The immediate reaction from Hornets fans following the news that they dealt Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and the draft rights to DeVon Hardin isn’t pretty.
“What little faith I did have that the Hornets could compete for a championship this season?,” asks Niall Doherty of Hornets247. “It’s dead and gone.”
And even some of our Dimemag.com readers are pretty pissed.
“I hate this with a passion,” writes ticktock6. “CP is gonna be mad. D West said in the paper today that he’d be mad too if they traded Tyson. So, to sum up, you pissed off your two best players. Way to go, cheapskates.”
New Orleans management definitely needs to keep CP3 as happy as possible, but I really don’t see how this trade is so bad for the Hornets. I’ve watched New Orleans about 15 times this year, and I haven’t seen Tyson Chandler do anything. He’s been horrible. Not mediocre, not decent. Horrible. In December, Dwight Howard chewed him up and spit him out – Chandler finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds in less than 25 minutes. At the beginning of January, he put up 7 points, 4 boards, and 3 turnovers in less than 25 minutes against Portland. He’s getting paid almost $12 million, and he only mustered double-digits 16 times this season. That’s bad.
For about half that price, there’s no doubt that Chris Wilcox can do pretty much the same thing. In fact, I think that Wilcox plays harder than Chandler does, and even if he’s not as good a shot-blocker, he might be a better post defender. If Chris Paul can work his magic as a leader, and bring Wilcox along as a real contributor on this team, this will prove to be a good business and a good basketball move.
The CP-to-Chandler alley-oop isn’t going to hurt much because it hasn’t been there at all this year. I think that’s partly Chandler’s fault, and partly Byron Scott‘s fault for not finding new, creative ways to take advantage of CP’s sensational passing skill.
But with Wilcox on board, there’s no reason that he can’t put up numbers better than the 8 points and 8 boards that Tyson tallied. The biggest question is whether he can get up and block a shot per game. Chandler was only swatting 1.4 per night, which isn’t a huge loss.
Source: True Hoop