Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: January 15, 2010 12:25 pm

Why Not Just Propose A DetailedTrade Scenario?

Minnesota - Chicago - New Orleans
*** Note, this trade works under NBA salary rules.

New Orleans
Gives: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor, David West
Gets: Al Jefferson, Jonny Flynn, Joakim Noah, Jerome James, Mark Blount, Chicago 1st Round Pick

Gives: Joakim Noah, Jerome James, 1st Round Pick
Gets: David West, Emeka Okafor

Gives: Al Jefferson, Jonny Flynn, Mark Blount
Gets: Chris Paul

Think about it. Dynamic.

New Orleans Rationale: 
It's all based around the rumors that New Orleans is willing to blow everything up in order to shed money. Fans and rubes won't like this in much the same way Memphis fans probably didn't like it when they gave Pau Gasol away, but sometimes the reality of the situation is not always a pleasant reality. It's important to note, this premise isn't an obscure interweb rumor, it's fairly substantiated. The organization is hemorrhaging money. In fact, they pretty much started doing so about five minutes after arriving in New Orleans. They don't want to trade Paul but realize that he would never stand for the team trading every ounce of talent around him. So the Hornets unload the ridiculous Okafor contract, which they started regretting about five minutes after offering it, and West, who is talented but overpaid and at the ripe old age of 30 probably isn’t part of the long term rebuilding plan. After this deal the only insane contract they have left is Stojakovic and they can stomach that for a year. The silver lining in all of this is that they get some really nice young pieces in return, which is a rarity in today’s salary dump deals. Al Jefferson actually makes about the same money as West. He’s an all around upgrade over West, talent-wise, and is six years younger. It gives them a dominant low post threat to build around and a signal to fans that they aren’t just quitting. Then they get two young building blocks in Jonny Flynn and Joakim Noah, two players that resemble what they are losing in a way but for a fraction of the cost. Throw in a 1st<sup> </sup>Round Pick from Chicago and two big expiring contracts in Jerome James and Mark Blount and the Hornets can’t let this one pass. 
New Orleans Post Trade Line Up:
PG - Jonny Flynn
SG - Peja Stojakovic
SF - James Posey
PF - Al Jefferson
C - Joakim Noah
Key Reserves: Morris Peterson, Julian Wright, Marcus Thornton

New Orleans Outcome:
Pros - Shed big contracts, cap/free agency flexibility, three talented players under the age of 25, multiple future 1<sup>st</sup> Round Picks
Cons - lose top 3 PG in league, piss off fanbase

Chicago Rationale:
The Bulls have started this season in sucky fashion after putting up one of the best playoff series in NBA history last year. They also appear to be on the brink of firing their coach (a big mistake in my opinion). They have some nice players but are clearly feeling the loss of Ben Gordon. Derrick Rose is already publicly lamenting the absence of help around him. This is all troubling because I don’t think Chicago has any interest in rebuilding, yet they don’t have the talent on hand necessary to be a top flight team in the East. So, if they could give up some promising youth in order to add a stud or two, I believe they’d do it in a heart beat. To me, Chicago is the biggest no brainer in this three-way. They give up the skilled, yet emotionally unstable center in Noah, a sizeable expiring in James and a 1st Round Pick for two players that would give them a front court that could contend with any team in the East. Sure, they add a bunch of payroll, but what does a big market like Chicago care about payroll? Plus, they keep Brad Miller’s enormous expiring.

Chicago Post Trade Line Up:
PG - Derrick Rose
SG - John Salmons
SF - Luol Deng
PF - David West
C - Emeka Okafor
Key Reserves: Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, James Johnson

Chicago Outcome:
Pros: add two big time front court player, both of which are better than the one they give up, make a statement that they are a legit contender.
Cons: give up some cap flexibility and potential

The Wolves give up a lot. They also get a lot. Al Jefferson and Jonny Flynn are two of the team’s key features. Mark Blount’s expiring contract is going to clear the space for them to land a big time free agent in the 2010 free agency bonanza. Despite those things, they still do this deal. Chris Paul is in the elite class of point guards in the league. He’s also the star that would put fans back in Target Center. They’d probably play slightly better ball this year but would ultimately be set up better for the future. They’d still have enough money to be a player in free agency because Paul’s contract is only slightly more than Flynn and Jefferson’s combined contracts. They’d still have a lottery pick in the 2010 draft in addition to a possible two additional 1st Rounders from Charlotte and Utah. On top of everything, the Rubio card remains in play. Last but not least, I tend to believe that to potential free agents the allure of playing with Paul/Love is more enticing  than Jefferson/Love

Minnesota Post Trade Line Up:
PG - Chris Paul
SG - Corey Brewer
SF - Ryan Gomes
PF - Kevin Love
C - Ryan Hollins
Key Reserves: Wayne Ellington, Ramon Sessions, Damien Wilkins

Minnesota Outcome:
Pros: add a star point guard and franchise face, sell tickets while reinvigorating fanbase
Cons: put all of eggs in one basket, so to speak, investing much of youth and flexibility they have spent years accumulating

So basically, make this happen, executives.

Do you agree?

Posted on: September 13, 2009 10:57 pm

The Deals Continue

School Is In Sessions

Without a doubt, the dumbest headline I've come up with to date, but hey, we got him (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO-j-WQ0fG8&feature=related). Adding Ramon Sessions on a four year deal that will pay him 3.7 million this year and slightly increasing from there on is an incredible steal. He's only 23 years old and has played in fewer than 100 NBA games. In that time he has shown the ability to be a big time scorer and distributor. His single game career high in points is 44. His single game career high in assists is 24. Detract, criticize, nitpick all you want, but you can't put up those kinds of numbers and not have some pretty special abilities. If you aren't familiar with Sessions' game think Randy Foye except with actual point guard skills and vision, the ability to drive to his left, superior quickness and more appealing upside.

Getting this kind of talent for such little risk is surprising but what really stuns me about the whole thing is that Milwaukee was willing to let him go. Yeah I know, they didn't want to go over the luxury tax. But they would have had several months to get under the tax before they'd have to pay for it. Seems like they could have found a salary dump situation somewhere in that time frame. I honestly feel for Milwaukee fans, largely out of empathy. Moves like this give the appearance of a team in a full on, down to the studs rebuild. In the same breath, they've added guys like Hakim Warrick, Carlos Delfino and Kurt Thomas this offseason. They let Mo Williams go. But then they re-up Dan Gadzuric for 7+ mil a season. They trade for Richard Jefferson and then trade him away a year later. But then they appear unwilling to part with Michael Redd. I'm sure Buck insiders have more perspective but from my view they look like a total mess.

The End of the Songalia Era

Another week. Another Timberwolves trade. Another savy transaction by the Minnesota Timberwolves. It's still feels foreign to say that on a regular basis.

Darius Songalia is shipped along with Bobby Brown to New Orleans for Antonio Daniels. Yes, THE Antonio Daniels.   I've made it a habit every time the Wolves make a trade (feels like a dozen or so times this offseason) to read about it on the website of the local Minneapolis paper. Not so much for the reporting, but rather for the comments section below the article where readers can post their various thoughts. It's pretty hilarious sometimes.

A typical response to one of the many executed deals goes something like "We traded what for who?" or "I didn't even know that guy was on our team" or "What was the point of this?" or "Fire McHale!" (some people just can't let go). I've got to admit that to the casual fan these deals must seem quite pointless. Any time Etan Thomas or Quentin Richardson is the marquee name in a deal you know it's only for the hardest core of fans. The appearance of a flurry of marginal players being shuffled out then in and then out again is sort of bizarre when you don't fully consider the business related implications of the deal. But as we have come to trust from Kahn, there is always a business angle to his transactions. After all, bringing this organization out of financial hell was one of the many tasks he was charged with upon hiring.

Take this latest deal for example. It's hard to get too excited about adding Antonio Daniels or conversly, depressed about losing Darius Songalia or Bobby Brown. So why do this trade? First of all, Bobby Brown makes almost no money and from a talent standpoint is worthless to an NBA squad, but could probably carve out a serviceable niche in the NBDL if given the opportunity. So eliminate his perceived value from the equation. It comes down to Daniels for Songalia. Songalia makes 3 million dollars less than Daniels for this upcoming season, so in the short term it allows New Orleans to add a solid roleplayer and save a little cash. For the Wolves, taking on that extra money doesn't matter because they aren't competing this year anyways. Next year is when the Wolves "win" the trade. Daniels is a straight up expiring contract. They can either package him in a trade to some luxury taxed team at the deadline or simply let his contract expire at season's end. Songalia, on the other hand, has a player option built into his contract next year for 4.9 mil, which he will undoubtedly pick up regardless of where he is playing. The Wolves clear another 5 or so million for the vaunted 2010 NBA offseason. Like I said, yet another savy move for the Wolves while New Orleans, already hemorraghing money, sets itself up for one more run in 2009 and then a brutal firesale to follow.  

This also hints at another interesting suggestion: the Wolves seriously believe they are going to be big time players in next year's free agency extravaganza. Why else would they keeping clearing every dollar they could, even by means of taking on excessive contracts for this season? Under past regimes you could cite cheapness or ineptitude or even insanity. That's the old regime. This new one is different. By all accounts, this new regime knows what it's doing. A novel idea for sure.

Looking ahead to next offseason, there's a number of past their prime vets like Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, Richard Hamilon and Steve Nash that would probably serve no purpose to the young and building T-Wolves. Then there's the megastars like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudamire, Joe Johnson and Yao Ming. After that there's the second tier stars like Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, Josh Howard, Rajon Rondo, Michael Redd and Al Harrington. After that there's a ton of quality role players that will be available, but the Wolves are pretty set on roleplayers. 

So who in that group can the Wolves seriously land? Is the whole desired location thing being overrated while straight cash, homey is being underrated? If the Wolves nip at some heels this year and give the appearance of a team on the rise will they be able to lure someone to Minnesota on that potential? I have my thoughts on the matter, but what do you think?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com