The New Orleans Hornets are in desperate need of shaking up the roster to a team that has been largely disappointing. As of Dec. 25, the Hornets are 5-22, which is the worst record in the Western Conference and the second-worst record in the NBA behind the 3-22 Washington Wizards. The Hornets are currently on an 11-game losing streak.
The Hornets have been victims of a combination of inexperience and bad luck. On Dec. 22, the Hornets led by as many as 23 points on Indiana before the Pacers came back to win 81-75. This current 11-game losing streak has also included close, heartbreaking losses to the likes of the Thunder, Spurs and Trail Blazers.
The team will get a boost in the coming weeks when franchise shooting guard Eric Gordon finally makes his return from a knee injury that has kept him out all season. According to John Reid of NOLA.com, Gordon recently participated in his first full-contact practice since October. However, there is still no exact date for the former Clipper's return.
Even when Gordon returns, the Hornets will need a miracle just to get back into playoff contention. The Hornets trail the Denver Nuggets by nine games for the West's eighth seed. That gap can only stand to increase with the way the Hornets have played in Gordon's absence.
The wise move for New Orleans would be to continue with their rebuilding process and make more moves to shape a roster filled with potential. The team has a huge hole at small forward, where incumbent starter Al-Farouq Aminu has been average, at best.
The Hornets have managed to get by with Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez manning the center and point guard spots, respectively. However, the Hornets aren't in any position to turn their nose up at upgrading those positions if the opportunity presents itself.
The other big issue with New Orleans is that there aren't many trading chips on the roster. Forwards Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson are the two best active players on the roster and the team would be smart to build around them.
Then, there's the issue of trading Gordon. The team has given no indication that they are willing to move the centerpiece to last year's Chris Paul trade but, given Gordon's injury history and concern over his knee, it is something to consider.
The Hornets are in a bad spot and changes need to be made. That's why I've come up with five deals that New Orleans should think over to try to get themselves back on track. These deals are merely suggestions and aren't based on anything imminent.