Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:59 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:01 am
By Matt Moore
Eric Gordon is not really having the kind of season he probably thought he would. The Hornets announced Friday that Gordon experienced knee swelling after Wednesday's loss to the Sixers, his first game back from injury, and as a result, on the advice of doctors he's out 2-3 weeks.
That's just bad all over.
The Hornets don't want to tank, that's clear from what Monty Williams and Dell Demps wanted in the vetoed Chris Paul trade with the Lakers and Rockets. Even though losing out is the best thing for their franchise, it's harder for guys to keep jobs through rebuilding projects. It's not fair, but it's what it is. And losing Gordon is going to make it even harder for a Hornets offense that has struggled without him. They've actually been really stout defensively, but they don't have any scorers with Gordon out. It could get ugly for the Hornets.
Jokes will be made about how this shows how much better the Lakers' offer was. But in reality, the Hornets need to tank out. They need to get a top draft pick, and combined with what will be at worst a 13-15 pick from Minnesota, they'll have a great core of players to rebuild around.
For Gordon, you have to hope he can get healthy completely. He needs to finish the season strong, because he's a restricted free agent in the summer. This is the first real payday for players coming off the rookie deal, and whether it's in New Orleans or eliciting a massive offer in restricted free agency, he needs to be healthy to pull it in. If he continues to have injury issues, Gordon could sign the qualifying offer instead, on the hopes of improving his value in a healthy year going into unrestricted free agency in 2013.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: December 18, 2011 11:27 am
Posted by Royce Young
It's been more than a week since David Stern's office vetoed a trade sending Chris Paul to the Lakers for "basketball reasons." In that time, a deal got done sending Paul to the Clippers, Stern denied all the allegations and criticisms blaming source-mongering journalists and the expectation was everything would go away. We'd all move on.
For the most part, people have. We're all excited to see CP3 lobbing to Blake Griffin, all excited to see how or if the Clippers can challenge the Lakers in Los Angeles and excited to see if the balance of power just shifted in the Western Conference.
But there are people that haven't moved on. Most notably the Houston Rockets.
Lost in the original CP3 mess was that the Rockets came up as major losers. The Lakers didn't get their man, Stern's reputation took a hit and the Dell Demps and the Hornets had to restructure a deal to get more youth. But no big deal, all that stuff can be fixed. The Rockets though, were left empty-handed after thinking they were about to land one of the elite power forwards in all of basketball.
And they haven't forgotten. Not just because the trade didn't work out for them, but because they feel that Stern has sort of spit in their face with his damage control of the situation. Via the Houston Chronicle:
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was asked about the situation Saturday and declined comment based on the advice of legal counsel. So that's not a good thing. The whole organization is ticked, especially owner Leslie Alexander.
Stern maintained on a conference call after the Clipper trade went through that the deal was never done, but was just something in the talking phase. Which obviously someone in the Rockets' organization sees as a complete lie.
This story isn't over. It's not going to go away quite yet. It would, except the Rockets feel like they got screwed, which they did. And they're going to try and make sure everyone hears about it.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 7:35 pm
Posted by Royce Young
It was inevitable. Chris Paul wasn't going to start the 2012-13 season in New Orleans. The only question there was how much of the 2011-12 season he'd spend there.
The answer came late on Thursday, just a few hours before training camp and free agency officially opens: Chris Paul, pending a deal going through, will be a Los Angeles Laker.
Whoa. I mean, whoa.
The Hornets had to act quickly and swiftly in order to maximize the return on their franchise guy. The longer Dell Demps waited, the lower the asking price he'd have to slap on CP3.
So, what do they get in exchange for the guy that been been their face for the past six seasons? Is it anything close to equaling Paul's value?
Here's the breakdown: Chris Paul goes to L.A. with Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola going to New Orleans. With a pick getting tossed in on the back-end of it (Knicks 2012 first-rounder).
So really, the Hornets did pretty well. Not just well, actually. As good as they probably could possibly do. Chris Paul is a more valuable player than Carmelo Anthony, but in comparing this trade to that trade, the Hornets did far better than the Nuggets did. The Hornets get Odom, a player with a ton of trade value that they can flip for a young talent and a draft pick from Houston to help rebuild with. Or deal Martin and Scola as well to blow it all up and get a heap of talent and picks. Scola's not young at 31 and Martin is 28.
But here's the thing: If the Hornets wanted, they could just stick with this group for this season and probably make a postseason run. Dragic isn't the best point guard in the world, but he's certainly serviceable. And besides, Odom might be playing that more than anyone else in the end, if they so choose. Scola is a talented 4 and Martin is the posterboy for efficient scoring.
Dragic, Martin, Trevor Ariza (or Odom), Scola and Emeka Okafor. With Odom (or Ariza) off the bench. That's a pretty good group of six, no? This team could conceivably be a playoff contender for the next two seasons and then figure out where to go from there after that when they presumably have new ownership.
Considering the circumstances, it's hard to imagine how the Hornets could've done better outside of baiting the Clippers into giving them Eric Gordon and that unprotected pick from Minnesota. And even still, New Orleans has options right now. Lots of them. They can stick with the current roster, maintain a level of flexibility (Martin expires in 2013, Scola in 2014 and Odom after this season), and look to rebuild in the coming years.
Replacing a player like Chris Paul is pretty much impossible. He's meant everything to your franchise and taken you to unseen levels of success. But he wasn't staying. And the team wasn't going anywhere this year with him anyway. Demps did the wise thing and cut his losses. It's just a matter of how well he did and in this case, I'd say his return is just about as good as it could be.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 4:53 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:20 pm
All sorts of theories are flying about the future of the New Orleans Hornets. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Given the mess that is the New Orleans Hornets, you have to feel bad for three people: new GM Dell Demps, new coach Monty Williams and all star point guard Chris Paul. The three met over the summer and apparently hashed out a workable relationship, one which kept Paul happy in the short term and led to a strong start to the season, delivering a whole bunch of promise to start the season. Now, with the team's financial records being leaked and a sale to the NBA underway, their hard work and attempts to keep things in house and under wraps are getting blown up in a big time way. It's only been 48 hours since the NBA announced it would take over control of the team, and the speculation and rumors about possible relocation have kicked into full gear. Here's a rundown, in no particular order. The Times-Picayune reports that Morris Bart, a New Orleans attorney is ready to become a minority partner and hoping for a 10% stake.
"I grew up in New Orleans and I went through the bitterness of the Jazz pulling out and leaving New Orleans,'' Bart said. "I would like to do my part to save the new generation of kids from having to go through that same experience. I'm living here and I think the team has to have local ownership. You've got to have a big fish that can come in and buy 50 percent and then the minority investors can follow along. I feel the NBA strongly wants to keep the team in New Orleans.''Fletcher Mackel, a sports anchor for WDSU in New Orleans, tweets that he is "hearing rumors about David Filo buying Hornets. He's Co founder of Yahoo!, worth 2.9 billion." Filo has ties in the region, having been raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana and attending Tulane University. KMBZ radio in Missouri is reporting that Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser "says he's been involved in talks to bring the Hornets to Kansas City." Kansas City, of course, has an NBA-ready arena and has been short-listed by multiple media outlets as a possible relocation home for the Hornets. Finally, HoopsWorld.com writes that contracting the Hornets is an option that hasn't been discussed enough.
Commissioner David Stern has refused to rule out contraction as a possible option when the owners meet with the NBA Players' Association to hammer out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) this summer.
The first and perhaps hardest part of the process is finding an owner willing to sell their team to the NBA for eventual dissolution. With the acquisition of the Hornets, the league has already completed that step.What to make of all of this? That there is local interest cropping up immediately in Louisiana is a good sign. Silence in the short term would have been deafening, and a death blow to hope for basketball fans in the Bayou. That people are interested in saving the team is a crucial first step. As for contraction, it seems like a very unlikely possibility in this situation, given the strong interest from other markets and reported interest from overseas owners regarding buying into the league. By purchasing the team from previous owner George Shinn, the NBA committed significant resources (reportedly $300 million) and will be looking for a return on that investment. It's difficult to see commissioner David Stern wanting to swallow that loss whole, especially if there is foreign demand for the right to enter the NBA. Finally, we come full circle and return to our sympathies to those currently working for and playing for the Hornets. Single-minded focus is one of the highest virtues in professional basketball. Being able to tune everything out and carry out the task at hand is what separates winners from losers, above-average teams from average teams, and champions from the rest of the pack. What's being asked of the Hornets and their staff between now and whenever the team is sold -- remember, there is no set goal for that to happen, as Stern is preaching patience -- is a nearly impossible task. Focusing amidst such a storm is simply not a workable, functional reality.
Posted on: December 5, 2010 12:47 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:16 pm
A takeover by the NBA could signal a relocation is in the New Orleans Hornets' future and raises old questions about Chris Paul's future with theteam. Posted by Ben Golliver. We've been tracking the news that the NBA may step in to purchase the New Orleans Hornets pretty closely this weekend. First, here's the breaking news. Second, here's the explanation for why expected new owner Gary Chouest got cold feet. The early word was that the NBA would be looking for local investors to keep the franchise in New Orleans, where it's been since moving from Charlotte in 2002. The latest updates to the story, however, paint a bleaker picture for the future of basketball in New Orleans. The Times-Picayune says the NBA takeover "could be the absolute worst thing to happen in terms of the Hornets remaining in New Orleans beyond the next couple of seasons" because a league-run auction of the franchise would be open to bids from around the world.
Yes, sources indicated that the league would try to find a sole buyer or investment group that would keep the Hornets in New Orleans. There’s no reason to doubt the attempt wouldn’t be made.
But if the highest bidder came from, say, Seattle, the NBA’s desire to keep the team in New Orleans probably would take a back seat to that. In money matters, generally what matters most is money. And if deeper pockets from outside Louisiana emerge, and if that means the franchise is more likely to be economically sound because of it, the NBA hardly would be inclined to make a bad business decision.Sports Illustrated reports Sunday that the NBA's takeover of the Hornets is imminent -- it could happen within the next few days -- and lists Kansas City, Anaheim and Chicago as possible relocation sites. One would assume the current sale process, which has dragged on for nearly a year, would have exhausted any other possible local ownership groups during its early stages. And if the giant "for sale" sign on the Hornets for the last nine months didn't attract a legit local buyer, it's difficult to see how a new "for sale" sign, this time embossed by the NBA's logo, is going to make much of a difference in the gulf. Making the possibility of relocation even more likely is a recent report that the Hornets are not hitting the attendance benchmarks needed to lock itself into its arena lease in New Orleans. In other words, should an outside buyer emerge with an eye towards moving the team to his destination of choice, a la Clay Bennett and the Oklahoma City Thunder, a major, expensive hurdle that usually exists wouldn't be there to slow down the process. It's grim news for the Hornets, their fans and, especially, new coach Monty Williams and new general manager Dell Demps, who have put the team's roster in order quickly upon their arrivals this summer and have created a winning basketball atmosphere in the face of all of this uncertainty and adversity. In the long run, a new owner not named George Shinn is better for all involved, but the sale of the team will undoubtedly remain a painful process, one that could cost the team its franchise player, Chris Paul. If I'm Paul, intent on winning and competing for an NBA title in the short-term, thanks to questions about my surgically-repaired knee -- I take a step back and realize that franchises with this much front office turmoil simply do not win titles -- nor consistently compete for them -- in the NBA. If this ownership group can't even sell its majority stake properly, and there are no prospective buyers anxious to do a better job, how will this franchise ever build a true contender? The answer? It won't. Which leaves Paul with two options: settle in for the (potentially years-long) long haul of up-and-down, day-to-day confusion about the franchise's direction, or start seriously exploring greener pastures. While trade requests are always met with a lot of backlash, in this case it's hard to tell who would blame him. It's one thing to carry four teammates on your back, it's another to carry an ownership group. No player can reasonably be expected to shoulder that burden. Update (5:25 pm):
The Times-Picayune reports Sunday afternoon that the NBA is maintaining a public commitment to the city of New Orleans, and has installed a Lousiana native to oversee the ongoing sale negotiations.
Jac Sperling, vice charrman of the NHL's Minnesota Wild is a New Orleans-born attorney who has in the past negotiated the sale of professional sports teams and guided the Wild into one of hockey's most successful franchises, according to a report at SI.com.
A league source said Sunday that NBA Commissioner David Stern would likely be taking these steps because he firmly wants the Hornets to remain in New Orleans. By taking over the team, the source said, Stern would be able to ensure a sale to someone who was also committed to keeping the team in New Orleans. The Hornets said team president Hugh Weber would not comment on the latest developments, but that Weber would still be in control of the day-to-day operations of the team.Of course the NBA is invested in franchise stability. And it's also invested in keeping Hornets fans interested in their team in the short term. The league has no choice but to take a pro-New Orleans stance publicly. But as Seattle recently taught basketball fans, money speaks far louder than rhetoric. The only hope for basketball in New Orleans is local money that has, to this point, been nonexistent.
Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:57 pm
Hornets guard feeling better about things with team thriving.
Posted by Matt Moore
Seems like only yesterday that Chris Paul was unhappy with management and working to extricate himself from New Orleans in order to make sure his prime isn't wasted. Now, with the Hornets 11-1 and the toast of the NBA, Paul's feeling a lot better about things. As he told NBA FanHouse:
"Yeah, I'm happy," he said with a smile after a gritty 75-71 win in which he shot just 2 of 12 from the field for four points but had 14 assists despite the Hornets shooting just 32.2 percent. "I'm happy. We're good to go."
Most interestingly, FanHouse reports that part of Paul's newfound contentment is due to the near-sale of the Hornets to Gary Chouest. Apparently Paul was concerned about current owner George Shinn's commitment to spending for a winner. Helping things has been Dell Demps' shrewd maneuvering (depending on who you ask ), and Monty Williams' coaching, which Paul raves about.
The question is if Paul will still feel this way if the gap between the Hornets and Lakers is revealed to be as wide as it's considered to be. If Paul can win but not win a championship, is that enough for him? Likewise, best buddy LeBron James' current struggles in Miami have to put Paul a little off on the idea of ditching his team for a super-team-up in New York or elsewhere. Paul was talked about as part of the toast at Carmelo Anthony's wedding reception this summer. But Paul's under contract, has publicly supported New Orleans, and now that the Hornets are winning, you have to wonder if all that's behind him.
Then again, check back in February and things may be dramatically different, even if he does have good buddy Jarrett Jack to hang out with (at a hefty price for a backup). But for now, Paul's happy to be winning, happy to be in New Orleans, and happy with how things are going. Things have changed awful fast. Hopefully for Hornets fans, they won't change again that quick.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 2:11 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:58 pm
An analysis of the five-player trade between the Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Hornets involving Peja Stojakovic, Jerryd Bayless, Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks. Posted by Ben Golliver. According to multiple reports, and confirmed by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger, the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets have agreed to exchange five players via trade. Toronto will send guard Jarrett Jack, guard Marcus Banks and big man David Andersen to New Orleans for guard Jerryd Bayless, who was recently acquired in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, and forward Peja Stojakovic. New Orleans Hornets
Stojakovic and his giant expiring contract were bound to be traded this season, and this trade signals that Hornets were happy to just unload the salary and reduce their cap number to get further under the luxury tax without looking to acquire a big-dollar asset in return in a larger package deal. That's smart cap management. The Hornets, despite their fast start, are still working to establish a backcourt rotation around all star point guard Chris Paul. Compared to Bayless, Jack is more of a "Monty Williams Type" of player and prototypical third guard that can defend two positions, he brings a better all-around game, and strength and toughness off the bench. Right now, he's a better defender and a better play-maker than Bayless, he's more mature and he runs an offense better. In terms of keeping Paul happy and making a playoff push in the short-term, Jack is the guy over Bayless. To make that upgrade, New Orleans takes on Jack's contract that runs this year plus two more at roughly $5 million a year. It might be a bit more than he's worth, but he's a solid rotation guard so it's not terrible by any means. Banks is not an impact player, and the good news for the Hornets is that his $4.8 million contract expires this season, so he's likely out of sight and out of mind this summer unless he really impresses. David Andersen, a jump-shooting 7-footer from Australia, has battled the "soft" label so far throughout his NBA career, and in typical fashion the "soft" label has beaten him down. His contract runs through next season but is not fully guaranteed, so his long-term future in New Orleans is also questionable. This trade is a good reminder that large expiring contracts are probably over-valued in the public mind. Here a $14 million expiring contract was outright dumped to facilitate a swap of back-up quality guards, and nothing more. Toronto Raptors The Raptors had been rumored to trade one of their point guards -- Jose Calderon or Jarrett Jack -- for months, because there wasn't room for both, but this seems like a strange, bad way to make that inevitable move. Stojakovich, for all intents and purposes, is done as an NBA player, so the main reason to trade for him would be to unload a massive contract by receiving his expiring deal. The Raptors didn't do that here, shedding only expiring and/or partially guaranteed contracts along with the future money owed to Jack, which wasn't all that significant. The best defense of this trade from Toronto's perspective is that they love the potential of Bayless, who is still waiting for the right opportunity to strut his lottery talent. But Bayless presents many of the same fit issues for Toronto that Jack did, as his skillset is not especially complementary to Calderon and fellow guard Leandro Barbosa. Toronto needs defense in the backcourt, and Bayless is a downgrade from Jack in that department right now. The Raptors also need someone to help guide the development of promising wings DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, and Bayless isn't known for his play-making or passing abilities. Like Barbosa, Bayless is best as a scorer off the dribble. How many of those guys do you need, especially when your centerpiece is a floor-stretching post man? Get ready, Raptors fans, to watch Bayless blow by his man to the glass as Andrea Bargnani stands at the free throw line with his hands up, wondering where the ball disappeared to. The big upside regarding Bayless is his contract: he's still on his rookie deal and he has shown flashes of legitimate top-end talent and scoring ability, thanks to a solid first step and an ability to get to the free throw line. He'll have all the time in the world to reach his potential in Toronto, which has arguably the worst roster in the league before this trade, and just made it worse. The only way to salvage this deal is to create an environment where Bayless can really blossom, as his potential is the only on-court asset acquired. Therefore, you would hope Toronto has more moves coming in the immediate future, perhaps flipping Stojakovic's contract for a quality piece at the trade deadline, which could make this trade look totally different if it netted an impact piece. You also have to wonder why the Raptors stuck with the highly-paid Jose Calderon over Jack. Perhaps his contract was too difficult to move. Winners and Losers
The winners are GM Dell Demps and his Hornets owners, from a financial perspective, and Jack for getting to leave a bad situation for a winning situation and a coach with whom he is familiar. The losers here are Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, who just moved a solid trade asset to downgrade at the position in the short term, and Jerryd Bayless, who goes from fighting for minutes in a crowded backcourt on two winning teams this year to fighting for minutes in a crowded backcourt on a terrible team. NBA fans are also winners here because of this oddity: this trade marks the second time in 2.5 years that Jarrett Jack and Jerryd Bayless were exchanged for each other. On draft night 2008, the Indiana Pacers selected Bayless and traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers for Jarrett Jack and the rights to Brandon Rush.
Posted on: November 19, 2010 8:21 am
Posted by Royce Young