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Hornets Interested in Lakers' Shannon Brown, Wizards' Nick Young

LA to NO-LA?*

*double-pun, booyakasha
LA to NO-LA?* *double-pun, booyakasha

The New Orleans Hornets are interested in pursuing Los Angeles Laker swingman Shannon Brown and Washington Wizard guard Nick Young, Jimmy Smith reported yesterday for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Young is a restricted free agent, meaning the Wizards have the right to match any offer from another team that Young agrees to. It's tough to put a price on free agents, especially in this post-CBA and pre-shortened season free agency season, but keep in mind that Young is a player that can create his own shot, scored over 17 points per game last year for the Wizards, and is ostensibly entering the prime of his career. Even if you believe that his point/game overvalues him, it is a statistic GMs haven't hesitated to pay for throughout the past decade. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to see a team with cap space offer him an annual salary starting above the mid-level mark (which is likely the most money the Hornets can offer him).

The Times-Pic reports that Shannon Brown's rights are owned by the Lakers. However, this isn't true. Brown terminated the final year of his contract on July 1st, 2011, making him an unrestricted free agent. This means that if Brown comes to terms with another team, the Lakers don't have the opportunity to match the deal and retain him like the Wizards do with Brown.

Brown is the same age as Young, less of a scoring threat, but almost certainly the better defender.

The Hornets cap situation is as follows - if they bring David West or Carl Landry back, the most they can offer either Brown or Young is the midlevel exception (expected to be $5M/year). The team currently stands $13M below the cap. Re-signing West or Landry will definitely add around $10M to that figure, leaving around a $3M deficit. Let's say the team re-signs David West for example. They would then be allowed to exceed the cap only through using one of the exceptions (midlevel, or veteran's minimum) or by re-signing one of their own Birds-right players (ie, Landry).

So keeping the cap situation in mind, who do you think would be more worthy of a midlevel exception offer from the Hornets, Young or Brown? Neither is both a perfectly acceptable answer here and probably mine.