Wednesday, July 9, 2008

2008 Free Agency Updates

Earlier today, the Hornets officially completed their number one priority of the offseason: re-signing Chris Paul to a contract extension. That move will keep the starting five intact through the 2010-11 season. With a few more savvy moves from Jeff Bower, that should be enough time to see the Hornets bring home a championship to the Crescent City.

Let's take a look at some potential moves for this summer. I'll start by ruling out a couple of things that won't be possible. First, ESPN reports that the Orlando Magic have taken Mickael Pietrus off the market. And the Golden State Warriors, in response to losing B-Shiddy and Pietrus, have agreed to sign Corey Maggette to a ridiculous deal. So there go my top two free agent swingmen. However, the team's top two targets (James Posey and Jarvis Hayes) are still available.

Last week, reported that the Hornets are interested in Hayes. And the Times-Pic/ recently had an article detailing the team's interest in Posey. Those two weren't on my list; only one of them -- Posey -- was really on my radar. And you can be sure it will be one or the other, not both, that the team really makes a run to get... since they offer more or less the same things. Honestly, I think I would be OK with either. I would prefer Posey as I think he's more reliable. He certainly has more experience, including in the playoffs (60 postseason games to Hayes' 15). But I don't think either one alone will solve our bench problems.

At this point, my ideal summer would be something like this. The Hornets could wrangle Ben Gordon away from the Bulls, since they'll hopefully be bogged down in contracts in order to keep other players. And the Hornets offer a contract to Eduardo Najera with any leftover money. Gordon would be an upgrade from Pargo, so we can let him walk. And Najera could play either forward spot giving the second string some size on defense and another 3-point threat on offense. If Hilt and JuJu can both improve, we'd really only need a backup point guard as insurance.

1) Chef Paul, Point Guard X, Mike "Shoes" James
2) Mo Pete, Ben Gordon
3) Peja, JuJu
4) D-West, Hilt, Najera
5) Tyson, Mel Ely

I'd be happy with that lineup.

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