Waking up on the 23rd of February, Hornets fans were pondering what move Hornets GM Dell Demps would make towards the trade deadline. We knew something was up because people in the know said prepare yourselves. Well on that morning fans awoke to news that their beloved Marcus Thornton was heading to Sacramento for forward Carl Landry.
Instantly people, myself included, were viciously upset. We were getting rid of a shooting-guard that could finally compliment Chris Paul in the back court. We had that and let it go, yet after a while we all began to embrace him.
His fighting spirit, determination, work ethic, all of it made it easy to embrace him. It wasn’t just that either, he gave the Hornets serious depth off the bench, a scoring option. Yet, that was what we had with Thornton, and it still kind of sucks to think about.
Finding true scoring options at the power-forward position is much more difficult than finding one at the 2-guard. As Dell Demps said, if you see a talented big man, you jump at him.
And that’s what we will do, over the jump…
Best Game (As A Hornet)
Landry was trying to work his way into the rotation with New Orleans, trying to learn on the fly when the Sacramento Kings came to town. This was a big game for New Orleans as many fans had scrutinized the trade noting that Landry still wasn’t worth our Buckets. This one put those doubters a little bit at ease showcasing how important he is to building depth for the Hornets. He also showed his former coaches what they were missing out on as he put up 20 points on 10 shots, went to the free throw line 11 times (hitting 10)(!) a couple of steals and a couple of blocked shots.
I wouldn’t exactly say it was a pivotal point in his time as a Hornet, because West would go down forcing Landry into the starting lineup. I think though it showcased exactly the kind of role he’ll be playing if he’s resigned. That night he played 35 minutes demonstrating to himself that if he resigns he’ll get playing time and have a big role.
For me this game made me realize just how great Landry will make the Hornets if both he and David West are retained.
Things To Work On
At this point in his career Landry is pretty set in his ways. He’s a terrific scorer, a decent shooter, a decent defender, a good offensive rebounder and a below average defensive one (how does that work…?). There are some things though that he needs to work on if he is to return to the Hornets. The number one things is just getting more familiar with his team-mates which is kind of a natural, developing thing.
The main aspect to work on though is to improve his consistency and scoring punch off the bench. I find it very difficult to critique Landry because having said he needs to work on his consistency, he’s already pretty solid at that. I just feel like working on the little things, the minute, under the radar type of things will go a long way to really becoming a big player for the Hornets.
Looking Back On History
Let’s take a glance at Landry’s stats over his career and with the Hornets:
So looking at his career it appears he’s really decreasing in production. I think that’s because he has never been on a team with a clear, defined role. With the Rockets he had that and was a sixth man of the year candidate. We can see that Landry began to work his way back towards the highly efficient player he once was. His Win shares took a major bounce back, so too his eFG%. The only category which he faired worse in was his offensive rebounding. I’m not quite sure why this is, but New Orleans was a hopeless offensive rebounding unit last season, which is something Landry will need to bring.
Hopefully if Landry can recapture that form he had with the Rockets and replicate it for New Orleans, then we have ourselves on heck of a Power-Forward.
Oh boy, what to say about this? Carl Landry is a terrific ball player, many teams around the league know this and will probably be after his services. Those teams though, will most likely be middling ball clubs that won’t make the playoffs. Landry’s role in New Orleans is clear and a really big one. What he brings off the bench is vital to our success.
An even bigger point is that David West will be in recovering for much of the start of the season (if there is one). Landry filled in very nicely when David went down and the position wasn’t the weakness it would have been had we not gone and traded for him.
I hope that Carl reads this (I know he won’t), and I hope he realizes that folks in New Orleans love him. Some have even embraced him as their favorite player, which took the big man by surprise, “The city definitely showed its love,” Landry said. “That’s something that makes a player who is going all out every game feel very good. They were really behind the team 100 percent. It’s really an uplifting city and a family type of environment. So hopefully this city will be the future of the Hornets.”
If Landry is offered a 6 million a year contract he should take it and accept his role. In fact that’s quite a nice deal for him. It is a touchy situation, but perhaps Carl realizes that something special is brewing in New Orleans.
Priority number one for Dell Demps is to resign both David West AND Carl Landry. Doing so would solidify a core group of players, and it won’t jeopardise the start of the next season in the event that West isn’t healthy. As for Landry, he’s a terrific player and I hope he decides to settle down in New Orleans. He’s a Milwaukee, small-town guy, so the cities intimacy and personality should appeal to him. That being said, anything is possible (as Kevin Garnett lightly puts it). It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for him to leave and move on to the next stage in his career, even if that would be a step back and not one forward.
Season Grade: (Measured in Awesome to the Max’s)
3 out of 5.