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The Hornets may or may not have overpaid for their frontcourt

Dec 17, 2011, 9:00 AM EST

Smith_Jason

The Hornets landed Carl Landry back in New Orleans the same day they traded Chris Paul for 1 year at $9 million. That’s not terrible, but it’s a bit much for Landry’s production. Then the Hornets brought back Jason Smith on Friday for three-years at $2.5 mllion per year. That’s not a bad bargain given what he provided last year. Then again, with Emeka Okafor they’re paying $24 million-ish for a very underwhelming frontcourt. Not the worst in the league. Not even a bad one. Just very mediocre.

Landry’s rebounding doesn’t give them much as a power forward, and Smith’s biggest asset is really as a pick and pop player where he was surprisingly good last season. Alongside Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu, along with Chris Kaman‘s $12.7 million contract, that’s a lot of dough for a team that’s going to be firmly in the lottery. Then again, they do have to reach the salary floor, so the money’s got to go somewhere

In reality, the Hornets probably got pretty good value. Landry’s one-year deal is ideal, as it means they’ll have room to continue the rebuilding process. That means with Kaman the Hornets will cleary $21 million in cap space in a single season. Pretty good with an extension for Eric Gordon on the horizon, if he’ll take it.

The Hornets won their opening game in preseason Friday night. They have not lost since trading Chris Paul.

That’s like, a joke, or whatever.

  1. jaygutta6559 - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Chris Paul is good but just because he left doesn’t mean the hornets will be lottery bound the west is wide open and the hornets are young athletic with some pretty good bigs and when did Paul become the best pg in the nba did I miss that memo

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      Paul is the best PG in the game (you can make a Rose or D-Will argument if you wish, but they are all right there) but the Hornets lost CP3 and David West. Without those two they are lottery bound.

      • khandor - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        Kurt and Matt:

        The fact is:

        1. Chris Paul is one of the best PGs in the world today. He is not “the” best PG, in the game today, however, as there are several others who I would choose to take ahead of him, if the goal for my team is actually being able to win the NBA Championship – and not just come close – in a given season.

        2. Yes, in all likelihood, when everything eventually plays out, the Hornets will be Lottery-bound this season.

        3. As I said earlier in this thread, however, the Hornets will most likely be better off than the Clippers beyond the abbreviated 2011-2012 season with the additional assets they acquired via the Chris Paul transaction.

        4. Nor should it be much of a surprise at all to see New Orleans contend for the #8-10 positions in the Western Conference this season, A) if Dell Demps continues to add solid value players like Carl Landry and Jason Smith, etc., who are much better than many/most pseudo-basketball analysts realize in the first place, and B) if Monty Williams does a first-rate job coaching.

        Cheers

  2. cancionisimas - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Strong opinions here, eh?

  3. sgm405 - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    They needed to pay him a bit more than market value to avoid being below the salary floor.

  4. jimsjam33 - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Who is the guy in the picture ?

  5. cakemixa - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    What makes you so sure they are a lottery team?

  6. zidanevalor - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Having cap room to sign Eric Gordon long-term only matters if the Hornets are sold. If the NBA still owns the Hornets, there is no way that the owners are going to take on all that extra salary. They’ll just let Gordon walk in free agency after the next two seasons where they only have to pay him $3.8M this season and $5.1M next season.

    Although I hope the NBA still doesn’t own the Hornets in two seasons.

  7. joj0420 - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    its not like they are going to need cp3 just rotate and keep bodies fresh they have talent just got to put it to good use

  8. bleed4philly - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    It’s not a bit much when you consider it doesn’t handcuff the team, and it gives him incentive to play for another contract.

  9. jaygutta6559 - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    I’m sorry Kurt but if I’m starting a team and need a point guard to build around give me d rose all day and let’s not forget about that little knee injury Paul had a few years ago I tell you what the hornets should have kept Darren Collison and traded Paul 2 years ago

  10. allball23 - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Hornets are def lottery bound. They have one scorer eric gordon the team. Cp3 made everyone better the hornets will miss him.

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