NBA / Feb 17, 2009 / 3:43 pm

Why Are Hornets Fans So Upset?

Chris WilcoxChris Wilcox

The immediate reaction from Hornets fans following the news that they dealt Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and the draft rights to DeVon Hardin isn’t pretty.

“What little faith I did have that the Hornets could compete for a championship this season?,” asks Niall Doherty of Hornets247. “It’s dead and gone.”


And even some of our Dimemag.com readers are pretty pissed.

“I hate this with a passion,” writes ticktock6. “CP is gonna be mad. D West said in the paper today that he’d be mad too if they traded Tyson. So, to sum up, you pissed off your two best players. Way to go, cheapskates.”

New Orleans management definitely needs to keep CP3 as happy as possible, but I really don’t see how this trade is so bad for the Hornets. I’ve watched New Orleans about 15 times this year, and I haven’t seen Tyson Chandler do anything. He’s been horrible. Not mediocre, not decent. Horrible. In December, Dwight Howard chewed him up and spit him out – Chandler finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds in less than 25 minutes. At the beginning of January, he put up 7 points, 4 boards, and 3 turnovers in less than 25 minutes against Portland. He’s getting paid almost $12 million, and he only mustered double-digits 16 times this season. That’s bad.

For about half that price, there’s no doubt that Chris Wilcox can do pretty much the same thing. In fact, I think that Wilcox plays harder than Chandler does, and even if he’s not as good a shot-blocker, he might be a better post defender. If Chris Paul can work his magic as a leader, and bring Wilcox along as a real contributor on this team, this will prove to be a good business and a good basketball move.

The CP-to-Chandler alley-oop isn’t going to hurt much because it hasn’t been there at all this year. I think that’s partly Chandler’s fault, and partly Byron Scott‘s fault for not finding new, creative ways to take advantage of CP’s sensational passing skill.

But with Wilcox on board, there’s no reason that he can’t put up numbers better than the 8 points and 8 boards that Tyson tallied. The biggest question is whether he can get up and block a shot per game. Chandler was only swatting 1.4 per night, which isn’t a huge loss.

Source: True Hoop

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  • jbas

    thank you. and i rest my case.

  • control

    It’s not like they gave away Pau Gasol for a bag of chips…

    Wilcox might actually average 15/10, or 20/10 with Chris Paul feeding him the ball.

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    But Tyson’s presence was more than just blocking shot, think about the shots that he’s altered, or deterred guys from going all the way to the cup. Presence can sometimes be better than scoring, if my big man is making guys pull up and take jumpers then I’m probably going to win the paint battle.

    Besides who scarred of Wlicox and Smith

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    Control what u been smoking over there? Seriously dude, 20/10 for Wilcox, yeah right

  • control

    Haterade

    20/10 is probably a stretch, but the guy has pulled 14/8 before. Look at his situation now…who is going to be stealing his rebounds? If the guy isn’t retarded, and can sink open shots, Chris Paul will get him 15 points easy. Look at all the people Steve Nash has given good stats to, Chris Paul is exactly the same way.

    I predict he’ll pull down 15/8 at least assuming he don’t get hurt and shit.

  • fallinup

    If I’m outta New Orleans right now. You’re looking at a couple things.

    #1 Tyson was the guy that was pretty much your bread and butter free agent two years ago. He was the move, that made the Hornets look like they turned the corner. James Posey was the guy that was supposedly going to get you over the top.

    #2 Tyson has been riddled with injuries but damn. A half of a season into the the season that was supposed to put you over the top and you trade away your starting center???

    If I’m outta New Orleans…unless that center coming back is a starting (better) center himself…you just gave up on the season. And took a step back.

    Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith will most likely be gone at the end of the season. You trade your starting center for that…expect the homers to be mad…I’d be too.

    There’s a lack of a commitment to winning by the NO front office. Yeah, money is the bottom line. But fans don’t give a shit about that, they want they’re team to move forward…not backward.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    Well, at least Melvin Ely and Chris Wilcox are back together? That’s positively creepy.

    I guess the best way to explain it is we know what Tyson can be when he’s good. So, with the in and out of the lineup and the injuries, it’s possible he just never got into his rhythm this season. I’d certainly rather give him the benefit of the doubt and make salary moves in the offseason. It just seemed like the Hornets were assembling a young nucleus that could carry them a while, and they gave it, what, a season and a half? That shows a lack of planning that’s kind of scary to me as a fan who wants to see CP with a good cast around him.

  • Murakami

    1.4 blocks per night is pretty good, still. well for 12 million is not great but it ain’t horrible.

  • mW

    People don’t get Tyson at all. He was never a shot blocker. Just an athletic center who clogged up the paint, helped well, and kept the other team from penetrating. Plus he knew how to space the floor on offense and set bone crushng picks to free CP. He was an intangible player who meant more than his numbers. And more than that, effectively trading him for nothing means someone in the Hornets organzation has given up on this team. Incredulous, really, considering how well they are playing despite all their injuries this year.

  • jbas

    i still take 14/8 for half price. granted chandler does alter shots, and is def a presence on the defensive end down low, i still think new orleans brass is thinking long-term on this deal.

    They’ve shaved some cap space for 2010, and have been realistic on their playoff expectations this year. they have absolutely no chance of coming out of the west, and with that being said, why not set yourself up for the lucrative free angency class coming up in the near future. Chandler has never met anyones longterm goals, and isn’t an all star.

    A bigger question here might be asking why is how has james posey improved this team at all? he’s almost gotten 5 more mins a game and has only marginally improved his scoring….and from the games i’ve seen CP is more of a leader than this guy has ever been…

    your thoughts?

  • james agee

    This is a perfect example of looking at stats in terms of a player’s abilities. He has a Ben Wallace type presence, but with half the age as Grandpa Ben. He can alter shots, he clogs lanes. Yeah his contract is WAY too much but I don’t think Chris Wilcox is an improvement. And that’s all that’s important.

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    The only difference between Wilcox and Chandler is that Chandler is taller.

    Give Wilcox the rock and get him running and he’ll do everything that Chandler did at a cheaper price.

    I agree that 14/8 is a good guess at what he’ll average.

  • Scott

    While Wilcox may not be an improvement generally speaking, Chandler and his contract were a liability that the Hornets really couldn’t let stay.

    Wilcox has more talent than people think, and a starting frontline of West/Wilcox could combine for 40+ points on any given night.

    I realize that Chandler does a lot defensively, but if he’s going to play and not contribute, then that better not happen every time out. His numbers and his play showed no signs of life this year. Forget about last year. If I have a guy signed on for that long and that much, who’s putting up OLD age Ben Wallace numbers, I’m cutting my ties ASAP. Especially if I’m getting a guy in Wilcox who has a solid skill set.

    Btw, does everyone all of a sudden forget that Chandler has been injury prone his entire career, and this year was just a resurgence of that.

  • buck

    hornets had no chance this year anyways. wilcox is just as good as chandler for half the price this season and for two more seasons i believe. dont forget about joe smith. he’s a solid player all around and a vet. nice trade for NO.

  • ap007

    If CHRIS WILCOX WAS GOOD HE WULDNT HAVE BEEN ON THE THUNDER HIZ WHOLE LIFE DOING AABSOULUTELY NOTHIN

  • jbas

    if tyson chandler was good he wouldnt have been on the under-acheiving high-schoolers trading block his entire career.

  • Yoooo

    Joe Smith is Good money too

  • http://myspace/jkwryter Gunner J. Matthews

    It’s a recession!!!!!!!!
    Chandler has been a disappointment since coming out of High School. All those lobs we caught from Chris Paul and dude still doesn’t have 10ppg to show for it

  • AY

    apparently defense don’t win championships. If the thunder can get a penetrating 2, they actually have a team now.

  • TJ

    Even if Chandler is better than Wilcox, don’t discount NO getting other big bodies in the deal. Joe Smith is a decent big guy who can come of the bench and hit some jumpers and Hardin can maybe bang for a few minutes a night. This is a welcome change for a team that started Sean Marks a couple of games ago.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Let’s face it, the Hornets were not going to make a run at the chip this year with or without Chandler especially since he was hugely under performing this season.

    You shed his salary and his terrible contract and put yourself in a position to go after a free agent this summer and make your run next season. I think this was a great move for the Hornets. I’ve never been completely sold on Chandler. In fact I think without CP in Oklahoma, Chandler’s numerous flaws will be exposed and thus make the Hornets GM look like a genius.

  • jbas

    ya spliff ya!!

  • Fire Katz

    Katz, if you dont know the answer to that question, you shouldnt be blogging on this website because you obviously know nothing about basketball.

    Clearly this is a bad trade as the only REAL center (someone who actually plays the 5) is hilton armstrong. Ask anyone and they will tell you wilcox is shit because hes the most inconsistant piece of crap ever. Joe Smith is just David West lite. I remember hilton armstrong having a couple of good games last year when tyson was hurt but other than that he is not dependable.

    Lets talk some playoffs cause everyone thought NO was a championship contender. Now you are undersized in the WEST. Whos going to guard, Yao, Shaq, Bynum, Duncan, Oden/Aldridge, Nene? no One. Hornets wont even make the second round this year. Chris Paul jsut lost all MVP considerations cause his team is going to lose.

    Katz learn some basketball its not math. Its not just about the numbers.

  • Mark

    Yeah, along with mW, it’s just the whole team chemistry we established. This shifts our core more than numbers show.

    Time to see what coach Scott’s capable of.

  • Mark

    And we didn’t get one of the Supersonics/Thunder/Starbucks inevitable 600 draft picks. Which is in and of itself a pretty terrible deal for the bees.

  • K Dizzle

    Wow, you woulda thought these fools learned from Phoenix about keepin your core together and windows for winning championships bein small…

    By the way, can we do the Bynum vs Chandler debate again? No…no..we shouldn’t

  • http://deleted Bron42 aka I had springs before slamball

    i say screw it and start devolping devon.hes a athletic big so he might replace chandler

  • UncheckedAggression

    Man, some of you guys need to face the facts. Chandler has been a piece of shit this year. Obviously the Hornets management doesn’t have a whole lot of faith in him turning it around either. I’m guessing they know the guy better than you do.

    Why keep Chandler around? He wasn’t doing much and the Hornets weren’t going to get anywhere as they were. They are just investing a little in their future.

  • the cynic

    CP3 can bust out another Chandler after a couple of months

  • patrick

    They are the same player. Almost exactly the same player.

  • Soda

    Chandler is an underachiever is not worth his price tag. Sorry Hornets fans, but even with Chandler the team is not a threat to take the west this year.
    Getting 2 expiring contracts, as well as shedding Chandler’s hefty salary could work out very well for the Hornets when looking towards signing free agents.

  • Big Sneezy

    It’s a business move, but it doesn’t do anything to moce the team forward. From what I can tell, Chandler was never %100 healthy this year, so I’m not sure we’re judging him on a full body of work. Not sure that management cared. Wilcox may actually come in and put in some good work, but it’s not a step forward, only a step sideways at best. Joe Smith can be solid in limited minutes…but my question is, what’s Nawlins’ master plan aside from being cheap? Obviously they weren’t winning the West this year, but this move doesn’t put them in any better position to make noise on the court, nor bad enough position to score a lottery pick. What it does is put them in position to spend some money down the line, but what do they plan to spend it on? Do they have a player or type of player that they are targeting? Or are they just planning on throwing more dough at Pejas and Poseys or whoever happens to be available? Teams be actin’ like they can just come together fast via free-agency like the Voltron Celtics when that was really a very, very rare set of circumstances.

  • SEANY_T

    I think the Hornets have been cheap with this move. It’s a shame the global economy is affecting trade movement. I can see what the Hornets are thinking from a business standpoint, but if I was a fan or player I’d be seriously annoyed. How does this help them for next season??? There aren’t too many legit centers to be had, and they’d probably have to pay money comparable to what Chandler was getting to get one…. Doesn’t make much sense for the good of the team really.

    Chandler was overpayed, but they’ll still have to pay big to fill that gap.

  • Soda

    I think the Thunder will be stoked to get Chandler. I know he doesn’t have CP3 tossing perfect lobs in OKC, but they got a few nice youngsters.
    KD is really coming on as one of the best scorers in the L (still can’t believe he didn’t make the all star team).
    Westbrook & Green are going to be really good players. Chandler may be a real piece for the Thunder.

    As for the Hornets, CP3 and West are pissed. Rightfully so. Its a real shame, but thats the reality of big business. Curious to see where the Hornets will be in four years when Paul’s contract is up.

    -s