LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 17: Carl Landry #24 of the New Orleans Hornets dunks over Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 17, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Hornets won 109-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Carl Landry had a rough contract year, but he hopes to rekindle warm feelings we all felt before 2011.
Few players in their primes have seen their reputations fall in recent years as much as Carl Landry. Once a darling of just about everyone as the Houston Rockets' super-scoring sixth-man power forward, Landry's stock dropped precipitously last season. Landry was lost in a strangely crowded Sacramento Kings frontcourt early in the season, splitting minutes with DeMarcus Cousins, Samuel Dalembert and Jason Thompson; it got so untenable that Landry even spent time at small forward. (That didn't work out so well.) The Kings flipped Landry for Marcus Thornton at the deadline, but Landry wasn't himself with the New Orleans Hornets, either: his foul-drawing and offensive rebounding, too big facets of what make Landry awesome, continued to disappoint.
Landry eventually became the starter for New Orleans once David West went down, and he was decent in a playoff series against the L.A. Lakers. But the aura of Landry is diminished, and instead of joining the upper tier of 2011 free agents, the power forward is jockeying with Kris Humphries for position.
Landry is a poor rebounder -- he'd be a poor rebounder even if he played small forward. As a power forward, he's almost untenable unless you have a killer rebounding center or small forward. The other side of that coin is that he's skilled like precious few PFs; those fours that can move and shoot like Landry tend to make eight figures. Teams will have to decide whether they can afford to accept the bad rebounding to get the scoring potential.
On defense, Landry is an hombre who stands in for charges and generally knows where to be. He's undersized, but freakishly strong and quite athletic. He's not a stopper by any means, but he won't be a drain on that end.
The Pacers, who are chasing West, have been interested in Landry. The Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs seem like a solid potential fits as well, and don't rule out Houston bringing him back.