They got their guy. The Hornets took an important step towards improving their roster yesterday with the addition of veteran swing man James Posey.
It took a little longer than I expected, but the Hornets finally landed the player they’ve been targeting all offseason. Posey signed a four-year deal worth $26 million.
I like this move a lot. Posey brings defense and clutch shooting to the Hornets. You can never have enough of either of these in the NBA.
He’s a proven winner who can contribute to the team’s burgeoning win-at-all-costs mentality and he will help strengthen a somewhat feckless Hornets bench.
Posey won’t be coming off the bench in New Orleans. He’ll be a starter as soon as his plane touches down at Louis Armstrong.
Mo Peterson, the Hornets’ starting shooting guard last season, will forfeit his starting position to Posey and shift into a reserve role. Posey will assume the small forward position and Peja Stojakovic will slide over to the shooting guard spot, a position he’s probably better suited to play anyway.
So the Hornets’ bench immediately improves now that Byron Scott can bring Peterson in as the sixth or seventh man. They have Jannero Pargo, Julian Wright, and Mo Pete who can all contribute big minutes. It sets up nicely for a talented eight or nine man rotation.
That, of course, is assuming Wright continues to be the sixth or seventh man. That may not be the case though if he continues to improve at the rate he did last year.
Wright seemed to get better with every game played last season and if he maintains that pattern, Scott might not be able to keep him out of the starting lineup. If that ends up happening, I foresee no problems with Posey coming off the bench as the sixth man like he did while in Boston.
What I like most about the Posey acquisition is that the Hornets now seem to have all the right pieces in place to make a run at the title. They’ve got the best point guard in the league, a lights out shooter in Stojakovic, a defensive-minded glue-guy in Posey, and Tyson Chandler and David West to bang bodies in the paint.
Posey is not a guy who’s going to fill up the score sheet every night, but he’s the type of player every team needs when trying to make a run at the title.
The Celtics wouldn’t have won it all last month without Posey. Same goes for the Heat two years ago.
Winning in the NBA is about putting the right pieces together to form a group of players who cater to each other’s strengths. Posey’s defensive prowess and play-past-the-whistle intensity should fit in perfectly with the type of mentality Scott has fostered in New Orleans.
The Hornets made a serious run in the postseason last year as playoff neophytes. The addition of Posey makes them a deeper and more experienced team on all fronts.