Drafting Anthony Davis with the first overall pick ensured New Orleans had a future. That is what the top pick in the draft can do, especially one with unbounded talent like Anthony Davis.
A championship roster takes more than just a superstar building block. It takes the patience of putting the right pieces around him and the coach to lead.
This summer New Orleans got its franchise centerpiece in Davis. It wrapped up (begrudgingly) a budding young star in Eric Gordon. It drafted a potential all-star point guard in Austin Rivers. The Hornets brought in a quality role player that could potentially turn up big in sharp-shooting power forward Ryan Anderson.
Those four players form a fine starting point for a team that looks to come out of the Chris Paul trade. Tom Benson has to like his new investment.
New Orleans may not jump into the Playoff race this year. But it certainly seems like the franchise is well on its way.
Another foundation for the Hornets future was laid this weekend as the Hornets made sure the team's leading voice on the floor remains on their sideline. John Reid of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports the Hornets have wrapped up Monty Williams with a four-year contract extension.
The Hornets gave Williams his first head coaching job after he was one of the rising stars among assistant coaches. He was an assistant coach with Nate McMillan for five years before the Hornets hired him in 2010. His two years of head coaching have netted a 67-81 record, nothing too impressive.
But New Orleans liked what he was able to do with the Hornets in Chris Paul's last year -- a surprise six-game series with the Lakers in the first round, an eventual defeat -- and in the first year without Chris Paul. Williams has a lot of very strong coaching years in front of him, New Orleans clearly wanted to make sure it had him locked down.
Of course, coaches are pretty disposable. This deal is really about Williams' own security.
Williams had only one year remaining on his contract with the Hornets. As much as New Orleans wanted to make sure Williams is the coach for their future, Williams gets the security of having that four year deal -- and the requisite buyouts and guarantees that come with it should things go sour.
Those are secondary concerns for the Hornets right now. Right now, the team is worried about building the franchise from the ground up.
The pillars are being put in place. The Hornets have a strong ownership group in Tom Benson (after a few years under the NBA's stewardship). They have a budding star in Anthony Davis. Now they have a solid head coach to lead the way.
The Hornets have even started laying some bricks. The foundation seems strong at this point.
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