Thursday , Jun , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets 2006 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets improved 20 wins
this past season. They finished 38-44 compared to their brutal 18-64 record
during the 2004-05 campaign.

Rookie of the Year Chris Paul was awesome, as the Wake Forest product averaged
16.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and a team-best 7.8 assists. Paul was drafted with
the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He is the cornerstone of the
franchise and the player that team management will build around

David West shocked everyone with his fantastic season. The 6-8 forward led the
team in scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg). The Hornets need to
decide if this season was a fluke or not and if they want to invest a lot of
money in the future to keep West in the fold.

Desmond Mason and veteran P.J. Brown are solid up front, while Speedy Claxton
and Kirk Snyder are decent guards. Guard J.R. Smith is unhappy and will
probably be moved during the offseason.

The Hornets own the 12th and 15th overall picks and should be able to get some
help for their frontcourt with those picks. Memphis’ Rodney Carney and
Cedric Simmons of North Carolina State could be on the Hornets radar, while
center Hilton Armstrong of Connecticut may also be intriguing to the Hornets.

Key Player(s): P.J. Brown (Forward), Speedy Claxton (Guard), Desmond Mason
(Forward), Chris Paul (Guard), J.R. Smith (Guard), Kirk Snyder (Guard), David
West (Forward).

Team Needs: Athleticism, size, physical presence inside and depth.

Draft picks: 1st round (12th overall), 1st round (15th overall) 2nd round
(43rd overall).

NOH