Trade: Hornets, Raptors Agree to Five-Player Deal
The deal, which has yet to be finalized, will send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to the Raptors, with Jack, guard Marcus Banks and forward David Anderson heading for the Bayou. Because Bayless was recently acquired by New Orleans and can't be moved with other players until Dec. 24, the teams, according to the source, will be trading Bayless for Anderson and Stojakovic for Jack and Banks. And while Stojakovic is certainly the bigger name in the deal, Jack's skill set combined with his relationship with Paul shouldn't be discounted (nor should the financial factors, but more on that later).
Their friendship began on the AAU circuit and extended to their Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry in college, a fact that first-year Hornets general manager Dell Demps surely hopes can play a small role in the big challenge he continues to handle. After a summer in which Paul's frustration level with the organization left many wondering if he would force his way out via trade, Demps has been determined to show Paul that he is, in fact, committed to winning.
Surrounding him with players he believes in, of course, is a significant part of that approach. Paul can opt out of his contract after next season, as he has a player option worth $17.7 million for the 2012-13 campaign.
Demps acquired small forward Trevor Ariza in early August, a move that was enthusiastically endorsed by Paul. Then in late October, he gave Portland a future first-round pick for Bayless, followed by today's action. Combined with the Hornets' 10-1 start that is the most powerful form of persuasion as it pertains to Paul, New Orleans is clearly determined not to lose its star point guard.
The Raptors also get the three-time All-Star in Stojakovic whose expiring contract (worth $14.2 million) could still be useful leading up to the February trade deadline. On the financial front, the deal appears to get the Hornets under the luxury tax for this season and could thus lead to more moves. Jack is averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 assists in 13 starts this season, although he is shooting a career-low 39.3 percent overall and just 16.7 percent from three-point range (4 of 24).
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