Are The Hornets After Carmelo?

It has been assumed that the New Orleans Hornets would have to trade guard Chris Paul at some point this year, mainly because most people believe his agent Leon Rose and Chris Paul's new "advisors" at LRMR Marketing won't keep quiet until that's done.

The Hornets don't see it that way. What the Hornets see is they need to acquire a second star-level player to pair with Chris Paul and do it without sending off all their young talent to make a deal.

There are two players the Hornets covet and both could be the kind of talent that makes Chris happy again and the Hornets believe they have the assets to make a deal.

The first is the home run and that is Denver's Carmelo Anthony.

The Nuggets have a three-year contract extension on the table, yet Anthony has not signed it and sources close to the situation say he will not sign it until Denver's turbulent front office situation is resolved.

Nuggets' Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien and Vice President of Player Personnel Rex Champman have yet to reach new deals with the Nuggets and their current contracts expire on September 1st.

Nuggets head coach George Karl has one more year left on his deal and the Nuggets roster is hardly a model of youth and vibrancy.

The Nuggets entertained trade talks involving Carmelo before the draft, more as a motivator to get Melo back to the table, but since then talks have really gone nowhere as Melo's camp is in wait and see mode.

The Hornets feel like with their mix of ending contracts like Peja Stojakovic's $14.2 million and younger reasonably priced All-Star talent like David West and his $8.28 million contract combined with huge upside players like Darren Collison, Marcus Thornton and Quincy Pondexter that the Hornets can be in the game if the Nuggets decide to move Melo.

Nuggets ownership has made it clear at all levels – if Carmelo won't extend they have to move him. The Hornets are hoping they can get involved if and when that happens.

The less attractive option is Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala. The 76ers listened to offers on Andre at the trade deadline last year and opted not to move him.

New 76ers coach Doug Collins swears he can make Andre the focal point of the team and have success, but if that doesn't happen quickly, the 76ers could find themselves back at the table and Iguodala is an options that New Orleans would consider, mainly because he could be obtained without giving up David West and all of the Hornets' young talent.

The Chris Paul drama won't end until the Hornets roster is improved, and before you go writing the Hornets out of the story, understand they have the assets to make a deal and are willing to take on contract dollars to make a splash.


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