Carroll brings shooting, backcourt depth

By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

With Robin Lopez and Al-Farouq Aminu showing considerable improvement early in 2012-13, along with the as-advertised contributions of Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis and Jason Smith, the New Orleans Hornets have a “problem” many NBA teams would love to have: not enough minutes available for all of their capable frontcourt players. 

Over the first two weeks of the season, reserve forwards Lance Thomas and Hakim Warrick have played a combined total of just 20 minutes, after Thomas had filled a relatively significant role last season.

The Hornets’ backcourt hasn’t had the same luxury of being overloaded with depth, however, partly due to Eric Gordon being sidelined by injury. New Orleans addressed some of its roster balance situation Tuesday afternoon when it traded Warrick to the Charlotte Bobcats, in exchange for shooting guard Matt Carroll.

Carroll, 32, becomes the Hornets’ senior member of the roster, at roughly two weeks older than Roger Mason. Carroll is a 10-year NBA veteran, having played two separate stints for the Bobcats since their inaugural 2004-05 season. Carroll signed a six-year free-agent contract with Charlotte in the summer of 2007.

The Notre Dame product’s biggest strength throughout his pro career has been perimeter shooting, though he slumped in 2011-12 from three-point range at just 18.6 percent. He’s a career 38.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc, including topping the 40 percent plateau in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Like Warrick, Carroll has been seldom used during the early portion of the schedule, logging just six minutes in one appearance, a blowout loss at Dallas on Nov. 3.