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NBA / Jul 7, 2009 / 5:41 pm

’09 Free Agency: Hornets

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler

Although the ’09 NBA free agent class isn’t as stacked as in years past — not to mention the League is being more thrifty than ever due to the slumping economy — teams still have holes they want to plug, and players have moves they want to make. Here, we break down all 30 NBA teams’ free agent strategy…

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

ROSTER
G – Chris Paul, Rasual Butler, Darren Collison, Morris Peterson, Antonio Daniels, Marcus Thornton, Devin Brown
F – David West, Peja Stojakovic, James Posey, Julian Wright, Ryan Bowen, Sean Marks
C – Tyson Chandler, Hilton Armstrong, Melvin Ely

FREE AGENTS
Bowen, Ely, Marks

ANALYSIS
Last summer, the Hornets were one of the big winners in free agency, when they lured Posey away from the Celtics and seemed ready to take the next step into championship contention. But after an up-and-down season that ended about as disastrously and depressing as possible, the Hornets will likely be quiet this offseason as they try to just stay in the playoff picture.

It’s not so much about what the Hornets can do in free agency — because with the NBA’s highest payroll ($77.5 million), they can’t do much — it’s more about making trades to cut costs.

New Orleans is said to have a standing offer from the Suns where they’d get Ben Wallace’s contract for Tyson Chandler, and Chandler’s name has surfaced in a couple other trade rumors. Although he was a borderline All-Star not too long ago, and the rest of the Hornets almost revolted when Chandler was temporarily traded at the ’09 deadline, it seems management has decided he’s out. Of the four highest-paid players on the team — Peja ($14.2M), CP3 ($13.7M) and West ($9M) being the others — Chandler ($11.8M) is the most expendable and most attractive to other teams.

The Hornets have set aside a little money to work with, and seem committed to bolstering the power forward position above anything else, as they have no depth behind West. They could upgrade at center if Chandler is traded, but Hilton Armstrong is supposed to be their center of the future, so he could slide in and start.

IDEAL TARGETS
PF – Big Baby Davis (R), Brandon Bass, Anderson Varejao, Joe Smith, Leon Powe, Hakim Warrick (R), Stromile Swift, Ike Diogu, Sean May, Maceo Baston, Josh McRoberts (R)

NBA FREE AGENCY ANALYSIS
Sacramento Kings
Orlando Magic
Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers

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  • abpin

    artest’s tribute to MJ… what does he mean when he says “i know you in heaven, i hope to see you next year?”

    1:52 mark…

    what’s he up to?

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    chandler being exchanged for wallace again
    …havent the hornets learned from the Bulls foolishness

  • Yoooo

    I have no idea why, but I BUST out laughin at ABPINS comment

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    @ abpin I know I was thinking that same thing when I heard it…does he plan on visiting heaven next year.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Just looking for

    Sarah
    Nicole
    Elijah Earley
    Jay-Are

    Not in here either? Hmmm.

  • the cynic

    Peja has the 2nd worst contract in league after eddy curry

  • BrickLayer

    Chandler ($11.8M) is the most expendable and most attractive to other teams. he is the most attractive, but you have got to say that Peja needs to go.

    Signing Peja for all-star money has been the hornets down fall. he is the most over-rated player and he is getting worse and worse. when is his contract up?

  • Leonard Wilson

    The Hornets need waaaaay more than just a backup for West to be competitive next year. Did they watch how they performed during this year playoffs? No depth and their starting 5 could be upgraded. I say let’s keep Paul and trade everyone else. Of course that is not logical but they need it. Reminds me of a bad Live season.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    If Hilton Armstrong is the center of the future, I will eat my…. well, whatever. Hilton Armstrong is not the center of the future. He has no instinct for rebounding whatsoever. I said I would support him last season, but he always seems like he is the guy who has 2 good games and you think he’s on the verge of breaking out and then he just… doesn’t.

  • Sweet English

    ticktock do you have a buzzer that goes off when they post hornets articles? :)

  • joshua

    KEEPING HILTON ARMSTRONG AS THE CENTER FOR THE FUTURE IS THE STUPIDEST IDEA EVER FOR THE HORNETS!! NO OFFENSE TO HILTON BUT I JUST DON’T THINK HE HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO DEVELOP INTO A GREAT CENTER. HE HAS NO TOUGHNESS TO ME. WHY DON’T WE TRY AND SHOP HIM??? OH.. PROBABLY BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS HIM!!! WELL IF WE DO KEEP HIM I JUST HOPE HE PROVES ME WRONG!