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I think that he could definitely dominate with the second unit, for all the reasons you said. Personally, I'd have him coming off the bench, but if he's going to be playing 30 or so minutes per game (and he should be) he will have to play with the starters as well quite a lot.
Chris Copeland has been great so far, and I would love to see him get regular minutes, but not too much. He can score, we know that, but he can't rebound or defend particularly well. That's probably why Woodson has been reluctant to play him. When Stoudemire comes back there is only really going to be one big playing off the bench (he should spend time at PF and C), so Copeland will have to split minutes with Novak at the 3.
In response to your question, I don't think the Hornets can or should trade Eric Gordon. Until he proves he's healthy and back from his knee issues, no team is going to give up much for him. Plus, the team built fans' hopes up with the promise that Gordon and Davis would be the core of the franchise. To get rid of him now would be a disservice to fans and would probably set the franchise back.
The best thing for the Hornets to do is be patient. Build through the draft. I agree that small forward is a big hole for them. I thought this would be Aminu's breakout year but apparently he keeps finding himself in Monty's doghouse. We'll see how Gordon looks when he comes back. But, for now, I say leave things the way they are.