Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Cuban would support Seattle return

NEW YORK -- Mark Cuban always holds court with the media when his Mavericks make their annual visit to Madison Square Garden. On Sunday, he said he'd support Seattle's efforts to return to the NBA.

"As long as it’s not an expansion team, yes," Cuban said. "... I voted against the move because I thought it was wrong to leave Seattle. I’d be all for a team going back to Seattle. But it would have to be a team that moves. I’d be against any type of expansion."

Plans for a $490 million arena aimed at attracting an NBA and NHL team to Seattle were unveiled this week, with a $290 million commitment from investors led by Seattle native and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen. The balance of the funds would come from tax revenues generated by the building and rent paid by the teams, according to the plan.

But with the NBA already in a state of overexpansion, the irony for Seattle is that its path back to the NBA would have to entail doing what Oklahoma City did to Seattle in 2008: luring a team from somewhere else. The likely suspects are Sacramento and New Orleans, where both NBA teams are facing uncertain arena situations.

"Teams go in cycles," Cuban said. "When you're at the top of the cycle, like Sacramento when they were winning, they were selling out every game and it was one of the hardest places to play. But it’s really how the market supports the team when you suck."

A vote by the Sacramento City Council is expected by the end of the month on a funding plan for a new downtown arena for the Kings. Sources say the NBA has narrowed its list of potential buyers for the league-owned Hornets to a handful of groups -- possibly two -- that would keep the team in Louisiana. The announcement of a purchase agreement could come soon after All-Star weekend, pending the resolution of talks between the league, Gov. Bobby Jindal's office and the Louisiana legislature on a new arena lease.

"We continue to work with the Hornets to reach a long-term leasing agreement," Frank Collins, Jindal's press secretary, said in a statement provided to CBSSports.com.

Cuban also weighed in on the new collective bargaining agreement, which he helped negotiate as a member of the owners' labor relations committee. Asked when it will be known whether the owners got a good deal or a bad deal, Cuban said, "We'll find out over the next three or four years. We’ll see what happens when we have a chance to opt out of it in six years.

Asked what criteria should be used to evaluate the new CBA, Cuban said, "Are all the teams making money? ... If all the teams have a chance to compete, then you have a better chance of making money. If you have a better chance of retaining your star players, you have a better chance of making money. So they all go hand in hand."
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:06 pm
 

Source: Howard hasn't told Magic what he wants

Dwight Howard has not yet indicated to Orlando management whether he wants to stay with the Magic, request a trade or play out the season and become a free agent, a person directly involved in the organization's planning told CBSSports.com Tuesday.

"Training camp opens the door to everything," said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I think that will happen very, very soon."

The soap opera of whether Howard stays in Orlando or seeks a trade to the Lakers already has begun in full force, however, and there already has been a casualty. Team executives were apprised via email Tuesday morning that CEO Bob Vander Weide has stepped down and will be replaced by team president Alex Martins. In replacing Vander Weide, 53, whose departure is being characterized as a retirement, Martin's first order of business will be to represent the Magic on the NBA's Board of Governors, which is scheduled to vote on the new collective bargaining agreement Thursday in an electronic ballot.

UPDATE: Whether Vander Weide's departure has anything to do with the owners' labor relations committee -- of which Vander Weide was a member -- signing off on a deal that could actually expedite Howard's departure from Orlando is a matter worthy of consideration. The Magic scheduled a news conference for Wednesday to address Vander Weide's departure, but Vander Weide admitted Tuesday that he did, in fact, call Howard at 1 a.m. earlier this week after "a couple of glasses of wine" -- a conversation in which the executive reportedly urged the star to stay in Orlando.

The person familiar with the Magic's strategy said Tuesday that, while Howard has yet to verbalize what he wants, the All-Star center has "deep roots here" and has previously expressed that "this is where he'd like to fulfill his career."

"He wants to win," the person said. "That's on his mind intensely."

While Howard has never publicly expressed a desire to leave Orlando, it has been known among people in his inner circle for months that his preference is to play for the Lakers. The only way he's getting to that L.A. team would be via a trade, and the Lakers -- with Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom -- are one of the few teams in the league with enough assets to pull it off.

The new rules set to be approved by the players and owners this week have cut off some of the avenues for superstars looking to leave small markets for big markets -- but some of those rules actually increase the pressure on the home team to make a decision to trade such a player sooner than in the past. The extension Orlando can offer Howard -- same as New Orleans can offer Chris Paul -- falls short of what each could each get as an unrestricted free agent come July 1. And since they can no longer get maximum contract length and raises via a sign-and-trade, their teams don't have that avenue as a fallback option.

"I don't think he knows what he's going to do at this point," the person familiar with the Magic's strategy said. "I'm not sure anybody does. It's impossible to predict."

The overwhelming opinion in central Florida -- which in 1996 saw Shaquille O'Neal flee Orlando to sign with the Lakers as a free agent -- is for Howard to let his intentions be known sooner than later.

"Don't drag us out," the person said. "Tell us what you want, so we can react with facts, not theories and guesses."
Posted on: February 8, 2010 11:13 pm
 

Vince Carter is on the Magic?

Apparently, the Magic have acquired Vince Carter. I hadn't noticed -- until Monday night.

Let's not get too carried away with Carter's incredible display against the Hornets -- 48 points, 34 in the second half, and only three shy of his career high. This is not what the Magic had in mind when they pre-empted Hedo Turkoglu's departure by trading for Carter. They expected what they'd gotten for most of the season until now -- a former All-Star who is willing to settle into a secondary role behind Dwight Howard.

But you have to believe it was nice for Stan Van Gundy to witness this unexpected development in the Magic's 123-117 victory over New Orleans. It won't happen often, but when the Magic are slogging their way through the playoffs in a few months, getting sick to death of listening to Van Gundy yell at them about defense with that raspy voice of his, at least they'll know this: Vince Carter is still capable of taking over a game. On occasion, he is still unguardable.

Carter had settled into a mostly pedestrian existence in Orlando, deferring to younger teammates with more bounce in their legs. He hadn't been this good all year, by a lot. He hadn't warranted being a Twitter trending topic since before Twitter was invented.

I can confidently say that 48 points will be his season high; he won't do this again. But the fact that he showed that he can is every bit as important. When the Magic play Cleveland, Boston, Atlanta, or whomever else gets in the way come May and June, their opponent will have to defend Carter as though he will do that again.
 
That's why Carter will be better for the Magic in the playoffs than Turkoglu would've been. You saw merely a glimpse of his worth Monday night, and a glimpse is all it takes.




Posted on: January 31, 2010 11:30 pm
 

Paul to have knee surgery, miss at least 1 month

A loss to the Chicago Bulls that didn't need to happen was even more costly than the New Orleans Hornets imagined.

All-Star point guard Chris Paul hurt his left knee chasing a needless court-length pass by David West Friday night during a 108-106 overtime loss to the Bulls. As a result, Paul will have the knee scoped and is expected to miss at least a month, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com Sunday night.

More will be known about the severity of a meniscus tear in Paul's left knee once the scope is performed Monday, but it's clear that he will miss the All-Star Game and at least a month of time. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Paul would need surgery.

One person familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com that Paul tweaked the knee Wednesday night in a 123-110 victory at Golden State. On Friday night, the Hornets appeared to have a victory over the Bulls wrapped up when West threw a court-length pass out of Paul's reach in the final seconds of regulation. Paul aggravated the knee, and the Bulls parlayed the turnover into an overtime-forcing basket.

Paul's absence will not only impair the Hornets' quest for a playoff spot, it also will open an All-Star spot for Denver's Chauncey Billups or Golden State's Monta Ellis, two deserving Western Conference guards who were left off the coaches' list of reserves named last week.
Posted on: April 27, 2009 11:51 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2009 11:45 am
 

Sad-sack Hornets exposed (UPDATE)

Yeesh.

I’m pretty sure the CBSSports.com writing staff could’ve lost to the Nuggets by 58.

That’s my last joke, because this is no laughing matter. When a team loses by 58 points in a playoff game, there is no need to rub it in.

Nuggets 121, Hornets 63. The depressing fact of the day is this: Not since the Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks by the same margin in 1956 had an NBA team lost by that many points in a playoff game.

The Hornets kept the charade up as long as they could. Hats off to them. The extent of their precarious state was signaled to the entire league at the trade deadline, when G.M. Jeff Bower tried to unload Tyson Chandler in a rare salary dump for a team that had designs on contending for a championship this season. The trade, of course, was voided over Chandler’s failed physical. Now when the Nuggets finish off the Hornets in the next few days, the process of dismantling what was only a year ago one of the up-and-coming teams in the league will begin anew.

This isn’t about who wins this first-round series, because it is pretty clear by now who is going to do that. It is about the abysmal state of the New Orleans Hornets, who are Exhibit A in the NBA’s lineup of sad-sack franchises.

Their limitations since returning to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans have been well documented. They get by with CYO facilities and a skeleton staff. They put a good basketball product on the floor this season, increased tickets sold by 30 percent over last season, and still are bleeding money like a stuck pig. The basketball and other people working for the Hornets have done amazing things, considering. There just aren’t enough of them. Just aren’t enough dollars in New Orleans to justify the lofty goals this franchise had when it returned from its one-year hiatus in Oklahoma City.

Owner George Shinn is reported to be experiencing financial woes, and he put his disappearing money where his mouth is this week when he told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he’d be “very disappointed” if his team lost in the first round. His answer was about more than competitive juices. It was about dollars. In this economy, the bottom line for small-market teams like the Hornets can be made or broken with lucrative home playoff dates. Get a lot of them, and you can refill the till. Get only the minimum, and it’s a long, soul-searching offseason.

“I will always be disappointed at this stage in my career and my life unless we get a championship,” Shinn said in the Times-Picayune interview. “That's what we're trying to do every year, and we'll continue to try to improve. We've got to do that this summer. We've got to have a very busy summer. We'll look at every avenue to improve. We've invested in this team over the years. Even before we had the ticket support we have today, we were still being aggressive and trying to build this club.”

Shinn opened the checkbook for free agent James Posey last summer, convinced that he was the piece the team was missing to challenge the Lakers in the West. But his aggressiveness will not, and cannot, include paying luxury tax. That was part of the thinking behind the aborted Chandler trade. Put Chandler at the top of the list of players most likely to be traded before next February’s deadline.

We could dissect the carcass of Game 4 in New Orleans – Chris Paul’s miserable 2-for-7 night with four points and six assists – but why bother? This is about something bigger. This is about how one of the teams we thought we’d be watching well into May is on life support, in more ways than one.

I will leave you with this about the game. I know J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza are bench players. But they’re important bench players. What in the name of George Karl were they doing on the floor in the fourth quarter of this catastrophe? Were Steven Hunter and Sonny Weems using comp time? Isiah Thomas had famously accused Karl of running up the score after the melee at Madison Square Garden three seasons ago. Karl is going to have a hard time defending this one. I like Karl as a coach very much; that’s why I gave him my third-place vote for coach of the year. He is a champion of coaches, always coming to their defense when they get fired or mistreated. Someone should ask Byron Scott what Karl was trying to be a champion of in the fourth quarter Monday night.

UPDATE: It has been correctly pointed out that Hunter and Weems were in street clothes. This I did not see on the fuzzy, non-HD feed from NBA-TV. My bad. But I still don't think Smith and Kleiza should have been on the floor that late in a 60-point blowout -- especially considering Karl's history of accusing others of running up the score. When I make a mistake, I admit it. And thanks for reading to the end of the post. :)
Posted on: February 18, 2009 11:32 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2009 12:28 am
 

Hornets-Thunder trade rescinded (UPDATE)

Tyson Chandler is going back to New Orleans after the Hornets-Thunder trade was rescinded late Wednesday night because the 7-1 centerpiece was not cleared by Oklahoma City doctors.

In a stunning development announced shortly after 11 p.m. EST, the trade sending Chandler to the Thunder for the expiring contracts of Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox, plus the rights to 2008 second-round pick DeVon Hardin, was voided. It wasn't clear what issue Thunder doctors discovered, but it doesn't matter. The deal's off.

"We welcome Tyson back with open arms," Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said in a statement released by the team. "We went into this trade to garner more frontcourt depth to add to our team as we continue our push towards the playoffs. We expect Tyson and the rest of our big guys to step up to the challenge."

Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement: "During the course of the physical examination and outside consultations, some questions arose that gave us cause for concern. We felt that this course of action was the best for our organization.”

UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports reports that the injury in question is turf toe, which Chandler had surgically repaired a couple of years ago. Regardless, the next question is this: Where do the Hornets turn now to get the luxury tax and payroll savings they thought they'd achieved with the Chandler deal?

The cash-strapped Hornets thought they were going to save almost $12 million next season and close to $25 over the next two years by trading Chandler. The only way they can clear that much money without tearing up their team is to part with Peja Stojakovic, who is due almost $30 million over the next two years. The trade deadline just became a lot more interesting.

 

 

Posted on: February 17, 2009 8:08 pm
 

Wow, the Hornets really are broke

When a team executive told me recently that the New Orleans Hornets would be actively trying to dump salary by Thursday's trade deadline because, "They're broke," he wasn't kidding.

The salary dump has begun, and there will be more where that came from across the league.

Tyson Chandler's numbers were down this season, but not enough to justify trading him to Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox, that annual trade-deadline, expiring-contract favorite, Joe Smith, and the rights to the Thunder's 2008 second-round pick, DeVon Hardin.

The move saves the Hornets about $11.5 million next season, depending on what they do with Hardin, and $12.75 million in 2009-10. Both Wilcox and Smith are on contracts that expire after this season.

The Thunder are very likely not done. The rights to Hardin and the aforementioned expiring contracts were only the tip of the iceberg in terms of tradeable assets GM Sam Presti has at his disposal -- not the least of which are five first-round picks in the next two drafts.

 

 

 

Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:57 am
 

Wednesday Shootaround

* Finally, the Rockets showed how dangerous they can be if everyone is healthy. Yao was unstoppable, Tracy McGrady had his fourth career triple-double, and Ron Artest played a crucial role coming off the bench in a 108-96 victory over Denver.

* Chris Paul tied Alvin Robertson's NBA record for consecutive games with a steal (105) in a 91-84 victory over Memphis.

* Those who took issue with my accolades for Derrick Rose will delight in the fact that D.J. Augustin (29 points, 7 assists) outdueled the Bulls' No. 1 pick (7 points, 6 assists) in the Charlotte Bobcats' 110-101 overtime victory over the Bulls.

* I was standing outside the visiting locker room in Philadelphia last Wednesday night when the 76ers' medical staff, led by team doctor Jack McPhilemy, ventured inside to examine Zydrunas Ilgauskas' foot and X-rays thereof. Little did I know how stunned the doctors were when they viewed the X-rays. Bob Finnan of the News-Herald explains. (Link courtesy of TrueHoop.)

* Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, facing insider trading charges, is oh-for-December in terms of blog posts. What's up with that? 

* Interesting decision for the Warriors when Monta Ellis comes off the suspended list Friday. Who gets waived or traded to clear a roster spot? Even though Ellis won't be ready to play until sometime in '09, Golden State needs to make room on the roster. Matt Steinmetz makes a solid case that the decision will provide insight into how much GM Chris Mullin's power has diminished. Mullin is believed to want Marcus Williams to stay, but coach -- and perhaps soon-to-be-GM Don Nelson -- wants to keep Rob Kurz. If Kurz stays and Williams goes, you'll have your answer.

* HoopsAddict makes a case for Chauncey Billups as MVP, proposes buying a steak dinner for Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh, and believes Danny Granger deserves more All-Star votes.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com