Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Where to begin? The Hornets are by far the worst team in the Western Conference. They currently have five less wins than the second worst team, the Sacramento Kings. The Hornets are on an island of disappointment all by themselves.
Eric Gordon, the centerpiece player the Hornets received back in the Chris Paul trade, has played in only two games due to injury. To make matters worse, Gordon and the Hornets couldn't agree on a contract extension by the January 25 deadline, making him a restricted free agent at the season's end.
The Hornets have no shot at making the playoffs. When a team is out of the playoff race this early in the season, it's time to start thinking about how to improve the team for next year.
Here are three things the Hornets must do after the All-Star break:
1. Trade Chris Kaman
Kaman has an expiring contract. He could be a valuable asset to a contender that needs another big man. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Hornets are seeking expiring contracts and a draft pick for Kaman.
That will be a tough trade to pull off. Most teams wouldn't be willing to send one of their valuable draft picks or promising young players for Kaman, who will become a free agent after the season. The Hornets can't be too picky about what they get back for Kaman, because he can just leave at the end of the season, leaving the team with nothing.
2. Give the Young Guys the Bulk of Playing Time
Because this season is a lost cause, they need to give the younger players the bulk of the playing time. This way, the Hornets can evaluate which young players are keepers and which ones are movable. You know what you're getting out of Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack.
See how Xavier Henry and Lance Thomas play when they are given a larger role.
3. Do Everything they Can to Make Gordon Want to Stay Long Term
Gordon will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so the Hornets can match any offer he his given. But teams like the Indiana Pacers will be ready to give Gordon a big contract, according to The Sporting News.
Will the Hornets match the offer?
If they do, they need to make sure they are bringing back a happy player. The last thing this Hornets franchise needs is another Chris Paul situation. If they trade Kaman for a young player with potential and get lucky in the lottery draft, the Hornets rebuilding process could be a short one.