Okay, enough Metallica. (Bobby Brown titles probably would've been more apt). Going into this offseason, there were four guys all (reasonable) Hornets fans had their eyes on. All are small forwards, all are between 6'5" and 6'8", and all are now off the market with different teams. Of course, I'm talking about Kelenna Azubuike, Mickael Pietrus, James Posey, and Josh Childress.
Did we choose correctly?
Josh Childress signs 3 year, 20 million deal with Olympiakos BC (Greece)
It doesn't look like a ton of money, but it is. As ClipperSteve of Clips Nation notes:
"If [JChill's] tax liability is a total of 41%, that means his take home is 59% of what he makes. $6.67M divided by .59 equals $11.3M. He’d have to make over $11M per season in an NBA contract with the Hawks to make the equivalent of his reported Greek contract... Brand got more from Philly [but] he’s [still] getting Baron Davis money."
Throw in the fact that there's opt-out clauses after each season and that Olympiakos finished 2nd in its league last year, and this decision makes sense.
On top of all that, the Atlanta Hawks reportedly offered 5 years and $36 million. That's far more than anything the Hornets could've offered Childress. So J-Chill was actually pretty un-obtainable, not like previously thought. Only we we get him is if we unload Mike James' contract and then throw a ridiculous overpayment at him.
Taking on-court production and market value into consideration, not chasing Childress was unequivocally the right move.
Good thing none of our players have ever lived in Greece. Oh wait.
Mickael Pietrus signs 4 year, 25 million deal with Orlando Magic
It's interesting how similar this deal is to Posey's. Both are reportedly 4 year, 25 mil. with performance incentives and contract structure the only likely differences. (I also believe Pietrus has a 3rd year ETO).
At the end of the day, I feel like Posey's terrific DRB% and better individual defense are more valuable than Pietrus' younger age and better ball-handling/shot creation. Plus, Pietrus is a terrible foul shooter. The real sealer is the fouls/36 minutes stat: 5.5 from MP versus just 3.6 for Posey. Many have praised Pietrus' defensive abilities, but he fouls way too much to fit New Orleans' defensive scheme (fewest opp. FT/FG) of last year.
James Posey signs 4 year, 25 million deal with New Orleans
You can read my longer analysis, but to sum it up quickly: we paid too much, but there are certain situations where paying too much is the right move.
Overall, that fourth year still scares me. My justification for it is that we wouldn't have gotten the first three years from him without having to live through the fourth. In a cap-space sense, not a great deal. But purely financially, it makes a little more sense given the Darrell Arthur for 3 million trade.
Kelenna Azubuike signs 3 year, 9 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers of Los Angeles
With Golden State's signing of Mo Evans, Azubuike is "officially" a Clipper. And this deal pains me the most.
He's 24, has shot 20 points better from three than Pietrus or Posey, has DRB% just a shade shy of Posey, fouls less than Posey, has the athleticism to be a better defender than Posey, can actually create his own shot.
Based on the new definition of the offer sheet in the new CBA, New Orleans could've offered up to 3 years, ~16.5 mil., significantly dwarfing the Clips' offer.
It's a definite risk to assume that Azubuike could even be close to the defender Posey is, for at least the next 2-3 years. Practicality says Posey was the more bankable sign. But there will always be that question... what if we had snapped up a cost controlled 'Buke as a bench staple for the next several years?