The 2011 NBA Draft took place on Thursday night and the New Orleans Hornets went into the evening with one lone draft pick, and it wasn’t even in the first round. With the 45th overall pick in the draft, the Hornets ended up selecting no-one as they actually sold it for cash.
Upon selling the pick, the Hornets then chose senior center Josh Harrellson from Kentucky for the Knicks. New Orleans will receive cash considerations in the deal worth an estimated $750,000.
Unlike the NFL Draft, the NBA Draft doesn’t announce trades even if the information is known. The teams merely pick where they are supposed to but essentially they are picking for the team with which they made the trade. In this case, the Hornets picked Harrellson for the Knicks.
“We had a number of guys ont he board we thought could help us when those guys weren’t available anymore, we decided to trade the pick,” General Manager Dell Demps said.
What this means in a nutshell is that the Hornets are determined to improve their team for the next season through free agency.
“In the second round, there were a number of guys we targeted and when we could not get those guys, we decided to trade the pick,” Demps continued. “We do have roster spots available, but we didn’t want to pick someone just to be picking. We had a group of guys we were hoping would be there.”
“The money that we did acquire will be used strictly to make the team better. I thought we were going to get someone. But we’ll be ready to get back to work and put the team together.”
Talk over the past couple days was that the Hornets may try to trade back into the first round, but Demps simply said that it wasn’t meant to be. If the Hornets are looking to be contenders in the West next season then their main focus has to be finding good free agents and working on keeping David West in New Orleans.
If West decides to opt out of the last year of his contract and leave the team, not only could it spell disaster for the 2011/2012 season but beyond as well. Many don’t feel as if Chris Paul would end up sticking around were the team to allow West to leave.
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