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Hornets Could Shop 10th Pick As Means Of Clearing Cap Space


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Posted June 09, 2012 - 12:55 AM

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By John Reid, The Times Picayune

New Orleans Hornets General Manager Dell Demps said they are going to explore all their options regarding their 10th overall pick in the June 28 NBA draft.

And he didn't rule out the possiblity they could consider trading the pick.

``Yes, we will if it makes sense,'' Demps said. ``There’s been some teams that have put young guys around a top pick. Some of the other teams have put veterans around the pick. Some have been successful both ways. I think we’re just going to look at what is going to be the best for our situation.''

The Hornets could try to explore a deal that would include trading either center Emeka Okafor or small forward Trevor Ariza, along with the 10th overall pick, in an effort to clear up more salary cap space to improve the roster.

While Okafor is owed $28 million over the next two seasons, Ariza appeared to be unhappy toward the end of the season when Coach Monty Williams demoted him to the bench in favor of second-year player Al Farouq Aminu.

Ariza is owed $7.2 million next season and he has a $7.7 million player option for the 2013-14 season that he is likely to exercise because he's not likely to draw that kind of salary as a free agent.

Despite trade speculation, the Hornets appear to be at full-go toward evaluating prospects. Demps and his staff are in Chicago today for the draft combine. Earlier this week they worked out nine draft prospects at the Alario Center.

``We obviously want to get the best player and someone who can fit into our system and to our culture and somebody we think we can build around for the long term,'' Demps said.


http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2012/06/new_orleans_new_orleans_hornet.html




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