Only two days until the Hornets open the 2010-11 regular season when they host the Milwaukee Bucks. And the off-season moves continued for the Hornets as they traded a future conditional first round draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for third year PG Jerryd Bayless. From the Hornets perspective, they get a major upgrade at the backup point guard position with Bayless. Before this trade the backup PG position was a mess. An overrated Willie Green? An unproven Mustafa Shakur? A D-Leaguer in Curtis Jerrells? Bayless is a young talented quick scoring point guard. I’ll take that anyday over those other players.
But was Bayless worth a future first round pick? Despite the talent, Bayless has never lived up to it. Bayless was the 11th overall pick by the Indiana Pacers in the 2008 draft before being traded to the Blazers. In his first season with Portland, Bayless appeared in 53 games averaging around 12 minutes a game. His stats were 4.3 ppg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 rpg, 36.5 FG%, 25.9 FG% from 3, and 80.3 FT%. Nothing that stands out, but it was only his rookie year. During his second season as a pro, Bayless averaged 17.5 mpg, 8.5 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.6 rpg, 41.4 FG%, 31.5% from 3, and 83.1 FT%. As you can see he did improve in every category in his second year, including starting 11 games in his 74 games played last year. The troubling stat for Bayless is that he averages for his career 1.18 turnovers a game. Considering he does not play a lot of minutes a game, that is something Bayless must improve on.
Bayless is only in his third year and there is still time for development, and his new coach Monty Williams likes him a lot from his days in Portland, but Bayless must improve his defense and turnovers if he wants to become a legitimate PG in the NBA. Nevertheless I like this trade for Bayless. He gives us a must needed boost off the bench along with Marcus Thornton and Peja. Lets hope Bayless can turn into the player Coach Monty sees in him because he may be the key for success for the Hornets, especially if something awful happens such as Chris Paul getting hurt or god forbid gets traded.
With only a couple days to the regular season it is time to get excited for the Hornets and the new group of players joining the team. This could be a magical year for the Hornets or a forgettable one, but that is what makes sports and the NBA so great. So here is to a new season and a new hope. The time is now Hornets, let’s do it!
About the Author
Written by Andrew Tressler