The addition of draft pick Chris Paul resulted in the team competing for a playoff spot. In January and February, the club played winning basketball despite losing Chris Andersen to a two year suspension for illegal drugs. Chris Paul showed the poise and play making skills of a veteran finishing second in steals and seventh in assists as he posted a terrific 3.34 assist to turnover ratio, while leading all rookies with 16.1 ppg.
On March 8 the Hornets returned to New Orleans with a near sell out crowd on hand to watch the Hornets lose to the Los Angeles Lakers 113-107. In March, the Hornets went into a tail spin winning just 3 of 14 games. The Hornets who played 6 of their last 12 home games in New Orleans would go on to finish in 4th place in their division with a 38-44 record. Chris Paul was named Rookie of the Year.