NBA Rumors: Breaking Down Why Hornets Must Keep No. 10 Draft Pick

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJune 25, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  Tyler Zeller #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels dunks in the second half against the Florida State Seminoles during the Final Game of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Philips Arena on March 11, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The New Orleans Hornets have plenty of options as they decide what to do with the No. 10 pick in this year's draft.

One possibility is trading the pick. According to Chad Ford of ESPN, the Hornets might try to get a young player to help the rebuilding process.

While trading the pick for a good young player would be helpful, the Hornets shouldn't become set on that idea unless they see something concrete on the horizon.

After all, the Hornets will be looking at promising players at No. 10. According to the Times-Picayune, the Hornets have hosted Kendall Marshall and Austin Rivers, among others. Another Times-Picayune article mentioned Tyler Zeller's workout with the Hornets and Monty Williams' familiarity with him.

All three players could become as effective as any current NBA player for whom New Orleans might trade.

Marshall is a highly efficient pass-first point guard who is terrific at running an offense.

Rivers would help Eric Gordon, who seems likely to re-sign with the Hornets, to boost the scoring of one of the lowest-scoring teams from last year with his creativity and one-on-one playmaking ability.

Zeller is a solid center prospect who runs the floor well, shoots well and can rebound. Combining him with Anthony Davis would put the Hornets on their way to becoming a good rebounding team.

Also, any team interested in the No. 10 pick will likely be interested in an expiring contract to go with the pick if the Hornets want a rising young player, as Ford suggests. The only one that seems likely at this point to be on the team at the beginning of the season is Jarrett Jack.

The Hornets wouldn't give up Jack because he'd be needed to help the growth of Greivis Vasquez, who would likely be the starting point guard if they deal the pick.

Vasquez showed flashes of promise during the latter part of the season as Jack sat out with an injury.

Jack is a decent point guard, but if the Hornets are committed to rebuilding, then they'd have Vazquez start and Jack stay in a backup role to teach Vasquez the ropes.

At this point, the possibility of the Hornets dealing the No. 10 pick seems small. Hornets GM Dell Demps told the Times-Picayune that he hasn't received any good offers in exchange for the No. 10 pick and that he plans to use the pick to get "the best player available."

Demps is taking the right approach by being cautious about the possibility of a trade involving the pick. He'll have as much luck finding someone who could develop into a strong player for the Hornets as he would finding a trade acquisition who would be a positive force and would fit the team's needs. Also, the draftee would likely cost less.

The third-year GM shouldn't feel bad about standing pat.