Everyone knows about the Los Angeles Clippers and Lob City. The thought of Chris Paul throwing alley-oops to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on a nightly basis makes Clippers fans drool. They are going to be the new team in L.A. Move over Kobe, the Clippers are back! But, what about the other side of the story? What’s going to happen to the New Orleans Hornets?
The Hornets have consistently been a playoff team, only missing the playoffs once in the last four seasons. However, that team was led by a core of Chris Paul and David West. Paul wanted out and left for the glitz and glam of Hollywood while David West signed as a free agent in Indiana. The Hornets did receive a couple of nice pieces in the Chris Paul deal, namely Eric Gordon, Al-Faroqu Aminu, Chris Kaman, and the rights to Minnesota’s unprotected 1st round pick in next year’s draft. Leftovers from last year’s team include Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor, Carl Landry, and Jarret Jack. That seems to be a nice core to build from, but look a little closer and this team is destined to be drafting in the lottery for the next couple of years. Kaman and Landy’s contracts are up after this season and will likely be signing somewhere else. Aminu seems to be a decent player who just doesn’t have a natural position. Jarret Jack is a career backup, and Ariza hasn’t been able to play as well as many hoped following a couple of good seasons on the Lakers. Emeka Okafor is a nice center but is being paid more this season than Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose… combined. And his salary increases in each of the next two years. The best player on this team seems to be Eric Gordon, a promising young shooting guard who averaged more points per game last season than his age in years. However, is it said that Gordon is waiting for his contract to be up next season to bolt for Indiana, where he played his college ball. That leaves the New Orleans Hornets fate up to the Minnesota Timberwolves unprotected 1st round pick. Can Player X save the Hornets? Only time will tell.