The New Orleans Hornets traded their first-round draft choice, the 17th overall, to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday for third-year shooting guard Courtney Alexander, sources said.
The Hornets, with just one pick in Wednesday night’s draft, will get an experienced two guard in Alexander, who last year averaged 9.8 points in 56 games for the Wizards.
Alexander, 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, is entering his third season in the NBA. He was the 13th overall pick in the 2000 draft by the Orlando Magic, who traded his rights to the Dallas Mavericks for a future first-round choice and cash. The Mavericks traded Alexander to the Wizards on Feb. 22, 2001 as part of an eight-player deal.
His playing time this past season was curtailed after the return of guard Michael Jordan and sources in Washington said Alexander had a strained relationship with Wizards coach Doug Collins. Insiders described Alexander as “an enigma with special talent.”
Alexander started 28 games last season, hitting 47 percent from the field and had a career-high 32-point performance on March 3 against the Magic.
Alexander’s acquisition gives the Hornets what they’d sought in the draft, a bigger off guard who’s an offensive threat as well as possessing the ability to play defense.
Currently the Hornets’ two-guard spot is filled by 6-1, 203-pound David Wesley, who averaged 14 points a game for the Hornets last season.
“We need a little more shooting especially at that two spot,” Hornets coach Paul Silas said, “somebody who can knock it down with some size so he can guard the bigger twos. David does a great job, but we need help there.”
Great move for both teams. The Hornets really needed a good backup guard. Washington will have a late lottery pick and a mid first rounder. The Wizards were stacked at SG anyway, with Hubert Davis, Rip, MJ, and Alexander. One of them had to go.