Posted by Ben Golliver.
The biggest chip fell on Wednesday and now the rest of the pieces can finally get put into place.
After nearly a week of trade talks, the New Orleans Hornets moved All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for a package that includes guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and an unprotected 2012 first round draft pick that originally belonged to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that the Hornets inked power forward Carl Landry to a 1-year contract worth $8.75 million.
Landry, 28, was originally acquired by New Orleans in a 2011 trade for guard Marcus Thornton. He stepped into the starting lineup when All-Star forward David West suffered a season-ening knee injury, and averaged 11.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last sesaon.
The deal comes after Landry was linked to a host of NBA teams during the lockout and free agency periods. Original suitors were said to be the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers, with the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets reportedly emerging as players later in the game.
This is a shrewd deal for both sides. Landry's production doesn't really warrant a $8 million plus per year salary, but he was sure to get multi-year offers from other teams that would have provided him a great overall dollar amount. By paying a premium on a 1-year deal, New Orleans fills a critical hole in its frontcourt -- created when West signed a 2-year, $20 million deal with the Indiana Pacers -- while still retaining financial flexibility for next summer's free agent market. As currently constructed, the Hornets should be well under the salary cap next summer and Landry's addition ensures that's the case.