Salary Cap flexibility is one of the things every team must have moving forward in order to add pieces to their organisation. For a long time now the New Orleans Hornets have had little to no cap-flexibility due to an array of poor personnel decisions. With the likes of Peja Stojakovic, James Posey and Morris Peterson now banished into the history books, the Hornets can move on or move up.
The question for General Manager Dell Demps is whether they can do things with or without Chris Paul.
According to Fletcher Mackel the Hornets are going to go hard after David West, Carl Landry and an extra free-agent. If they can’t get them then his source says that Chris Paul will be dealt quickly, which makes sense.
So with this knowledge let’s take a look at the Hornets salary cap situation.
New Orleans Hornets
Salary Total: $45,516,223 for 7 players
The Hornets have a lot of cap space which bodes well when trying to compete for the services of David West and Carl Landry because teams like the Indiana Pacers also have a lot of cap room. In terms of market value it will be very tentative wait to see where both of those players end up in the very shallow and dried up free-agent market.
David West will be attached with guys like Nene and Tyson Chandler, but really shouldn’t because his value is not that of a center. Rumours persist that the Pacers desperately want him and might even over pay him.
But how much is too much?
That’s the question that plagues not only our minds, but Dell Demps’ too I’m sure. West will surely command in the range of 8-11 million per year, so that could be about a 4 year/44 Million deal. This may be too much for the Hornets, but I can assure you that if West doesn’t stay that CP3 is gone. If the Hornets offer him at fair market value it’s possible that he may not even consider them. There are rumours that West has wanted out of New Orleans for a while now, frustrated with poor management, lack of ownership and never being able to capitalize on their opportunities on the roster.
This is new management though and it would be foolish of David not to consider Dell Demps and Monty Williams in a new light. Not only that but if a new ownership group comes in then there will be renewed hope.
As for Carl Landry you have to feel like a 6 million a year deal is something in the range of fair. Expect offers of about 4 years/24 million.
So if the Hornets offer those exact same deals aforementioned then this is what the team will look like salary wise.
If the Hornets then decided to go after a free-agent using their MLE of 3-5 years/15-25 million and resign Aaron Gray and Patrick Ewing then it will look like this.
This will be no means convince Chris Paul to stay in New Orleans. The MLE will need to go to a starting caliber shooting guard and I’m not sure if any shooting guard will be that cheap, especially in this market. The Hornets need to find a starting two-guard in addition to resigning David West and Carl Landry. If they don’t expect things to turn sour, fast.
Be sure to check out our Hornets Free-Agent Big-Board as well. It’s a comprehensive list of the top targets for New Orleans heading into free-agency.