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Thread: Hornets Potential Free Agent Targets

  1. #1

    Hornets Potential Free Agent Targets

    Hornets Potential Free Agent Targets
    By Jeff Martin



    This off-season was already one of the most important in the 24-year history of the Hornets franchise. From dealing with life after trading a superstar, to finding an owner willing to keep the team in New Orleans, the organization faced a myriad of questions that had every aspect of the teams future in the air. But after a string of good fortune, it could also prove to be the best off-season in franchise history, specifically after the team landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft and the rights to select super-prospect Anthony Davis. They also will be able to double-back in the drafts top-10 and select another potential impact player with tenth pick acquired from the Clippers in the Chris Paul deal.



    Another major string of pivotal decisions that loom for Hornets general manager Dell Demps is what moves will be made this year in free agency. With 9 players under contract for next season, and 2 more probably coming in the draft, the Hornets could sign up to 7 free agents during the signing period. Some will invariably be minimum salary camp bodies, but a good number will be called upon to play an important role relative to the composition of this team. The Hornets currently only have $35.5 million tied up in salary, with the salary cap near $58 million. But after accounting for the likely resigning of Gordon and the imminent signing of Anthony Davis and his draft class mate, the Hornets will have significantly less than the $22 million in current cap space to target potential free agents, though enough room to make an impact.



    Here are a few players I feel the Hornets could take a look at and some of the pros and cons of these players as it pertains to the Hornets:





    Kevin Garnett- Age: 36, Power Forward/Center 6'11 253 lbs (Celtics) *unrestricted



    WHY: Garnett brings instant toughness, championship mettle, and leadership to any team he signs with this summer. Monty mentioned how the likes of David West and Willie Green were sorely missed as leaders in that locker room and Garnett certainly would bring that. Aside from the wealth of intangibles, Garnett even at 36, can still be productive on the court, averaging 19.9 points and 10.8 rebounds throughout the Celtics' current playoff run. Where it makes most sense for the Hornets is how he potentially fits with the future face of the franchise, Anthony Davis. Garnett is someone the 19 year old Davis constantly mentions when asked who he aspires to be like (rightfully so), and what better example to learn to be like Garnett, then from the man himself.



    Why Not: Garnett made 21.2 million dollars last season, which would have been 1/3 of the Hornets entire payroll. While he wont command that type of money this time around, he still wont be cheap and might be too big of a cap hit for a team to absorb, especially a young team looking to fill a number of holes on the roster. And although Monty's reputation as a head coach is growing and he and the Hornets have some momentum brewing, Garnett will likely want to play for a proven contender at this stage of his career.





    Patrick Mills- Age:23 Point Guard 6'0 185 lbs (Spurs) *restricted



    WHY: A personal favorite of mine as he was instrumental in winning my fantasy basketball league championship game with his 34 point, 12 assist, 5 rebound performance in the Spurs' regular season finale. Mind you, it was against an defensively inept Warriors squad, but he scored 61 points in his 2 starts, and it showed what he is capable of if given minutes. Mills is limited defensively but according to Spurs coach Greg Popovich, he is a very heady player, having played all over the world, including with the Australian national team. Although he's restricted, he'll never play much with Tony Parker in San Antonio for the foreseeable future, and after making just $300,000 last year, he conceivably could be signed away with a manageable contract. Mills could be a poor man's Steve Nash at his ceiling and at the very least could be a designated 3-point threat for the Hornets, as he shot 43% from downtown last season. That could be a welcomed skill set, especially if Marco Belinelli walks in free agency.



    WHY NOT: The Hornets already have one prospect point guard in Greivis Vasquez and probably wouldn't be willing to take on two. Mills also is on the smaller side, listed generously at 6'0 185 lbs, and like noted above he is limited defensively, which could keep him from ever seeing the court on a Monty Williams coached team.



    Ersan Ilysova- Age:25, Power Forward/Small Forward 6'10, 235 lbs (Bucks) *unrestricted



    WHY: Ilyasova finished second to Ryan Anderson in the most improved player award this past season after averaging 13 points and 8.8 rebounds a game for the Bucks. One of the more efficient players in the league, Ilyasova shot close to 50% from the field while knocking down 45% of the 112 3-pointers he took. Expect his scoring numbers to be even better next season as he continues to refine his offensive game and will not be playing alongside the black hole that is Monta Ellis. It would take a good bit of the Hornets cap space to sign him, but at his age and skill set, that may be a gamble worth taking for Dell Demps and Co.



    WHY NOT: Ilyasova may have played his way into a contract the Hornets might not want to take on and the Demps may be scared away by the numbers. Although Ersan can play some small forward, the Hornets also could potentially have a gluttony at the power forward position pending the selection in the draft at 10 and Carl Landry's free agent destination, and may want spend dollars elsewhere.



    Anthony Randolph- Age:22 Power Forward, 6'11, 225 lbs. (T'Wolves) *restricted



    WHY: He's restricted, but on a Tinberwolves team who has enough youth and will eventually have to pay Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, and he may be able to be signed away with a decent offer sheet. Randolph has above average athleticism, runs the floor well, and has been productive when given time, averaging 17.4 ppg,10.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks per 36 minutes last season. He's efficient, young, and could be a good front court option off the bench for Monty Williams.



    WHY NOT: Randolph's playing time has been consistently inconsistent in his 5 years since entering the league out of LSU and it has to be a concern that no coach (he's played for 4 since he was drafted) trusted him enough to give him consistent minutes depite the fact his teams are usually non-contenders. And again, the number of power forwards that could potentially be on the Hornets roster could discourage the signing of Randolph, who doesn't play much center.





    Nicolas Batum- Age:23, Small Forward/Power Forward, 6'8, 200 lbs, (Blazers) *restricted



    WHY: Monty said he wanted length and scoring in his post lottery interview and Batum could provide both, along with play the type of defense Monty loves from his players. Batum, who is a 39% 3-point shooter, averaged 14 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2 assists last season and routinely covered the opposing teams best wing players. Batum would fit well with the Hornets, especially if Ariza is moved in the offseason and could slide into the starting small forward spot, giving the Hornets the longest 3-4 combination in the league.



    WHY NOT: Not too much to say negatively about Batum fitting in with the Hornets basketball wise other than the fact that he is a restricted free agent and the Trail Blazers would likely match any reasonable deal the Hornets would offer.



    Willie Green- Age:31 Shooting Guard, 6'3 201 lbs (Hawks) *unrestricted



    WHY: Have you ever had that high school coach who always brings up how some guy 10 years ago did everything right and was the epitome of what he wanted in a player? If you have ever heard Monty speak, you know Monty LOVES this guy and what would he would bring to the team on and off the court. Green shot 47% from the field and 44% from 3 in his reserve role for the Hawks last season.



    WHY NOT: If the Hornets resign Marco Belinelli and Eric Gordon, there may not be many minutes for Green, who will be 32 when next season begins.





    Spencer Hawes a versatile big man, Goran Dragic, the point guard the Hornets traded for in the original CP deal and Jordan Hill, who was a rumored trade target this season before the deadline, are also free agents whom the Hornets could target and would make some sense in New Orleans.

  2. #2
    The Franchise Big-EZ's Avatar
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    I would not be suprised if Green returns.....

    also, good write up
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  3. #3
    Vote Voodoo! Contributor Unknown Poster's Avatar
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    Garnett... really? Not even worth mentioning.
    "Hornets means nothing." - Tom Benson

  4. #4
    Rookie whYLZL's Avatar
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    Garnett makes the most sense IF we could add him, but the odds of him wanting to finish his career here are slim to none. KG doesn't want to mentor, he wants to win.

  5. #5
    Could see Monty and Dell really making a hard push for Batum. Monty is familiar with him from his time in Portland, and he could be coached up to provide the defense that Ariza brings PLUS some great offense at the position. It would take a nice chunky contract for the Blazers not to match though, and Nola would have to find a deal to move Ariza.

    Also really like the Patrick Mills idea, hadn't thought of him before. That would free up that #10 pick to be used for another position. I think we re-sign Landry and Belinelli signs with another team. I also like Vasquez as the starter for his pass-first mentality to dish it out to the scorers, and Jack can come off the bench as the scoring 6th man guard, his specialty.

    Okafor / Smith/ Ayon
    Davis / Landry
    Batum / Aminu
    Gordon/ Jack/ Henry
    Vasquez/ Mills

    ...who to use the 10th pick on in this situation?? hmm... well Smith might be better suited as a back-up PF, so maybe that leaves Landry going elsewhere. And with the 10th pick chose Tyler Zeller, a true Center who's mature and ready to contribute now at a high level.

    Okafor / Zeller
    Davis / Smith/ Ayon
    Batum / Aminu
    Gordon / Jack /Henry
    Vasquez/ Mills

    Muy solid-o.
    Last edited by Rheem654; 06-06-2012 at 10:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    If we ever get a longballs chance to get Ilyasova, we should take it and run with it. He will be a great addition to our lineup, we can go big with him at the 3 and go small at the 4 (UNIBROW at the 5).

    Ilyasova is a very heady kinda-player, his J will spread the floor for EJ and he crashes the board pretty well. He makes smart plays (in all the games ive seen the bucks play), he is easily my favorite player on that team.

  7. #7
    R.I.P Aussie_Hornet AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind the Hornets chasing any of the following:


    PG: Dragic, Mills, Augustin
    SG: Beli,
    SF: Batum, W.Chandler
    PF: Ilysova, Landry
    C: Hawes, McGee
    Last edited by AUSSIE_PELICAN; 06-06-2012 at 10:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by crenshaw View Post
    If we ever get a longballs chance to get Ilyasova, we should take it and run with it. He will be a great addition to our lineup, we can go big with him at the 3 and go small at the 4 (UNIBROW at the 5).

    Ilyasova is a very heady kinda-player, his J will spread the floor for EJ and he crashes the board pretty well. He makes smart plays (in all the games ive seen the bucks play), he is easily my favorite player on that team.
    This.

  9. #9
    I wouldn't mind getting Hawes if we don't get Zellers or Leonard. Also, it would be pretty great to land either Batum or Dragic.

  10. #10
    I want Patty mills in a Hornets uni every day, and twice on game day.

    Why we havent made a play for him yet is beyond me. He is going to be another Vashon Leonard.
    If you Jimmer it, they will come.

  11. #11
    Pretty cool. Mr. West's Avatar
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    Fricking Illysova. I'm one of the biggest protesters to Davis at the 5 (think he would make much better 4 with spot up minutes at 5) but I would be ok with it if it brought in this guy. He is the truth.
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  12. #12
    No White Flags Soundwave's Avatar
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    Free agency does not start until after the draft, right?


    If that is the case, then FA will have no impact on the draft.

  13. #13
    Hornets fan from NJ! Vinny6420's Avatar
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    I want Batum, but sadly he is a RFA, which sucks big time. I want younger players, so i wouldn't want Willie Green back, he is a good person, but lets be real, he doesn't fit something we need, I want Lowry or Budinger.
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  14. #14
    Great Music: Amel Larrieux Imnos 2's Avatar
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    I think you can sign these three guys without having to break the bank. Dragic, Jordan Hill, and Batum. Let Landry Walk and trade Ariza.

  15. #15
    Jackie Macmullen (someone on CSN-New England) supposedly talked to Doc Rivers and asked if KG would return. He apparently said he WILL return without listening to offers from other teams. No video proof of the interview but she said it in a pregame Vs. Heat.

    I got this info off of RealGM Celtics forum.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by whYLZL View Post
    Garnett makes the most sense IF we could add him, but the odds of him wanting to finish his career here are slim to none. KG doesn't want to mentor, he wants to win.
    I have to respectfully disagree with this.....Garnett has ALWAYS taken guys under his wing. Dude is the ultimate teammate. He helped develop Big Baby and Perkins into good solid starters. Garnett gets a lot of flack for being a bully to players, mainly LeBron, but when it comes to his team he's all about it. I know he's most likely going to want to retire in Boston (especially if the beat they Heat tonight & get another chance at a ring) but if he were to come here in FA he will make out team better on the floor and in the lockeroom. Everybody keeps saying how Davis can possibly be the next Garnett....imagine actually having the man there to TEACH him to be like him or be better. Garnett could do for Davis what Robinson did for Duncan.

    I know he's not coming here he loves Boston too much but I would be happy if he came to NOLA even if its just for a yr or 2.
    Last edited by Miss_318; 06-07-2012 at 09:03 AM.

  17. #17
    The Franchise Spaniard's Avatar
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    Batum is going to be the worst contract in the NBA. You do not want to be a part of that mess.

  18. #18
    The Franchise mdaniel's Avatar
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    I wish Batum averaged 6.1 boards a game. Try 4.6. Crashing the boards isn't his biggest strength. I suppose Aminu would present a nice counter-balance there.

    If we could move Ariza, I'd be fine with offering Batum a reasonable deal. No more than eight or nine million a year. If Portland matches, so be it. They may not, however, if we offer quickly and they decide they'd rather pursue other options first. Their relationship has soured, after all.

    If we don't offer him a deal, I think it will say a lot about Batum given Monty's prior involvement with him. On the surface, though, he seems like a great fit for our team. I think he has the potential to be a very good role player on a championship caliber team.

  19. #19
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Batum would be a great complimentary player long-term. 4 years 32-36 million is the most I would do. Big upgrade at SF. His defense needs work, but again, he was usually guarding PGs and the other teams best perimeter player so that does skew his numbers a bit. Hopefully Monty could improve his defense, but you never know.

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  20. #20
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornets78 View Post
    Batum would be a great complimentary player long-term. 4 years 32-36 million is the most I would do. Big upgrade at SF. His defense needs work, but again, he was usually guarding PGs and the other teams best perimeter player so that does skew his numbers a bit. Hopefully Monty could improve his defense, but you never know.
    I'm torn on Batum. On one hand, I think with him at his best along with EG10 and AD a decent center and Point we're serious contenders, pretty much everything Houston thought Ariza would be.

    On the other hand he does has striking resemblance to Ariza IMO and I think his scoring numbers have been slightly inflated due to playing on teams that arent very good. Not to mention we could just waste our time chasing him and just be matched.


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  21. #21
    Nobody likes Randolph as another front court option off the bench huh?? I love his per minute production and his potentially manageable contract...

    And I appreciate that WhoDatMan504!

  22. #22
    The Franchise mdaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post
    On the other hand he does has striking resemblance to Ariza IMO and I think his scoring numbers have been slightly inflated due to playing on teams that arent very good. Not to mention we could just waste our time chasing him and just be matched.
    The Blazers were 54-28, 50-32, and 48-34 before this year's 28-38. Some pretty damn solid teams. Not seeing the inflated numbers on a bad team thing at all here.

    If we really wanted Batum, the best way to go about it is to offer him immediately. Portland said earlier in the offseason they had hoped Batum would wait for them to sign some other pieces before re-signing him (They have his bird rights, meaning they can go over the cap to re-sign him). Batum, however, said he'd sign the first offer he got if it was to his liking. This will force Portland's hand. Do they want him over other potential free agents? It's a toss up, but I'm guessing we have a slightly better chance of signing him than missing out given the way Batum feels about Portland at the moment.
    Last edited by mdaniel; 06-07-2012 at 11:53 AM.

  23. #23
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdaniel View Post
    The Blazers were 54-28, 50-32, and 48-34 before this year's 28-38. Some pretty damn solid teams. Not seeing the inflated numbers on a bad team thing at all here.

    If we really wanted Batum, the best way to go about it is to offer him immediately. Portland said earlier in the offseason they had hoped Batum would wait for them to sign some other pieces before re-signing him (They have his bird rights, meaning they can go over the cap to re-sign him). Batum, however, said he'd sign the first offer he got if it was to his liking. This will force Portland's hand. Do they want him over other potential free agents? It's a toss up, but I'm guessing we have a slightly better chance of signing him than missing out given the way Batum feels about Portland at the moment.
    Sorry meant his stats this year and should have said so. You know what is surprising looking at his stats? His lack of steals. I guess you are right, and his stats have gone up every year as well. I wouldnt mind taking the risk.


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  24. #24
    The Franchise mdaniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post
    You know what is surprising looking at his stats? His lack of steals. I guess you are right, and his stats have gone up every year as well. I wouldnt mind taking the risk.
    I think he has all the tools to be a top of the line defender. It's consistency that he's struggled with. Theoretically, Monty could help with that. If he signed with us, given the role he would play, I could see a reasonable stat jump that might surprise some people. He just feels like a great fit here.

  25. #25
    I'm not sold on Batum. Is he an upgrade to ariza? Ariza has excellent defense with 1.7 steals per game. Ariza's rebounding is slightly better and his assists per game is over 3 vs Batum which is just over 1.

    Batum is a decent defender who can block shots. He is a very good 3 point shooter and ft shooter as well. He is clearly better than ariza on offense. He is younger and could fit well in our system. I think giving him 3 year deal for 24 million is a great deal for him. We would need to trade Ariza for this to work.

    I want to see us resign Kaman and Gordon. Let Landry go. Draft Kendall Marshall, Rivers, or Tyler zeller or Meyers Leonard. We should keep Okufor if we can't sign Kaman. Davis will automatically make the whole team better.

    Imagine: PG: Kendall Marshall, Vasquez
    SG: Gordon, Jack, Henry
    SF: Batum, Aminu
    PF: Davis, Landry
    C: Kaman, Smith, Ayon

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