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GAME: Memphis Grizzlies vs New Orleans Hornets
TIME: 7:00 pm CST
PLACE: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
RECORDS: Memphis (0-0), New Orleans (0-0)

It looked for a long time like it would never arrive but tonight your Memphis Grizzlies take the court against inter-division rival New Orleans at 7:00 pm. Due to the abbreviated nature of the season, and the fact that I have no idea who will be starting for the Hornets tonight, I decided to have a quick discussion with Ryan Schwan of Hornets 247 instead of our typical pre-game report. 

Regular readers of 3 Shades of Blue will remember Ryan as one of the earliest interviews we did on the site. Ryan is a passionate fan of the Hornets despite not living in New Orleans. Ryan lives in Charlotte which was the Hornets original home so when we say he has a long term view on the team we are serious.

3SOB: What are you expecting from the Hornets now that Chris Paul is traded?
Ryan: Hopefully, nothing. There is a lot of optimism now about the trade, but here’s the reality: the Clippers won 30 games last year with Eric Gordon AND Blake Griffin. Unless someone thinks [Trevor] Ariza or [Emeka] Okafor equal Griffin, the Hornets are looking at a season win total in the teens.

3SOB: Who excites you the most among the players acquired?
Ryan: Actually it’s not a player, it’s the Minnesota Draft Pick. I’m not a hateful guy, but I’m going to be rooting against the Timberwolves so. damn. hard. this year. Eric Gordon is nice, but the chance to have two top lottery picks in next year’s draft to put next to him? That’s exciting.

3SOB: What is the plan at PF for the Hornets: Two centers or small ball?
Ryan: I believe that the plan is to sign Carl Landry and Jason Smith. With Landry, it’s still small-ball though.

3SOB: Do you anticipate more moves before the trade deadline?
Ryan: It’s hard to say if there will be any more trades. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Hornets shopping Okafor, Ariza and [Jarrettt] Jack – but there is no urgency to trade right now. They could be dropped anytime this year or next and still fit into the Hornets rebuilding.

3SOB: Which of the rumored to be proposed trades for Chris Paul did you like best?
Ryan: Steph Curry was my favorite target, but Gordon + the Pick trumps him. If the trade to the Lakers had gone through, the Hornets would have won about 60% of their games – maybe more if Demps picked up a solid player with the $5-$6 million he had left – but the Hornets wouldn’t have had any flexibility and that roster was probably already at its ceiling and would be declining in a couple of seasons.

3 Shades of Blue wants to thank Ryan for his time and vision of where the Hornets are headed. With so much confusing rhetoric circling the Hornets franchise these days it is nice to see someone with knowledge of the team and the front office to clarify the vision of the Hornets future.

After the interview was completed it was announced that Carl Landry had resigned with the Hornets on a one year deal worth $9 million. 

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