The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 May 2006

Will they stay or will they go?

I sat on this for a while, wondering if I might hear some stories in the interim, but it didn't happen.

Anyway, Clark Matthews, who writes "Strictly Hornets" for OKCHornetsCentral.com, has taken a stab at guessing what happens to the half-dozen free agents on the Bees' roster. He expects five of them to be gone, with only Rasual Butler sticking around (and getting a fat raise, to about $11 million over three years).

He's probably right about Speedy Claxton: the 6th man for the Hornets, he could be a starter for rather a lot of teams, and he could get paid like a starter, too. Picture him gone.

I'm not so sure about Aaron Williams. A-Train isn't quite the bruiser Byron Scott wants to see in the lane, but he's steady, and he has a commendable work ethic, which counts for a lot with this team. (Might even be enough to justify keeping Linton Johnson around; he's not so steady, but he busts his butt.)

Jackson Vroman has already been waived; the team could pick him back up, but I somehow doubt it. And really, we didn't see enough of Marcus Fizer to know whether they want him for a whole season (he was signed for only two 10-day contracts).

Meanwhile, of the players still under contract for next year, I'm thinking we can say goodbye to J. R. Smith and Arvydas Macijauskas, and there's this nagging suspicion that P. J. Brown will ask to be traded, just so he can be on a playoff contender in what is likely his last year in the league. On the other hand, NBA Rookie of the Year Chris Paul isn't going anywhere. Thank heaven.

Posted at 10:03 AM to Net Proceeds


I guess you've read Shinn's latest allusions to departing NO for good. If he keeps this up, the Hornets can be the best away team never to have a home to call their own.

If he moves them to Dustburyland, I hope it sticks.

Posted by: Jennifer at 6:07 PM on 11 May 2006

The Oklahoman and the New Orleans Times-Picayune are playing Dueling Sportswriters over Shinn's feigns; the T-P's John DeShazier and John Reid are happy to point to The Lease and remind Shinn that his name is on it, while here, Berry Tramel tosses out little factoids about how the team grosses about twice as much when it's playing in Oklahoma City.

I still consider it a 50-50 shot, although I can see one other possibility in the wings: OKC locals, who can certainly afford it, pay Shinn a ginormous premium over the team's actual value (guesstimated to be somewhere on the near side of a quarter-billion), and tell Nagin's Pagans to die in a fire. How well this would sit with the Commish remains to be seen, but I suspect David Stern would be more apt to order the team back to Nawlins if Shinn's running it — after all, Shinn's already pulled off one disappearing act, at the expense of Charlotte — than if it's controlled by a passel of Okies.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:24 PM on 11 May 2006