This season has been full of lows and only some very grading on a curve highs. It may be time for changes. With each lackluster performance (ahem, 3rd game of the Suns’ series), it appears time for changes. I wasn’t enamored with the Gentry hire when it happened, and it’s starting to look less and less like a quality hire. I thought the team lacked discipline and adding a coach like Thibs or Jeff Van Gundy seemed like a way to fix that. Alvin Gentry is looking like your bachelor uncle babysitting. He’s likeable and funny, but too lax and seems to have no idea how to manage the kids.
I see a lot of the bad Monty in him — the triangle of death: Tyreke Evans, Alonzo Gee and Omer Asik are very Evans, Al-Farouq Aminu and Greg Stiemsma-like, giving too many minutes to Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson when they are ice cold, not playing your best players (Kendrick Perkins was an unexpected force before his injury, but he can’t get off the bench with a horrendous Asik and inconsistent Alexis Ajinca in front of him. Ish Smith was the early season MVP, but he can’t get a chunk of Norris Cole’s minutes.) and being known as an offensive genius, but not running an offense. We probably can’t fire the coach this early in the season, but we can adjust the roster a bit to help out his eventual replacement.
Charlotte has been sneaky good this year. Jeremy Lin is making a push for 6th man of the year, and Nicloas Batum is returning to form, making Michael Kidd-Gilchrist a little expendable. The Hornets even made Jeremy Lamb a real player. The main weakness they have had for years is consistent outside shooting, maybe we can help. We traded nicknames, now let’s trade offense for defense.
Why the Pelicans do it:
MKG has not been known as an offensive threat in his short NBA career. However, he’s an elite defender with amazing athleticism. He’s made strides in his jumpshot, and is probably a better offensive threat than Alonzo Gee is right now while showing signs of getting better. Also, MKG is a close friend and ex-teammate of Anthony Davis, which should boost AD’s morale a bit. Kidd-Gilchrist likely won’t play this season so this is a clear move for the future. In a SF driven league his defense would be a huge get.
Troy Daniels can provide some shooting to a guard rotation that includes non-shooters Evans, Smith and Cole. He’s a career 40% shooter from deep who is averaging 53% from deep in limited run this season. Daniels has also had some big moments in big games in the past. He was very good in 2013-2014 season as a member of the Rockets making several big shots down the stretch and in the playoffs (again shooting 53% from deep).
Aaron Harrison is just a salary thrown in to make this trade work. He could become a player, but more than likely he hits the waiver wire or gets thrown into another trade.
Why the Hornets do it:
Because the Nic Batum trade has been a home run. Charlotte has a record of 15-11 and have played only 17 of those games with Al Jefferson and none of them with MKG. Batum gives them that perimeter defender they need, while Ryan Anderson can add more pop to their offense. Anderson’s spacing will also open the floor more for Kemba Walker to probe.
They also get some defensive reinforcements from Dante Cunningham, who may be a huge asset to the Hornets if he can replicate his recent performance against Lebron for Charlotte consistently.