AP sources: Hornets plan to become Pelicans

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013
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Shinn sold the Hornets to the NBA in December 2010, and the league spent more than a year looking for a buyer who would keep the team in New Orleans long term.

Last April, Benson, who also has owned the NFL's New Orleans Saints since 1985, agreed to purchase the club for $338 million. As part of the purchase, he agreed to a lease of the state-owned New Orleans Arena through 2024, ending several years of speculation that the club would be moved again to another city seeking an NBA franchise.

The Hornets were in San Antonio on Wednesday night to play the Spurs, heading into the game with a promising stint of seven victories in their past nine games, but still near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The recent increase in winning has coincided with the return of high-scoring guard Eric Gordon from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of the first two months of the season.

Since Benson took over the club, the contracts of general manager Dell Demps and head coach Monty Williams have been extended, and the team has seen an influx of new, young talent including first overall draft choice Anthony Davis and 10th overall pick Austin Rivers.

Now the hope is that the club's young nucleus will turn New Orleans into an NBA contender in the years to come, and do so with a new look and new name which speak to the regions fans.