Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon
No one knows what's going on with Gordon's knee, and cap rules give him the right to veto any trade until July 2013. But it's unclear whether he wants to be in New Orleans after urging the Hornets to let him sign with Phoenix last summer.1
It's also unclear if and when he'll be healthy again, an uncertainty that will obviously depress whatever market might exist.
As for Anderson, it's sweet that the Lakers want him in any theoretical Gasol deal. But the rebuilding Hornets would seem to have little use for an aging center earning $19 million per season through next year, and there's no indication New Orleans has much interest in trading Anderson in any three- or four-team deal that would send Gasol elsewhere. He's a productive player with a hugely valuable skill set on an affordable contract averaging about $8.5 million per season. The Hornets can open up max-level cap room without moving either Gordon or Anderson.
1. The New Orleans Pelicans
You're all mocking the pelicans? Other NBA mascots include a pair of pants; two different weather systems; a large deer; a space rocket; a person who performs magical spells; the act of magic itself; the inanimate net attached to a basketball rim; a music genre; the sun; and a small chunk of gold.
A pelican is arguably better than all of those. And pelicans are really cool in nature: dive-bombing from monster heights, zipping straight down into the water, and coming up with a meal. The team could replicate this in the arena, with a pelican rappelling from the ceiling, diving into a pool at midcourt, and coming out with a rival mascot in its mouth.
Most important: The inflatable mascot version of the pelican is going to be hysterically cartoonish. The only downside is that "New Orleans Pelicans" is a mouthful of syllables. What about the Bayou Pelicans?