With Chris Kaman going to New Orleans in the Chris Paul deal, the Hornets find themselves with two very good defensive starting centers, a very weak group of forwards, and no one to run the point. Though Eric Bledsoe would have been a better building block for the Hornets, I think that they accepted Chris Kaman either as a tradable asset or as a replacement for Emeka Okafor.
As we all know, acquiring a starting-caliber center is a very difficult thing to do. At present, the Celtics have a few assets that many of us have identified as tradable- the expiring contract of a possibly serviceable Jermaine O'neal, young combo guard Avery Bradley, and of course the highly-valued (or is he worthless?) Jeff Green. MIx that up with two rookies that we are trying to get excited about and one Rajon Rondo who we apparently would just love to move in a 3 team trade that brings us back a new PG with some shooting ability.
On paper, here's one deal that works:
Jeff Green and Jermaine O'Neal straight up for either Kaman or Okafor.
Does Boston like this deal? If we think O'Neal has sneaky value and is going to be able to play significant minutes this season, then we don't do a deal like that. Otherwise, I see no reason why we wouldn't. The greatest single improvement we could make this off season would be to acquire a reliable center who plays strong defense, rebounds well, and can score a little bit. That describes both Okafor and Kaman.
Does NO like this deal? Watching how the Chris Paul situation played out, they will probably hold out for more. That said, this deal works for them. Green would be a starter at either forward position for New Orleans, and trading Kaman's expiring for O'Neal's expiring is nothing but a $5 million savings in the long run. Alternatively, if they want to get out of Okafor's contract and extend Kaman, this gives them the flexibility to do so and furnishes them with a backup.
If NO is intrigued by Green at all, I'm guess that they would ask for Bradley to be added. My initial reaction is "too much," because I have somehow convinced myself that if Avery Bradley had some playing time and a duffle bag full of guns he would basically be Delonte West. I'm a homer, though. Avery Bradley might be worthless.
What do you guys think? Do you think that the new Hornets give us a move for a starting center?