New Orleans Hornets: Do They Have the First 'Big Four' in the NBA?

Louis GertlerContributor IIJuly 16, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 29:  Austin Rivers #25 and Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Hornets talk with the media at the New Orleans Arena on June 29, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Davis was the first overall pick, and Rivers the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Admittedly, there are a lot of unanswered questions.

Can Austin Rivers be converted from a pure shooting guard to a Russell Westbrook-type attacking and dishing point guard?

Will budding superstar guard Eric Gordon be able to put the ugliness of the restricted contract episode with the Suns behind him and become a team leader?

Can newly acquired sharp-shooting forward Ryan Anderson thrive without Dwight Howard drawing defenses away from him?

Is top draft pick Anthony Davis the type of once-in-a-generation player that most experts are predicting?

And, most importantly, can this whole shoot-for-the-moon experiment the New Orleans Hornets are attempting possibly work?

The Hornets are trying to do something that has rarely been attempted before in the NBA and which, if they can somehow pull it off, could potentially create a the first true Big Four in NBA history.

Yes, I know that the Celtics have arguably had a Big Four the last couple of years with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, but that is really a veteran trio coupled with a rising star in Rondo.

This, on the other hand, is much different.

With Gordon, Rivers, Anderson and Davis, the Hornets have four potential stars all under the age of 25; that is, four up-and-coming players that all have the potential to hit their primes together as a group. The only thing close to it in the NBA is the OKC Thunder with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Westbrook, and we can see how well that is working.

Of course, a lot may go wrong.

Gordon could continue to be the injury-ridden player he has been for most of his short career. The Rivers point guard experiment could blow up in Coach Monty Williams' face, or these four players may just not "fit" together well enough on the floor, hampering their development.  

But if this works, then things could get real interesting in New Orleans in the next few years. We just may see the first Big Four in the NBA with all the players entering their primes at the same time. And if that happens, then the road to the NBA Finals may just go through the Big Easy.