Hornets not ruling out Pargo signing

Monday, June 29, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

With New Orleans landing two backcourt players during Thursday’s NBA Draft, the immediate speculation among many fans and media members was that it meant free agent guard Jannero Pargo will not be re-signed this offseason. Not so fast, says Hornets coach Byron Scott.

“We’ve got to sit down and evaluate it, but I don’t think you can have too many good guards,” Scott said, when asked if Pargo may still be brought back to New Orleans. “I know that Jeff (Bower) will talk to (Pargo’s agent) on July 1, when they can really sit down and discuss the situation. But he is definitely not out of the loop.”

The Hornets seem to have a surplus of backcourt players on their roster now, especially at shooting guard, the natural positions of Rasual Butler, Morris Peterson, Devin Brown and draft acquisition Marcus Thornton. But Scott described the abundance of 2’s as a good thing.

“One thing we know about Marcus is that he will make practice better,” Scott said. “Because he will work those guys and make it tough. I’ve always said that competition in practice is always a good thing. Right now I’m not even looking at that we’re overloaded at a certain spot; we’re just trying to get better as a basketball team.”

The Hornets have made it clear since their April 29 elimination that improving and adding depth to the frontcourt reserves was a priority. After obtaining guards in the draft, the search for backup bigs remains at the top of New Orleans’ to-do list.

“We still need a backup who can help cut down on David West’s minutes, a big guy who can play both the 4 and 5 spots,” Scott said. “So the No. 1 priority right now is to start looking at that position and see if we can fill that need as well. We have to address a couple needs in the frontcourt. That’s got to be one of our biggest priorities going into the free-agent market.”

All three of the team’s free agents are frontcourt players, including Sean Marks, Ryan Bowen and Melvin Ely. Scott said it’s possible Marks and Bowen could be re-signed later in the offseason, perhaps contingent upon what other roster moves the Hornets are able to make.

“I think we have to address other areas first,” Scott said when asked about potentially re-signing the team’s unrestricted free agents. “I think we can always go back to Sean (Marks) and Ryan (Bowen) and guys like that, but we have to make sure we overhaul the roster to our liking. It doesn’t mean we have to make major changes. We’ve just got to do some tinkering. But those guys are still on our radar as well.”