Someone's looking at the Hornets and are wondering why they are 11-1? Is it simply because of Chris Paul? But to be fair, Darren Collison had a great rookie year last year, so while Collison ain't a CP3 he certainly held his own. So, what is it?
'The Hornets built a team. Marco Belineli is a guy that can shoot and play within a team system. Trevor Ariza plugs that hole at the SF they had for so long. Emeka Okafor is finally becoming the player the Bobcats envisioned when they picked him to be their franchise big. Dell Demps knew he didn't have a whole lot of cap-space, he didn't have alot of trade assets. But he knew there were guys out there, with a chip on their shoulder that wanted to win. Guys that were underlooked.
Building a team, something so epically simple is lost among the scouts and the fans of today. People predicted the big 3 of Miami to win 70+ games and run away with the NBA. But people forget something: It's a team game. Dell Demps and Monty Williams didn't forget, infact it was their primary message. A team led by their star PG has a chance to win every game, take a look at the Utah Jazz who just a couple of weeks ago pulled off a string of OMFG games that were amazing, even if you just read the box score.
Over the past few years, we've picked players with "upside". Thaddeus Young still has untapped potential and is a much better pick than Al Thonrton or any other scrub they could've picked. But Rodney Carney? Athletic, 6'6 and can defend. That seems like what you need to do to be drafted by the 76ers. Never mind position.
Continuing on, Mo Speights? This ain't the time to go deep into that, he had a great game and he's always shown these flashes. But he's not big enough or strong enough to be a 5. More like a finese 4.
The Jrue and ET picks were obvious, but if we were going to buy/trade for a first(even though we technically didn't) why Craig Brackins? Why Mo's clone? A 4, maybe(or a tall '3'?) Can't defend, can't really rebound but is a jump shooting big. Is that really what we needed out of the draft after Turner?
Or maybe it was Dongaila!? The Hornets stole a roleplaying guard and a jump shooting big on expiring contracts for what amounts(most of the time) to a bust in the NBA. A jumpshooting big.
What the 76ers needed, was a shotblocking 5 after Daly left. Not another jump shooting 6'10 non-defense softie. Hassan Whiteside may have had his character issues, but at the 2nd round what's there to lose?
As far as trades? We can't shoot so let me trade the one shooter I have(Korver) for cap-space because Miller's too valuable! So valuable we let him go for nothing 3 years later. In response to this trade, I have to trade a rebounder off the bench(an area in which the 76ers struggled/struggle to this day) for a guy who can't even get off the bench because all he does is shoot!
How about signings? The Phillymax is still the one move I'll actually defend. Brand averaged 20/10 in the last 6 games of that season and was/is a 6'8 big man that can rebound, block shots and score. If we actually kept Dalembert, this season could have an entirely different tone to it. Also, the freak injury in the Milwaukee game wasn't really his fault. Oh and EJ will go down as one of the top-5 worst coaches in franchise history.
As a matter of fact, Elton Brand is really the one and only move I can say we made and realistically think: We got better.
The One and ONLY move! Sad to say but only one move that actually makes your roster better doesn't build a roster. Dell Demps just completed a trade to get Jarrett Jack, David Anderson. Not exactly the biggest of moves but it allowed the Hornets to dump a chemistry killer(Jerryd Bayless was reportedly complaining. Showing how much of a loser he is. Enjoy Craptortown) and acquire a true back-up PG to Paul and a jump shooting big who can actually play in David Anderson. Little moves like these go a long way when you got a roster and a system in place.
Even now, in the draft we're talking about Harrison Barnes and Perry Jones. No doubt great players, but we can't afford to do another one and done in the draft. Simply because Barnes/Jones aren't going to transform the franchise overnight. And looking/hoping for players to do that is like Miami's big 3, I'd rather be Boston's big 3, where the players actually fit together.
I don't mind if we draft a Barnes/Jones, but it simply can't just be that. We're not one player away(nor should we try to really compete. I don't want to be the Atlanta Hawks either. ).
I want us to come outta the draft with 2 or more players. And I want these players to fill a need. We do need a wing that can play 30+ MPG a night and shoot the ball(and do more than that obviously). We also need a player who can play off the ball and allow Turner to become the player we know he can be. Which is why I'm leaning towards Barnes over Jones. Yes, less talented but more of a better fit and will help us win ball games.
I want to hear we acquired a top-10 or so pick. I want to pick a Sullinger/Kanter or the likes. Since we'll be a lottery team, our 2nd rounder will be a pretty high pick. Let's turn that into a solid roleplayer(pretty much all you can hope for in the 2nd unless some stud falls. I don't care what the issue is, pick him).
I want us to come out of the draft, eventually free agency and signings and what not and say universally:
We're a better team. We haven't been able to say that since Elton Brand, and we really weren't able to say that because of the aforementioned epic gaffes our front office made.
Let's try to not acquire the most talent AKA Miami. Let's try to acquire the most talent that actually fits. Not like this roster of misfits right now.