COMMENTARY | Every NBA general manager has some hits and misses. New Orleans Hornets GM Dell Demps is no exception. Hornets' fans have questioned Demps trading Jarrett Jack, drafting Austin Rivers, and signing Eric Gordon. But no one can question the brilliance of Dell Demps bringing Ryan Anderson to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade for Gustavo Ayon.
As the 2012 NBA Most Improved Player, Ryan Anderson figured to give the Hornets what they've been missing since the days of the Peja heads at the New Orleans Arena. Anderson is a matchup nightmare as both a deadly outside shooter and a solid rebounder. There was just one thing about the Anderson trade that gave me pause. He plays the same position (power forward) as Anthony Davis.
The Hornets' rookie phenom is such a great athlete that he can play PF or C. But when New Orleans also brought in C Robin Lopez, it looked like Demps had three starters for two positions. When all three have been healthy this season, Ryan Anderson has been the odd man out. It just seems weird to me that Anderson is talented enough to start for just about every NBA team, but he can't start for the 12-26 Hornets.
This odd situation makes me wonder if trading Ayon for Anderson was such a great deal that Demps couldn't pass it up even if the Hornets had other plans at PF. Many times, a GM will bring in a player simply to use as trade bait for the player he really wants. And with Anthony Davis seeing rookie minutes and having struggles from time to time this season, Anderson would still get solid playing time.
Earlier this season, the Hornets were rumored to be in trade discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the proposed trade of Ryan Anderson for Pau Gasol was so bad for New Orleans there was no way that deal would ever be consummated.
Before the season, I believe that all signs pointed toward a Ryan Anderson trade at some point. However, Anderson, Davis, and Lopez have all been outstanding for New Orleans. If Monty Williams is serious about making the Hornets contenders in a couple of years, then he'll have to continue to be creative with lineups and rotations to accommodate these players.
If the Hornets don't trade Anderson, then he has to start next year. This precipitates moving Davis to C, which the Hornets don't want to do. But Anthony Davis can still get significant minutes at PF when Anderson is resting, injured, or in foul trouble. Robin Lopez would play C in these rotations as a major bench contributor.
There's no telling what Dell Demps has in mind for the 2013-14 New Orleans Hornets. But unlike how I felt three months ago, I now believe Ryan Anderson will stay in New Orleans and he will not get traded.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick 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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