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The Trade Deadline Approaches for the Hornets; An Open Letter to Rich Cho

Dear Mr. Cho,

I would like to plead my argument for who I believe we need to be pursuing before the Trade Deadline reaches us on Thursday at 3PM.  Last Season, we had a backup point guard that could play PG or SG.  He could fill in for Kemba or play alongside him.  The end result was an average stat line of 11.7 PPG, 3.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, and 0.7 steals.  Jeremy Lin had some big games for us, and would also have those games where shots wouldn’t fall for him.  That’s OK though.  Players can’t always be “on”, and when you come off the bench, sometimes there’s “off” games.  While in Charlotte, Lin was also playing through a pretty bad ankle sprain.  Throwing up the averages mentioned was exactly what we needed from him, with the occasional nights where Lin-sanity would peek out.

Flash forward to this season and our need for a backup point guard.  We brought Ramon Sessions back into the organization.  Unfortunately, his game does not match the intensity that Lin’s did.  At the beginning of the season I tried real hard to convince myself that Sessions would fill the need we had.  I tried to convince myself that he would be consistent and do what we needed him to do.  Unfortunately, Sessions has done as terrible as I expected him to do.  He’s averaging 6.2 PPG, 2.6 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 0.1 blocks, and .05 steals.  The only number he beats Lin in is average turnovers.  Lin was at 1.9 and Sessions is at 0.9.  Sessions is also out, waiting on his repaired meniscus to repair.  In his absence, Brian Roberts is being used as the backup PG.  It pains me to even share his averages this season, but I will.  Those averages are 2.6 PPG, 1.2 assists, 0.8 rebounds, 0.0blocks, and 0.1 steals.  He’s also averaging 0.5 turnovers.  The bottom line is that we need help at backup point guard in a big way.  We have Ray McCallum on 10-day contract #2, and we have yet to see a minute of him on the floor.  For a player averaging 18.2 PPG, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, and 2.4 steals with 2.9 turnovers, I think I’d be more than willing to give the guy a shot.  Even in his NBA season with the most games played, he was averaging 7.4 points, 2.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, and 0.7 steals with 1.3 turnovers.  At worst, I’m moving Brian Roberts and Ray is my 3rd point guard.

I know I haven’t gotten to my suggestion at backup PG, so I will make it now.  If Brandon Knight has fallen so far out of favor in Phoenix, why aren’t we calling them?  Charlotte has proven to be a team to come to in order to get your game back in form.  We were a wonderful place for Josh McRoberts to show his true value.  We were a great place for Jeremy Lin to prove that he could be an NBA starter.  What better place to get Brandon Knight to so that he can show that he is the 19.6 PPG, 5.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 0.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals guy that he was just a season ago?  We need this guy and we need him bad.  Getting Knight in Charlotte is almost as good as getting Lin and Courtney Lee back.  We get a guy who is only 25, who can be a ball handler, can benefit from Batum playing the role of distributor from the shooting guard or small forward position, and can also play alongside Kemba for stretches at a time.  For me it’s a no-brainer and we just need to see what Phoenix wants.  With his contract size, would Knight cost us Marvin Williams?  If so, Frank Kaminsky has been coming into his own as of late, so perhaps Frank becomes the starting PF beside Cody at C.  Maybe Phoenix sends us a pick.  Maybe we send Phoenix a pick.  I just believe we need to do whatever it takes to get Brandon Knight here.

If a move is not made to get a quality backup here in Charlotte for Kemba, many fans are going to see the “non-move” as us throwing up a white flag for the season.  At current, should Kemba go down, we are dead in the water for the rest of the season.  This team is all about locking in young assets on good contracts for the long term.  Brandon Knight, by definition, is your young, talented player that just needs a fresh start on the east coast.  Let the Hornets be his fresh start.  Bring him to Buzz City.

Mr. Cho if you’re reading this, consider this move.  I think it is win-win for both organizations.  I think Phoenix has a glaring need at PF and we have one at backup PG.  I think he fits what the organization needs on the court and off.  The fans want and need a solid move.  This is that move.

Devoted Follower of the Hornets,

Andrew Lail

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