This whole time, Morey has said that Yao would elevate the team to defensive respectability and his reasoning was sound. He would provide the interior presence to at least stop the layup line that we've seen so often. Well, so what does the team do now?
The team was built to stay a float without Yao but the defensive issues are obvious. Now that we know he isn't going to be around, what can the team do to stop the bleeding? AB, Martin, Scola and even Hayes are liabilities and placing them all together can outscore some weaker opponents but against the very best the team has and will struggle.
Should we consider starting Hill, who can at least make it a bit more difficult for teams in the paint? Should the team consider making Martin or AB a 6th man and mixing some of the better defensive players in the starting lineup? Patterson and Williams have defensive back grounds, although not shot blockers, so do they get playing time?
I had lost faith in Yao long term but did expect to see him some time in Jan and Feb to be evaluated. If he didn't work out then Morey could go out and get a big. So does he do that now and begin the search or will it be to late by the time he finds someone?
“We were all told by the league he was a tradeable player, and now they’re saying that Dell doesn’t have the authority to make the trade?” said an NBA executive who had periodic talks with New Orleans throughout the process. “Now they’re saying that Dell is an idiot, that he can’t do his job. [Expletive] this whole thing. David’s drunk on power, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the players, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the hundreds of hours the teams put in to make that deal"