Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City

chris paul1The New Orleans Hornets roster for the 2009-2010 season is shaping up to be about as new as Brandon Jennings’ haircut.

With the luxury tax imposing, the Hornets simply cannot compete in the free agent market, no Hedo Turkoglu, no Rasheed Wallace, or even Trevor Ariza. While players like six foot wonder Chris Paul speak out about how other teams are improving through the free agent market, the Hornets’ management remains as neutral as the Danish in World War I.

The Hornets seemed to be one of the future powers of the Western Conference after the 2007-2008 playoffs pushing the San Antonio Spurs to seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals. With the offseason addition of James Posey from the (then) defending champion Boston Celtics, the Hornets were poised to have a stellar regular season followed by the hope of advancing further into the playoffs.

Injuries to big man Tyson Chandler and sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic hindered the Hornets’ regular season, but the postseason proved just as disappointing. Trailing the Denver Nuggets in the series 2-1, the Hornets suffered the worst loss in NBA playoff history in a 121-63 beatdown.

What is the significance of 121-63?

It’s like…

Secretariat winning the Belmont by 31 lengths

Tiger Woods winning U.S. Open by 15 strokes

The Bears holding the Patriots to six yards in Super Bowl XX

So now that we have somewhat of a perspective here, let’s return to the Hornet’s financial situation, i.e. not having cap room to sign free agents. Then think of the last time the Hornets played.

This equals trouble in the Big Easy.

The likely situation for New Orleans is to deal Tyson Chandler while the only free agent acquisitions may be among the likes of Joe Smith. Paul and the Hornets seemed to be the Western Conference of the future but have since regressed to the Hornets of old.

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