How happy were New Orleans Hornets fans when they heard Jarrett Jack had been traded away from the team Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors in a three-team deal for Philadelphia Sixers 2006 draft pick, Edin Bavcic. Bavcic plays center, a position where the Hornets are desperate to find quality talent.
The team also learned Wednesday Chris Kaman was gone, signing a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, making the acquisition of Bavcic even more timely.
Bavcic is a talented player who the Sixers stashed away in Europe six years ago. Whether the team ever sees any production from Bavcic remains unclear. But the team found an international gem a season ago in Gustavo Ayon.
After just one season in Monty Williams' system, Ayon had become a quality center who the Orlando Magic determined was a worthy return investment for NBA most improved player Ryan Anderson in the team's recent sign-and-trade deal.
If the team can find a way to bring Bavcic to New Orleans, it shouldn't surprise anyone when he then becomes a quality center for the Hornets.
More importantly, though, the team cleared a great amount of cap space. Jack was due $5.4 million. It's not as if Tom Benson couldn't have afforded that cost to keep Jack on his team, but the team is clearly preparing to match Phoenix's max contract offer sheet on 23-year-old guard Eric Gordon, who was the cornerstone piece in the Chris Paul trade last December.
Phoenix's offer was for four years, $58 million.
If the Hornets had kept Jack, Gordon and made the Ryan Anderson deal, the team would be out of cap space. By ridding themselves of the final year of Jack's deal, the team's cap currently rests around $10 million short of the $58 million team cap.
Even matching Gordon, the team will be able to make a move for a center in a market that still has a few quality players remaining.
But perhaps more important than any of that is the impact this deal is likely to have on the team's "franchise player". Dell Demps and Monty Williams had spent the offseason referring to Gordon as that man. He has practically called them liars throughout the time it was announced he would sign Phoenix's offer sheet and claimed "his heart is in Phoenix".
Common sentiment spoke of the team's drafting Austin Rivers as a shot at Gordon. The assumption is that Gordon believes Rivers was meant to take away some of Gordon's impact on the team (which of course makes very little sense).
But with the trade of Jack, it seems likely Rivers and Greivis Vasquez will share time at point guard. Unless the team brings in another point guard that position has to be played by the combination of those two.
Of course, it also brings up another interesting possibility. If the team decides not to match the offer but can convince Phoenix to rescind the max offer, a sign-and-trade could be worked with the Suns. In such a move, Dell Demps would surely covet rookie Kendall Marshall in exchange for Gordon. Rivers would of course then move back over to the shooting guard spot he was presumed to play before.
Either way, the Jack move provides clarity to an unclear situation. There may be a sleeper talent in Bavcic and an opportunity for more moves of intrigue.
Most of all though it promises to keep Hornets fans guessing for a few more days. What move will Dell make next? Time will tell. The Hornets are officially on the clock for a Gordon decision. July 14 is the deadline.
By then, we should know a lot more about the future of this basketball team. At least we'll know a lot more about what the roster will look like.