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“It’s funny I talked to the general manager, Otis Smith, and he’s a great guy. I think Otis Smith will come out of this smelling like a rose. It’s tough. These are franchise changing decisions and if you don’t have a situation where you feel like you are going to put your franchise in the best shape there’s no timeline. There is the trade deadline timeline, but there’s no rush to do it right now.”
For those who may not know, Dell Demps is the general manager of the New Orleans Hornets. And in case you haven’t heard, the Hornets traded Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. Paul’s future whereabouts, after he notified the Hornets that he would not be re-signing with the team, had been in question ever since the lockout ended. No more.
Although the Hornets had to trade the best point guard in the NBA, a superstar, and a franchise centerpiece, they got a king’s ransom in return — Eric Gordon, Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round pick, Chris Kaman (and his expiring contract), and Al-Farouq Aminu. With that haul, the Hornets can begin the rebuilding process organically.
Yes, New Orleans will be terrible this season but that’s not a bad thing in the league. It’s better to tank, especially in a loaded 2012 NBA Draft, because that will give the Hornets a chance to build around Gordon with two high draft picks that may produce any number of young prospects, like Anthony Davis for instance.
For the Orlando Magic, if they’re forced to trade Dwight Howard, they can only hope they’re able to follow New Orleans’ blueprint.