Obviously the big news in New Orleans right now is about Chris Paul heading to the Lakers/Clippers (or not), but the Hornets could be working on securing their backup center, former Pitt star Aaron Gray.
Gray, as I wrote about during the summer, opted out of his $1.1M contract for this season in the hopes of getting more money. Now it appears as if the team could be making another pitch for him.His agent Andy Miller says there's a lot of interest from the Hornets right now:
"Aaron has been very excited about the feedback and interest level in him," Miller said. "For him, it has been an eye-opening kind of experience. (The Hornets) have shown an extraordinary amount of interest in getting him back. I think they value him. He knows that.
"I think that the coaching staff has been very adamant about getting him back and has expressed that to Aaron directly."
It's far from a done deal, though. The Hornets are reportedly signing free agent Brian Butch (who should be familiar to you as a Pitt fan, by the way ... dig deep, friends) so Gray may be expendable.
With all of the fallout from the NBA lockout ending, there's going to be lots of shuffling. It's not even out of the realm of possibility that a lockout could benefit unsigned players such as Gray. With out of shape players, we could see more injuries, making seven-footers even that much more valuable if a few of them get hurt. And with the shortened timeframe to negotiate, teams could be left scrambling trying to add bench players.
Gray should have a good chance on bettering that $1.1M deal. He averaged three points and four rebounds last season in limited action.