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Draft Grades

John Hollinger, ESPN

"Meanwhile, this was a heck of a trade for New Orleans. They still got two first-round picks out of it, choosing Craig Brackins and Quincy Pondexter, and dumping Peterson takes all the pressure off them to trade one of their stars to get under the luxury tax -- depending on where the new cap number comes in, the Hornets may be able to slip under just by paying somebody to take Darius Songaila at the trade deadline. For the short term, at least, we can probably put those Chris Paul conversations to bed."

Chad Ford, ESPN:

"The Hornets traded the 11th pick and Morris Peterson to the Thunder for the 21st and 26th picks in a move that might become critical to keeping superstar point guard Chris Paul. New Orleans was over the luxury-tax line and had a mandate to get under. Moving Peterson and the pick will save it nearly $7 million next season, plus the tax, enough to relieve the pressure to trade a player like Paul orDarren Collison.


With their two picks, the Hornets also did a good job. Brackins is a versatile forward who can score inside and outside. Pondexter is a big-time athlete who reminds me a little of Desmond Mason. Both could play important rotation roles for the Hornets next season."

Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated:

Grade: B. There were a few "here we go again" moments when the Hornets traded the rights to Cole Aldrich (along with Morris Peterson's contract) to Oklahoma City for two late first-round picks. But New Orleans landed two potential quality role players in power forward Craig Brackins, a solid inside-out player, and Quincy Pondexter, a terrific athlete who developed into a capable scorer in four years at Washington. Worth Aldrich? Yes, and possibly more.

Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo! Sports:


Grade: B. So, the Hornets not only saved themselves a heap of money by trading Morris Peterson(notes) and heading under the luxury tax threshold, they added two first-round prospects in the process. I know next-to-nothing about Brackins and Pondexter, but given Jeff Bower's draft history, and the sting of Peterson's contract, I'm inclined to call this one of the best nights of the bunch.