Memo to the Hornets: DO SOMETHING.
Dear New Orleans Hornets,
You are a lucky one, a very lucky one.
Back in 2005, you managed to get a hold on the fourth overall pick of the draft. And unbelievably, unthinkably, someone was still available after three whole picks from other teams.
Chris Paul. He landed right in your lap.
And better than that, he grew. He grew into the best point guard in the NBA—despite only being six feet tall. Even though he is not built like a house, he inspires fear into opposing teams.
Right now, there is no other player in the league quite like Chris Paul.
And in 2007-08, Chris Paul proved his worth. He had an MVP-worthy season while leading your Hornets into the long-forgotten territory of being a title contender.
But what happened? A year later and you are being knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the Conference Finals-bound Denver Nuggets.
And it wasn't pretty either. I'll save you the drudgery of going through that first round series (58 points?!).
Months later, and not too much has changed for you.
Not many teams have been quiet this offseason, but you are one of them. Other than some very thin whispers of trade rumors surrounding Tyson Chandler (since your last attempt didn't go so well), nothing has been done.
Yes, you did draft solid.
In the first round, you took Darren Collison with the 21st pick. Collison is a great guard who can really learn from Paul and will be able to provide solid backup to the All-Star for years to come—something that the team needed (but the team has other needs too).
You also got second-rounder Marcus Thornton, a solid contributor in his four years at LSU, in a small trade with the Miami Heat.
But that isn't enough. Not if you want to contend again. Chris Paul won't last forever...ever consider he might want to leave if you stick in this rut?
Let's be fair. The team was decimated by injuries last year, and the West is never easy. Especially the Southwest Division, where yet again four of the five teams made the playoffs.
Peja Stojakovic missed 20 games.
Tyson Chandler missed 37.
Chris Paul and David West both missed time.
So, perhaps you're thinking that with your team healthy, you'll be back. Paul will be throwing an oop to Chandler or throwing out to Peja for a three?
Could be. Don't rule it out.
But just hoping isn't enough, is it?
Last year, your major acquisition was James Posey, a two-time NBA champion. Posey didn't quite work out the way you had hoped, but perhaps he can turn it around. Perhaps he just needs a big stage to be able to perform on?
But again, let's not just hope.
Something must be done now. You must upgrade the roster and take advantage of Chris Paul.
Imagine it's five years later, and maybe you've gotten to a few Western Conference Finals along the way. But is that enough?
Chris Paul will still be playing great. But he's going to be frustrated, too. He's going to want that ring. Let us remember it took Kobe Bryant six years to get back to the top.
And that he didn't do it alone, he had a great team around him.
And Paul needs the same.
He has David West, a great scorer who plays brilliantly with Paul.
Tyson Chandler, a rebounder who can run with the team and finish with the best of them.
Peja Stojakovic, a veteran and an ex-MVP candidate who still has to be very closely guarded.
The Hornets have their strong players. But strong players don't win championships, teams do. The Hornets need a stronger bench.
Julian Wright is an athletic freak who has an improving game. Antonio Daniels provides a veteran presence. Hilton Armstrong played big minutes while Chandler was out.
But still more is needed. To me, it seems like you, the New Orleans Hornets, are kind of waiting and hoping that things will simply click.
Do not waste Chris Paul's prime years. You only get so many chances. Ask Tracy Mcgrady. Ask Allen Iverson.
Do something. Act. Be pro-active and get your team ready to win.
The Hornets fanbase
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