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Dell Demps' Top Five Trades for the New Orleans Hornets

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | In less than three years, New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps has completely transformed the franchise. Demps survived NBA commissioner David Stern's stewardship and he has received a contract extension from new owner Tom Benson. While most Hornets fans are still taking a wait-and-see approach before passing judgment on Demps' job performance, there is no denying that he has already made several outstanding trades.

Take a look back at Dell Demps' top five trades for the New Orleans Hornets.

5. Craig Brackins and Darius Songaila to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jason Smith and Willie Green

This was Dell Demps' third trade as Hornets GM. New Orleans acquired a talented, experienced G in Willie Green and an athletic F/C in Jason Smith. Green was clutch in the Hornets' 2011 playoff run and Smith has been a solid frontcourt role player with a decent shooting touch. Brackins and Songaila played a total of 27 games for the 76ers.

4. Jerome Dyson and Brad Miller to the Phoenix Suns for Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick

This trade was actually a lot more complex than this, but these were the main parties for Demps and the Hornets. Lopez was a reserve for the Suns, but became a starter and scoring threat in New Orleans. In fact, Lopez has averaged 11.4 points and 5.5 rebounds since his trade to New Orleans. Miller and Dyson never played for the Suns.

3. Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic to the Toronto Raptors for Jarrett Jack, David Andersen, and Marcus Banks

Dell Demps showed great foresight when he executed this trade for New Orleans. Demps had to know that Chris Paul would not re-sign with the Hornets. So this trade gave the Hornets a capable backup to Paul in a playoff season and a solid starter the following year. Bayless played well for the Raptors, but Stojakovic was a non-factor in Toronto.

2. Quincy Pondexter to the Memphis Grizzlies for Greivis Vasquez

The top two trades for Dell Demps stand far above the rest. I don't know if Demps anticipated that Vasquez would be this good in his second season after the trade, but it certainly looks like New Orleans now has its PG of the future. Vasquez could win the 2013 Most Improved Player Award. Pondexter has only started nine games since the trade.

1. Gustavo Ayon to the Orlando Magic for Ryan Anderson

The Magic clearly didn't want to spend the kind of money Ryan Anderson commanded after his breakout 2011-12 season. But this trade was still a steal for the Hornets. Demps acquired the NBA leader in made three-pointers for a backup C. Ayon has started three games for the Magic since being traded and he's averaged 3.3 points per game.

Endnote

The infamous Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Clippers was really more of a David Stern trade than a Dell Demps trade. Therefore, it doesn't truly belong in this list of Demps' trades.

Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. Patrick has followed the Hornets since they moved to New Orleans and has covered the team since 2010. He was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.

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