Draft History
2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
21. Darren Collison 27. Darrell Arthur 13. Julian Wright 12. Hilton Armstrong 4. Chris Paul
43. Adam Haluska 15. Cedric Simmons 33. Brandon Bass
43. Marcus Vinicius

100.2 (17th)

102.7 (20th)

Under contract
G: Darren Collison
C: Aaron Gray
C: Emeka Okafor
G: Chris Paul
F: Morris Peterson
F: James Posey
G: Marcus Thornton
F: David West
F: Julian Wright

Free agents
F: Ike Diogu (Unrestricted)
C: Aaron Gray (Restricted)
C: Sean Marks (Unrestricted)
F: Darius Songaila (Unrestricted - ETO)
F: Peja Stojakovic (Unrestricted - ETO)

Areas of strength:
It starts with the point guard position, where Paul's season of being on the shelf much of the time allowed rookie Darren Collison to shine while proving he could both score and run the offense. Power forward David West still has that All-Star talent lurking inside him to be re-tapped by the new coach.

Needs work:
Defense. Defense. Defense. If defensive guru Tom Thibodeau is the choice as coach, he needs to bring a tourniquet. After last summer's celebrated deal that sent Tyson Gay to Charlotte for Okafor, the Hornet find themselves still in need of a center who can be a consistent low post scoring presence and also defend the basket. The former defensive standout Okafor took a huge step backward in that area last season.

Two Stats That Matter:
-- Number of games missed last season by All-Star Chris Paul.

48.3 -- Only the Golden State Warriors allowed their foes to score at a higher clip than the Hornets.

The Way to Go:
Beyond the obvious of keeping Paul healthy and on the court for the full season, they need to add the pieces to get this team back into the Western Conference playoff picture quickly so that CP3 is happy to stay in New Orleans for the long run. They could try (desperately) to get someone to bite on what's left of Okafor's big contract and look to add a big man in the draft. With Peja Stojakovic and Morris Peterson long in the tooth, there is also a need to get a wing scorer.