2011 NBA Dispersal Draft of the New Orleans Hornets
Contraction has been rumored as a possibility for the New Orleans Hornets. New Orleans has already lost the Jazz in 1979 to Utah after just five seasons. Now after a total (two in Oklahoma City) of seven seasons in the Big Easy, the Hornets could be on the move elsewhere.
Anaheim, Tampa, Vancouver and Kansas City all have NBA ready facilities for the Hornets or whomever is ready to move. Seattle and Las Vegas are also in play, but without venues. Contraction is a possibility because the owners will undoubtedly use it as a bargaining chip to get the players association to come to agreeable terms.
The players oppose contraction because that's fifteen less multi-million dollar pay days.
Why It Won't Happen After All
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It's a complete fantasy to actually have a dispersal draft. Do you remember the last time the NBA contracted a team? No you don't, because it hasn't happened in the modern era. The NBA expands, not contracts.
The Hornets are not a successful business in New Orleans, David Stern has said that there are plenty of suitors interested in buying the Hornets, but only desire to move them to another city. Also, the NBA has purchased the Hornets and they are valued at around $300 million.
So tell me why would anybody pay $300 million for something only to contract it, when in reality they could sell it for more than that to an eager investor and recoup their losses on the NBA in New Orleans?
How Would It Work?
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The NBA has the lottery so teams that tank games for superstars in the upcoming draft aren't guaranteed a top pick, just higher chances. Sometimes teams have tanked games successfully, sometimes not. However, I won't do a lottery, just a normal worst-record type draft like every other league does.
The free agents of the Hornets won't be in this draft because the Hornets will rescind the rights to sign any of their players. Those players include unrestricted free agents: Carl Landry, Marcus Banks, Willie Green and DJ Mbenga. The restricted free agents would also be let go, which are: Marco Bellini and Jason Smith.
Also players with options to extend their contracts would not willingly participate in this draft because they would clearly want control over where, and how long they play. These players include David West, who has an early termination option to his contract, and Aaron Gray, who has a player option for 2012.
So, from a 14 player roster, we are whittled down to just six draft-eligible players, for what now amounts to a Chris Paul draft.
No. 1: Chris Paul—Cleveland Cavaliers
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Months after being left at the altar, they luck into another star. Two likelihoods with this scenario, Paul would not sign a long-term deal to play in Cleveland even with Byron Scott in the mix, and Cleveland would not be as naive again to think a superstar would sign a deal to play in Cleveland.
So they would trade him, maybe even before the next season started. Cleveland now sees first-hand how bad it could be if they get nothing in return when they let their free agent take his talents to South Beach.
They would accelerate their rebuilding plan, even more so by landing Paul, only to trade him just as quickly.
No. 2: Trevor Ariza—Minnesota Timberwolves
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So, that was a talent drop-off.
Ariza has another two years and $12 million left on his current contract. While still just 25-years-old, he would bring a winning attitude; coming from the winning teams that he's played for. Ariza also is a solid defender, and at $6 million a year, he's an asset.
No. 3: Jarret Jack—Sacramento Kings
Tyreke Evans is not a point guard and would benefit from having another legitimate point guard on the team. Jack would provide that. He's owed about $9 million over the next two seasons. While the Kings are set to be on the move too, they have ample salary cap space to absorb Jack's contract.
No. 4: Quincy Pondexter—Washington Wizards
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At this point, you're just looking to fill some roster spots cheaply, and Pondexter is that. He was drafted 26th overall in last year's draft. He is averaging 10 minutes a game and will only make around $1 million next year.
No. 5: David Andersen—Toronto Raptors
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Filling the roster, not much more to it. You can always use depth at center. Why not Okafor here? Because there's about 48 million reasons why not to.
No. 6: New Jersey Nets—Pass
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Why would you take on some other teams bad contract for nothing in return? Okafor, who still has around $36 million left on his current deal, is useful as a defender, but overall, he hasn't lived up to the expectations of being the No. 2 pick in the 2004 draft.
What would happen to Okafor?
The NBA would have to pay the remainder of his contract out of their pocket and let him become a free agent. Then whatever amount he signs for would be subtracted from the total the league would pay. So there you have it, the Chris Paul draft, I mean Hornets dispersal draft.