Dell Demps still isn't through tweaking the Hornets roster. In yet another solid move in an A+ offseason, the Hornets are acquiring center Robin Lopez and PF Hakim Warrick from the Phoenix Suns in a three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Timberwolves. Finally, fans and the Times-Picayune can stop complaining about the Hornets lack of a "true" center. While Lopez may not be the long-term answer in the middle (then again, he may actually be), this is still a great move for the team.
Anthony Davis will get some minutes at center and that may eventually be his position in the pros, but right now he's too fresh and too thin to spend all his time banging with the bigs. Lopez will help in that area. He can man the middle and hopefully, show Davis a few things he's learned about playing center in the NBA.
There's still some details being worked out on the deal. No word yet on if Eric Gordon's heart is being sent back from the Suns, but some articles have the Hornets shipping soon-to-be-retired Brad Miller's contract to Minnesota, while others say this can't be done per the CBA since we just acquired that asset from the Timberwolves themselves a few weeks ago, so Miller may be going to Phoenix. Needless to say, the Hornets aren't giving up much in this deal -- along with Miller, supposedly, NOLA gives up some future 2nd round picks (the same ones from that original Minnesota trade?) and PG Jerome Dyson, who was outplayed in summer league by teammate Brian Roberts.
Now the question is, are the Hornets finished? The likely answer is nope. Warrick joins a now crowded group of bigs, so his time in the Big Easy may not be a long one. They may hold on to him for the time being, but he could be traded during the season for another asset.
Just think, last year the Hornets were a mess and now they are one of the more exciting young teams in the league who are turning into must see TV for NBA fans. The future certainly is bright for the Hornets ... now, if we could just see some movement on that rebrand.
Finally! Drew Brees has agreed to a 5 year, $100 million contract with the Saints. Man, that's a lot of Jimmy John's sandwiches. Congratulations to both Drew and the Saints, now, let's play some football.
The future sure does look bright for the Hornets - new owners, followed up by a great draft:
Oh, but it is New Orleans, and this has been the most newsworthy offseason in Big Easy sports history so you knew the shoe was going to drop soon. And it has with the Hornets' biggest star basically saying he doesn't want to play in New Orleans. First, he says his heart's in Phoenix and now he feels like the Suns are more committed to him than New Orleans.
The Hornets have made it clear that they want to build around Gordon, but somewhere along the way, he didn't receive the memo. The Hornets have done everything right since free agency started. They let him test the market and let the league decide his value. They had no reason to negotiate with him, since they could let someone else do the dirty work and simply can match whatever offer Gordon signs. But now that he is making it clear he wants to be with the Suns, what should New Orleans do? Do they let him walk? Of course not. The decision now is if they can work out a sign and trade before Gordon signs the Suns offer, which he can do on July 11, or if they just match the deal and try to patch up the relationship.
Gordon is worth building the team around. He's one of the top young shooting guards in the league and was the biggest asset acquired in the Chris Paul trade last year. He does have a injury history (he only played in nine games last year) and now could be a distraction in a very young locker room. The fans won't easily forgive him either. In New Orleans, one of the most important things fans want players to do is embrace the city. New Orleans is a unique place and the players who get it (Drew Brees) embrace it fully and become one of its native sons, but those who don't embrace it and talk "negatively" about playing here, have a hard time making up for it.
Needless to to say, the Hornets have a big decision to make and the next week or so should be very interesting.