Hornets Make Trade
Fan favorite Marcus Thornton was traded by the Hornets today to the Kings for power forward Carl Landry. The Louisiana native Thornton is in his second year out of LSU. Carl Landry is a three year veteran from Purdue.
Thornton had this to say to the media after the trade: "I'm a local guy and from the area, but Sacramento will be a good opportunity for me. It is what it is. I'll just have to make the best of the opportunity now. The one thing I will miss are the fans. The fans are great. They were behind me every game. My family would always be there, but mostly the fans are who I'm going to miss. That's really going to be the hard part."
(On his relationship with Coach Monty Williams) "We never had a problem. But it really wasn't a defensive thing, because if you look at all my game, I never let anybody just kill me. I don't know what it was. But now I'm going to Sacramento. Those were his guys he brought in and you've got to respect that."
Williams also commented on their relationship saying, "To me, Marcus and I have had a great relationship since Day One. He's improved in areas that don't show up in the stat sheet. To me, I feel good about that -- him moving forward. There were some defensive lapses, but he wasn't the only one. ... Marcus is a guy who has value around the league and is going to play for a long time."
Monty Williams and GM Dell Demps were looking for more production off the bench, and more depth in the front court.
"Our bench has been one of the worst benches in the league. It puts a lot of pressure on our starters to get leads, maintain leads and try to pull out games," said Williams. "Your bench is vital to your team and it's an area where I've probably failed in rotations and things of that nature to put the right guys on the floor at the right time."
Demps expressed positives for both Thornton and Landry. "This is a trade that benefits both teams as Carl is a player we have looked to acquire for a long time and we hope to be a big part of our long term success," Demps said in a statement Wednesday. "Carl is a high character person that will add a scoring punch to our front court while providing toughness and the ability to make plays. In order to get a good player, we had to give up a good player."
New Orleans has capable scorers off the bench on the wing. Belinelli and Pondexter are not able to score in bunches the way Thornton can, but both players are better defenders. Make no mistake, Marcus will be missed, especially by the Hornet home crowds.
Carl Landry is simply a better fit for the Hornets right now. He was a runaway leader for sixth man of the year last season before his trade from Houston to Sacramento put him in the starting lineup. He can give you instant offense in the paint, and has the length to guard post up power forwards. Landry has decent range for a big as well.
At the end of the day, the Hornets had to get a good bench player in the front court. Playing a San Antonio, or Dallas, or Laker team in the first round would present serious matchup issues on the inside. Teams with tons of size have given the Hornets issues all year. Landry won't make the size issue disappear, but he will certainly help minimize it for New Orleans. He should be in a Hornet uniform Friday night in Minneapolis when the Hornets play the Timberwolves.