Words by Phlip
6 weeks ago, I talked about how the NBA Draft and its corresponding Lottery were rigged into the favor of whatever team the league’s offices see fit at any given time… This post, in NO WAY will be me walking back that statement.
What I am here to say, however, is that the New Orleans Hornets have built themselves a decently impressive team on the back of their gift of
Unibrow Anthony Davis with the #1 overall pick. Moving expeditiously, they had their first round picks in Davis and Austin Rivers signed to their rookie deals within 4 weeks of the draft, as well as retaining restricted Free Agent in Guard Eric Gordon.
Add in the acquisitions of Ryan Anderson from Orlando and bringing in former Hornet in Brad Miller while still employing young Forward Al-Farouq Aminu.
Make no mistakes, now, while this is a young squad with a TON of upside thanks to the NBA League offices pulling some strings as terms of the sale of the team, they are WAAY too young to be construed as a playoffs-ready team anytime soon. I say they’re about 2-3 seasons from it, and Anthony Davis will need to see MAJOR time in the weight room because 220 pounds will not get it at his position, not in the NBA. He had the pass from having grown 8 inches in 2 years between his Junior year in high school and his freshman year in college, but the time for granting passes is behind you when you’re playing for $15million guaranteed dollars.
So, if the Hornets are not going to be “good,” then what reason is there for us to be talking about them as if anyone cares?
I have mentioned all of the reasons why this team will be interesting and therefore entertaining to watch above. Davis, Rivers, Gordon, and Anderson will make up a young and potentially athletic core with the collective abilities to put up points from literally anywhere on the floor, and doing so in bunches. With consideration for those elements, the fact remains that they will still play a representative half of their games this season against teams who – like them – will not be making the playoffs this year. Those games, with nothing on the line, will be interesting to watch as we see a glimpse of the future, even if that future will not necessarily remain in New Orleans.
In a lot of these, I find myself comparing what will happen “on paper” in these games as opposed to what will happen inside of my television. Since no one has wanted to see New Orleans nationally since losing Chris Paul, it will still be another full season before we see them in a more than 2-3 national games in a season. Instead, we will discuss potential of their very young stars and read about what happened in print (or on the internets). If New Orleans can keep their assets in New Orleans AND properly develop them into the league, then they can expect to become more than just a sideshow for the period of time that young talent will spend their en route to greener pastures.
And that, people, is in the hands of management.
For the sake of our one Hornets’ fan reader, I will spare everyone snide remarks about management’s ability to drop the ball on it.