New Orleans Pelicans logoNew Orleans Pelicans

NBA Trade Rumors: Hornets Have No Chance of Trading No. 10 Pick in 2012 Draft

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 14:  Head coach Monty Williams of the New Orleans Hornets against the Los Angeles Lakers at the New Orleans Arena on March 14, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2012

The New Orleans Hornets were beyond lucky to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, but they won't be lucky enough to find a taker for Emeka Okafor or Trevor Ariza.

According to Shaun Powell, New Orleans is entertaining offers for the No. 10 overall pick in the draft, but it comes that catch:

Hornets will entertain offers for 10th pick if someone also agrees to take Ariza or Okafor contracts.

— Shaun Powell (@Powell2daPeople) June 6, 2012

Ariza is on the books for another two years with upwards over $14 million remaining on his deal. Okafor, meanwhile, is making double that at nearly $28 million over the next two years.

The 26-year-old Ariza had a true breakout year in Houston three years ago but has seen his numbers decline since. Coach Monty Williams sat the former second-round pick in favor of younger players down the stretch—obviously, there is no true spot for him on this team.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 06:  Emeka Okafor #50 of the New Orleans Hornets dunks the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the New Orleans Arena on January 6, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agre
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Okafor's play also continues to decline as he turned in the worst season of his NBA career while battling injuries. He's a key candidate to be amnestied should the Hornets fail to find a suitor.

In reality, there are no suitors for either of these players given the financial burden they carry. Ariza is still young and can be a serviceable role player, but not for $7 million per year.

And Okafor epitomizes an amnesty cut—he simply makes too much money and produces too little.

New Orleans has major needs at every position, but they're trying to get younger and save money at the same time. They can't do that with roughly $20 million hung up in two players they can't trust in each of the next two years.

The Hornets can go fishing all they want with the No. 10 pick, but unless a prize prospect falls on draft night and a team decides they can swallow Ariza's deal (nobody will take Okafor's deal), they'll be forced to pick at No. 10 (which really isn't that bad either).

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices