New Orleans Hornets: 5 Players Team Should Target Using Eric Gordon
The New Orleans Hornets and shooting guard Eric Gordon were unable to come to terms on a deal last Wednesday, and at the end of this season Gordon could walk away from New Orleans and sign a deal elsewhere.
Gordon was one of the key players brought into the Hornets' organization with the Chris Paul deal in December, and it would be a shame to see New Orleans lose a talented young player and receive nothing in return.
Another player the Hornets received in that deal, center Chris Kaman, is reportedly on the trade block and if he goes then the Hornets would lose two of the three players they received in that trade last month.
However, I believe that the Hornets should look into trading Gordon before he has the opportunity to walk away from the team.
The Hornets know how they can play without Gordon because he has only played in a few games since becoming a Hornet and New Orleans is already looking to rebuild. They may be able to get a significant center-piece for their organization if they consider using Gordon as trade bait.
We have already established that the Hornets are willing to trade Kaman, and they could use a draft pick or two if they need to create a better offer for teams to consider.
I believe that there are five players that the Hornets should target using Gordon as trade bait. Let's take a look at those five guys.
5. Darren Collison, Point Guard, Indiana Pacers
The New Orleans Hornets drafted Darren Collison in 2009 out of UCLA, but they traded him away believing that they did not need him because of Chris Paul and other young talent on the roster.
The situation in New Orleans is different now and the Hornets could definitely use Collison.
In the 2009-2010 season, Collison filled in for Paul while he was injured and proved that he can play the point guard position very efficiently. Collison averaged 12 points and six assists per game while with New Orleans in his rookie year and he has stayed around that mark during his time with the Indiana Pacers.
Despite his numbers not being nearly as good as the likes of Paul, Collison could very well develop into one of the better guards in the NBA. The Hornets have a pretty good point guard in Jarrett Jack, but Collison could add some great depth to a team that does not have much coming off of the bench.
It is also very likely that we could see Collison and Jack in the same lineup. The Clippers have proven this season that too many point guards is not necessarily a bad thing.
Seeing Eric Gordon traded away for Collison would make me a happy camper. Collison is currently producing more than Gorden since he can stay healthy and he has the potential to develop into one of the better point guards in the league.
4. Markieff Morris, Forward, Phoenix Suns
The New Orleans Hornets could definitely use a forward like Markieff Morris, and sending a player like Eric Gordon to the Suns may just be a possibility.
The Hornets have a fairly talented front court, but with Chris Kaman likely leaving after this season they could use another big. New Orleans has two very talented centers in Emeka Okafor and Gustavo Ayon and they have some good forwards with Trevor Ariza, Carl Landry and Al-Farouq Aminu on the roster.
However, a player like Morris has a great amount of potential and can probably match numbers being put up by the likes of Landry and company. Morris also really reminds of a player like David West.
Morris is capable of hitting mid-range jumpers and plays hard. He may not be the best shot-blocker, but he will give effort every play and that is always good in a forward. Morris is a pretty good rebounder, but he is a bit limited in his post game. However, I believe that that he can do everything that West did for the Hornets and more.
The fact that he is only a rookie will allow him to grow a ton in the near future.
I would love to see the Hornets go after a player like Morris. He could definitely help New Orleans for years to come.
3. Paul George, Shooting Guard, Indiana Pacers
The New Orleans Hornets could definitely use a player like Paul George on their roster.
George is just a second year player and has shown great potential during his short time in the NBA. He has shown the ability to finish plays and has one of the smoothest strokes in the game.
One of George's weak spots is his defense, but Monty Williams just so happens to be a defensive mastermind and could probably show this young kid a thing or two to immediately improve that part of his game.
George could come into New Orleans and start along side point guard Jarrett Jack, and the two would likely become a solid one-two punch for the Hornets. George is just a natural scorer, and every other facet of his game will improve with time and experience.
The Hornets would be a making a good deal if they were able to get George for an injury-prone Eric Gordon. Both players will likely be in an All-Star game soon, but George could likely end up being the better overall player.
I would personally love to see George in a Hornets' uniform in the near future.
2. Rajon Rondo, Point Guard, Boston Celtics
Many people, myself included, scoffed at the idea of the Hornets getting Rajon Rondo back in December when Chris Paul trade rumors were all over the place.
I honestly did not want Rondo to become a Hornet, and I think a lot of people would agree with that. However, I think the reasoning behind that is because Hornet fans were comparing Rondo to Paul, and that just isn't fair.
Is Rondo as good as Paul? No, he isn't. But who is really?
Now that the Hornets are without Paul and the sting of that trade has passed, I believe that Rondo could fit wonderfully in New Orleans.
We have already discussed the possibility of another elite point guard joining the likes of Jarrett Jack in New Orleans and I honestly love it more and more every time the thought occurs. The Hornets have big guys that can score when they get the ball and if New Orleans has Jack and Rondo dishing out 10-20 combined assists a game, then they just got a lot better.
The fact that Rondo can drive in the lane at will helps the Hornets as well. Jack can score, but he is not quite as athletic as a guy like Rondo.
Jack also would benefit greatly from Rondo being on the court at the same time. Jack is not the best at guarding opposing point guards and if Rondo were to join the Hornets then that immediately makes a great defensive team even better.
Rondo could join the Hornets and make a big impact very quickly. I would love to see him playing in New Orleans instead of Eric Gordon.
1. Mo Williams, Point Guard, Los Angeles Clippers
Mo Williams is yet another great point guard that could come in and help a struggling New Orleans Hornets team.
I believe that Williams' ability to sink three-point shots would be an amazing acquisition for the Hornets. New Orleans is the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA and they need help in this area. Williams provides immediate relief in one of the most important facets of the game,
Williams would also benefit Jarret Jack and the Hornets, but in a different way than Collison and Rondo.
While Rondo and Collison are true pass-first point guards, Williams is a shoot-first guard, and that could definitely benefit the Hornets. Jack is a traditional passing guard and can average 10 assists a game. Williams also helps Jack in the same way that Rondo would defensively.
Williams is a great defender against quick, athletic guards and he can also score a lot on offense. His game benefits greatly from having good bigs and that is something the Hornets do have.
They have a great group of young big guys and Williams would help them just as much as they could help him.
I would love to see the Hornets give Eric Gordon back to the Los Angeles Clippers for Williams.