NBA.com lists Hornets 11th in summer power rankings

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

A few hours after his trade to the Los Angeles Clippers was announced, Rasual Butler used his Twitter page to comment about the deal. Butler has frequently updated his Twitter account throughout the summer months, after launching it late in the 2008-09 regular season.

“I am excited about Being a clipper!” the 6-foot-7 shooting guard wrote earlier this evening. “Thanks N.O. for all the Support u guys gave me! Thank u to all those who have welcomed me to L.A.!!!

“Its been a long day for me!” the La Salle University and Philadelphia product also wrote. “I was traded to the clippers today! one chapter ends and another begins! gonna MiSS the Hornets!”

The deal provides New Orleans with a future conditional second-round pick. It also creates a potentially intriguing situation at shooting guard for the Hornets. Butler started the final 73 games of the regular season and all five playoff contests, supplanting the 2007-08 starter, Morris Peterson.

Hornets general manager Jeff Bower mentioned in a press release that one side effect of today’s move was that it will open up opportunities for wing players including Peterson, Julian Wright and rookie second-round draft pick Marcus Thornton. Will Peterson regain his foothold as the first-string two guard? How much of an impact will Thornton be able to make as a first-year pro, after a stellar summer league? Will Wright be able to capitalize on more minutes being available? All of these questions may start to be answered in late September when training camp opens. But as Bower has said repeatedly in recent weeks, the Hornets are still exploring roster moves.