Davis, young roster, new ownership, bring Hornets optimism after bout with uncertaint
Davis, young roster, new ownership, bring Hornets optimism after bout with uncertainty
NEW ORLEANS — The Hornets hardly resemble the team Monty Williams took over as a rookie head coach three seasons ago, from the ownership on down to an overhauled roster featuring the top overall pick in last summer’s NBA draft.
It remains to be seen whether a lineup led by rookie Anthony Davis and injury-plagued but prolific guard Eric Gordon can even contend for the playoffs this season. Still, a franchise that arguably led the league in instability a year ago now has a locally rooted owner with deep pockets and a roster with young players locked into multi-year deals, giving them the chance to grow into winners together.
“We have a great future, looking ahead of us — a lot of young guys and it’s built for the long run to be very good,” said Gordon, who is in the first year of a four-year, $58 million contract he signed as a restricted free agent. “No complaint about that and it’s good to be back here feeling like it’s a new fresh start.”
Gordon came to the Hornets just before the start of last season as part of a trade that sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers. If the trade did not assure the Hornets a losing 2011-12 season, Gordon’s right knee injury did.
Gordon played in only nine games last season and his knee problems, which required surgery, have lingered into this preseason.
Yet Williams has said he still expects Gordon to be the face of the franchise, and Gordon has said he is in good shape overall, resting during the preseason mostly as a precaution.
In the meantime, the rest of a lineup has shown promise during New Orleans’ exhibition slate, offering hope for the regular season, which begins at home Oct. 31 against San Antonio.