The largest loss in playoff history.
It burns me to my very core. It stings even more to know it happened here in New Orleans, the insanity for them to let another team come to this city, this city that has endured so much and has had its sports teams galvanize its spirit.
A year ago, the Hornets were full of promise for the future, but now we're full of doubt and despair with a shrinking salary cap and players who seem to have little trade stock outside of two All Stars.
Paul Augustin has done a fantastic job at looking at the cap situation and will run down each player and their skills, role, value, etc. I will be writing on three players I think the Hornets can acquire that can once again make the Hornets contenders for a championship.
First is a smaller guy who I think can line up with CP3 in the backcourt—Kirk Hinrich.
I know what you're thinking: "He's a point guard! He can't shoot! He's too small!"
Granted, a lot of these criticisms have merit, but you should look at the two things he does very well—defend and handle the ball. The two-point-guard look worked fairly well this season with Delonte West and Mo Williams in Cleveland, so I started there for my analysis of Hinrich.
Would you rather have those two guys line up or Hinrich and Paul? This would give the Hornets a great perimeter defense, free CP3 up occasionally on plays to roam and in extreme cases, catch and alley-oop like he did in the All-Star game (granted it was the All-Star game, but it has potential!).
Second, it gives the Hornets a chance to move Rasual Butler to the bench. Despite his spike in productivity this season, Butler remains an average shooting guard at best. This would make the bench a little stronger with a shooter like Butler getting to be a focal point of the second unit.
Third, trading for Hinrich could relieve us of some badly needed cap space. Consider these trading pieces: Tyson Chandler, David West, Antonio Daniels and his expiring contract, and possibly our first-round draft pick.
If we package Chandler to Chicago for Hinrich and possibly Tyrus Thomas, we would get some small relief and inject two high-energy tough guys into the lineup.
We could trade D-West straight up, but a better deal would be to package him with Daniels for Thomas and Hinrich, filling up two of our needs while adding cap space. I would like to add that this might make Chicago prohibitive favorites in the East with West, Luol, Gordon, and Rose.
All in all, I think the addition of a player of Hinrich's caliber would be an asset to the Hornets, and depending on various other trade scenarios, he could be the perfect piece to a title run.
Next on my tour will be the big guy, Chris Bosh. Feel free to comment and critique, I'd love to know what you think about my analysis and methodology.