mistake for the Hornets franchise reciprocate with such a big offer. It seems that some speculate  that West may just pick up his option on his contract, like Hornets247′s Michael McNamara. While it seems like a logical option for West, we don’t know if he has sour grapes about his value declining and may try to force the Hornets hand. If that’s the case New Orleans is in trouble. If David decides to do that and sees the Nets coming at him hard for roughly 10 million, he’ll talk with Dell Demps and say, “Well if you don’t give me a similar offer, I am gone.” If Dell agrees with the terms and gives him that contract, all flexibility is lost and you will be overpaying to keep a core that isn’t that spectacular to begin with (sans Chris Paul).

Chances Of Happening: 35%

The Hornets Trade Emeka Okafor For A Starting Shooting-Guard

A lot of Hornets fans have expressed their desire to ship out Emeka Okafor for someone like Andre Iguodala. I don’t really get this reasoning at all. First of all if we pull the trigger on something like this we would need to have a guy like Nene, Samuel Dalembert or any other starting center in our sights. Problem is both of those players have their sights locked in on Denver and New York respectively.

Yet I still don’t understand why this would be done. Okay yes, he had a poor series against two very talent big-men in the Western Conference. But why does that mean we ditch him and make (what already is a weak front line) even weaker? We’ve already discussed why we should keep him, so I wouldn’t delve into it ever again.

I know this won’t happen unless we are a shoe in to get Nene or Dwight Howard — so to repeat, it is not happening.

Chances of Event Happening: 3%

Willie Green may be coming back, but do the Hornets make the mistake of over-paying him?

The Hornets Resign Willie Green To 4 million-A-Year Contract

This would spell doom for all involved. The fans, prospective owners, local businesses, team-mates, Dell Demps and even people from other teams. Yes, it would be that bad. I believe that Willie Green deserves the veterans minimum in salary. Green boasts nights where your head explodes and you can’t seem to pick up the pieces, this happens for both the good and the bad. He’s just that inconsistent.

Another problem is, that he scores the basketball. Yet, that is pretty much it in terms of “on-court value.” He doesn’t rebound the ball, doesn’t assist, doesn’t play great defense, doesn’t block shots, so yeah, don’t give him 4-million-per-year.

The thing is, this could be in the realm of possibility. Monty Williams loves Willie Green, he loves him so much he traded Marcus Thornton. I can assure most people that Dell Demps is going to try and bring Willie back, hopefully at not much more than the veterans minimum.

Chances Of Event Happening: 25%

The Hornets Overpay For A Free-Agent

Most of us that follow the Hornets know that there is an urgency to to acquire talent. But, we also know that there are a lot of free-agents out there that will be asking for much more than they are worth. Last off-season Demps and company decided to pass on a lot of these players (Hakim Warrick, Drew Gooden, etc.) to work the trade market as well as the very cheap free-agents. Most, like myself, are hoping for something similar. Perhaps the Hornets make a run at J.R. Smith for a 4-million-a-year contract, maybe not.

The thing is that we know of the pressures to get Paul help. We also know there are some free-agents out there that will command a lot of attention and get overpaid. Because like Mr. McNamara says, “in the off-season there’s a whole lot of buyers and not much sellers.” So you can see the dilemma here.

Chances Of Event Happening: 50%

The Hornets Trade Chris Paul

I know, I know. Why would I mention something as touchy a subject as this? Well I think I have to at least acknowledge the fact that this is all ESPN and its affiliates will be running with this off-season in addition to the CBA talks. This would be the dumbest thing ever since George Bush tried his hand at public speaking.

The Hornets are trying to build their franchise, trying to increase its value, build a solid customer base and business network. Trading Chris Paul would doom them for the next 5 to 10 years unless the NBA went all “Cavalier” on us and gave us 2 top-five picks.


He'd become a local favorite if he stepped up and put in a bid for the team

The Hornets Don’t Find A Local Owner

This one tends to be a little bit more tricky to judge. It’s no secret that the NBA is building the New Orleans franchise towards an on-sell to a local ownership group. However, whether that happens this off-season is another thing entirely. First off you have the CBA expiration and looming lockout sitting there, staring you in the face. That monster needs to get sorted out first.

Next you have the various goals and objectives of the senior officials running the franchise. These could include ticket holder benchmarks (10, 000), business and sponsorship benchmarks (getting more business relationships established), or even just fixing up the balance sheet and the prior debts tabbed to the organisation.

Never the less, if the CBA is solved before the regular season and it’s one that is favorable to owners, not finding a local owner would be a huge mistake to the franchise moving forward.

Chances of Event (that is we don’t find an Owner in the off-season) Happening: 75%

So that’s our rundown of mistakes the Hornets shouldn’t make. We’d like to hear your ideas of what would be terrible for this organisation.

Tags: Chris Paul David West Dell Demps Drew Gooden Emeka Okafor Gary Chouest Hakim Warrick J.R. Smith Monty Williams Willie Green

  • Cris

    Nice article. I wouldnt worry about dumb moves been made, Dell Demps has a high Basketball IQ and comes from a successful background from his days at San Antonio he knows how to use his resources. If there is no Lockout Demps will have the full offseason to work his magic. You have to mention Paul trade because its a very real possibility. I dont think a bunch of minor acquisitions will get Paul to resign for another 3-4yrs. He wants his side kick, realistic options maybe Granger or Iguodala as both the Pacers & 76ers are not doing much and have young talent waiting behind these guys who are on multi yr contracts. I think our Hornets will need new viable lease agreement where more revenue is to be had if they are to get a local buyer. I dont think the CBA will change all that much as far as the Salary cap. The 45mil figure offered to the players is a ridiculous figure, I think if there is a hard cap it will more likely be around 60-70mil. But certainly the lease agreement is the main issue if thats not in place we could be talking about the San Jose Hornets or Kanas City Hornets in the future.

    • http://swarmandsting.com James Grayson

      Hey Cris, thanks for the feedback!

      The articles main premise is that we are looking into things that could happen. I know that some of these things are outrageous, but teams do sometimes make mistakes.

      When I’m talking about “minor acquisitions” I mean acquiring more talent across the board. I know we’d all like to pull off a Pau Gasol like trade, but the truth is they are a rarity in onto themselves.

      I kind of look at our situation like the Chicago Bulls. Last offseason Chicago secured a scoring power-forward then filled the rest of their roster with above-average players (role players). There’s no reason why this team can’t do the same.

      I think also the Hard Cap is most likely to be situated around the 50-55 million range. I know the owners were first offering a 45 million cap, but that’s if things went their way. It’s most likely that a 50 million dollar cap is instituted.

      As for the lease agreement the state is working VERY hard towards securing a longer term arrangement after 2014 (when it is set to expire). It’s all part of the process.

  • lucas

    Excellent post. I agree, but I still think we should trade Okafor. A friend gave me an idea that I’d like to share here: trade Emeka for a good pick of the draft and use the savings to hire an center of higher offensive quality. What do you think?

    • http://swarmandsting.com James Grayson

      I don’t get this fascination in trading Okafor. Okay, yes he had a poor playoff series, but he transformed our defense this year. You won’t get a top 5 pick in the draft and I don’t think a guy like Nene will automatically jump to the Hornets unless we eat up the Cap Space we used to get rid of Okafor.

      • lucas

        Okafor is a player without the least offensive talent. And the problem is exactly this: he plays on a team that desperately needs some offensive talent. Therefore, I believe he will never give what the Hornets need. Nene would be a great name for us. Okafor would be a great name for teams like the Warriors or the Raptors, who have good offenses, but they lack depth defensively. But the Hornets need more offensive talent, and this is something that offers us not Emeka. And besides, Bynum completely destroyed Mek in the playoffs. I don’t see Okafor as a solution for us.