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Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: November 30, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Award-O-Matic MVP 11.30.10: CP3 as MVP

NBA F&R breaks down the MVP candidates after the first month of the season by dissecting the award down to three parts: Most Valuable, Most Important, and Most Oustanding Player. CP3 is in control.
Posted by Matt Moore with contributions from Ben Golliver and Royce Young




Well, we're a month into the season and the context of this year has begun to take shape. While certainly a long way from the finish line, we've already gotten a glimpse of who's playing well, who's playing average, and who ... not so much. And so it is that we begin our monthly look at awards. On a regular basis we'll take you around the award contenders and give you a look at who is in contention for the NBA's major awards by breaking down what they really mean in our Award-O-Matic. Today we start with the MVP.

The problem, as has been elucidated approximately a million times by various media members, is that the MVP is a nebulous, hard to define award. Its name is Most Valuable, but it most often goes to the Most Outstanding Player on a winning team. If your play is other-worldly but your team doesn't win, you have no shot. If you contribute the most to a winning team but your numbers aren't stellar, again, your chances are slim. It takes a combination of three factors: value, performance, and importance to snag the award. As such, we decided to break the award into those three categories, tally them up with the top player getting 3 points, the second 2, the third 1, then summing to see if we could come up with a list.

First up?

Most Valuable Player (To Their Team): Who is most responsible for their team's success? Or, to put it another way, whose team suffers the most without them?


Matt Moore:


1. Dirk Nowitzki: Without him that offense is anemic and it's been his rebounding that's kept them in games at points.
2. Carmelo Anthony: Seriously, Nuggets. Cliff. Teetering. Melo's the only thing keeping the truck from smashing into pieces.
3. Dwight Howard: Get him in foul trouble and the Magic turn into a Mid-Major college team, just wining it from perimeter to perimeter.

Ben Golliver:

1. Chris Paul:
  I like Darren Collison as much as the next guy, but CP3's return from injury to lead New Orleans' absurd hot start, despite an unimpressive supporting cast, reveals exactly how valuable the league's best point guard is.
2. Rajon Rondo Boston would still be good without Rondo, but his game ownership places them on an elite level and makes them the odds on favorite to win the East yet again. 10.6 points, 14.2 assists (what!), 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 steals through the end of November. Crazy.
3. Kevin Durant The Thunder have had an up-and-down start but imagining this team with Russell Westbrook at the helm by himself, dragging an ineffective Jeff Green along for the ride, would be a recipe for a guaranteed lottery team. KD will get better -- perhaps much better -- over the course of the season, and he's already easily leading the NBA in scoring again.

Royce Young:

1. Chris Paul:   Subtract Paul and what do you have. I can promise you it's not an 8-1 team. It's really as simple as that.
2. Dirk Nowitzki:   The Mavericks are dangerous in every fourth quarter that they're close in. The reason is because Dirk can score in every situation, at any time. He essentially is the Maverick offense.
3. Steve Nash:   Take Nash away and yes, there's Goran Dragic who can dazzle in stretches. But without Nash this Suns team is nothing more than a 35-win club. With Nash, there's potential to push for the playoffs.

Most Important Player: Who is most crucial to their team's success? Ex. Last year I argued that Josh Smith was MIP because when he did Josh Smith-y things, the Hawks were nearly unstoppable, and when he didn't, they were much more beatable.


Matt Moore:

1. Chris Paul:
He does everything and it starts and stops with him. This is even more clearly illustrated by their recent struggles down the stretch where he hasn't been involved.
2. Al Horford: The level of production Horford is creating right now is simply astonishing. More astonishing is how overlooked he is.
3. Pau Gasol: It's him that's carrying the Lakers. Even as Kobe scores all the high points, the most dominant Laker performances this season are from Gasol.

Ben Golliver:


1. Pau Gasol: His virtuoso early season performance has single-handedly made Andrew Bynum an afterthought. What more needs to be said?
2. Deron Williams:   Utah's streak of comebacks begins with Williams' tough-minded leadership and ends with his play-making and shot-making.
3. Dirk Nowitzki:   Another banner start from Dirk singlehandedly puts a Dallas roster loaded with question marks in the playoff mix.

Royce Young:

1. Pau Gasol: Having Gasol as part of the triangle has been like a revelation. He's really what makes the Lakers so darn dangerous.
2. Kevin Garnett:
We saw what an impact his has in regard to the Celtic defense two seasons ago when his knee was injured.
3. Nick Collison:   He's a classic no-stats All-Star. He's only played for a few weeks so far this season for Oklahoma City but his value is immeasurable and impact immediate. He tips rebounds that become extra possessions, takes charges, sets outstanding screens and makes two or three small (but big) plays a game.


Most Outstanding Player: Who has simply wowed you?


Matt Moore:

1. Rajon Rondo: Key plays every time he's on the floor and he makes it look easy, There are a lot of moments where he looks like he's just on a different plane from everyone else.. and he's got three Hall of Famers on his team.
2. Russell Westbrook: Westbrook has managed to take over the game down the stretch. His turnovers are down, assists are up, he's got range and that mid-key pull-up jumper is as deadly as it ever has been. He's been simply phenomenal in half-court and full-court sets.
3. Deron Williams: Three point guards? Yup. Check Deron at the end of the clock with the game on the line. Money. And that's after all the assists, rebounds, key plays and floor leadership. Man's a ninja, no joke.

Ben Golliver:


1. Dwight Howard:
  Lost in the Miami Heat wave, Howard is quietly putting up 22.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as the defensive and rebounding engine that will make Orlando a title contender for years to come. By the way, Orlando sits atop the Southeast Division -- 3.5 games ahead of the Heat.
2. LeBron James: His numbers are crazy and his highlights are spectacular. It's a wonder he can jump so high and dunk so hard carrying the burden of Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra's corpse on his shoulders.
3. John Wall:   Wall doesn't belong in the MVP discussion -- there are too many holes in his game (jumper, turnovers) and his team is terrible -- but for sheer "outstanding-ness" and "wow factor" he merits inclusion here. His assist numbers have been great and his speed is tops in the league; he's a lot further along the NBA readiness scale than even his biggest fans could have imagined.

Royce Young:

1. Rajon Rondo: He's been nothing but insanely ridiculous. Manages the game perfectly, understand his place within an offense and runs the show beautifully.
2. Kevin Love: When given the time on the floor, he's a legitimate 20-20 threat every single night. How many players can you really say that about?
3. Russell Westbrook: There's a case to be legitimately made for Westbrook as an MVP contender. Kevin Durant is still leading the league in scoring, but Westbrook is what's kept the team winning games. But his play has been just insane this year (23.8 ppg, 8.4 apg, 5.1 rpg) and he's a super-highlight waiting to happen.

Here are the tallies:

Most Valuable Player:
1. Chris Paul (6)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (5)
Tied for 3rd: Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo (2)
Tied for 4th: Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash (1)

Most Important Player:
1. Pau Gasol (7)
2. Chris Paul (3)
Tied for 3rd: Deron Williams, Al Horford, Kevin Garnett (2)
Tied for 4th: Dirk Nowitzki, Nick Collison (1)

Most Outstanding Player :

1. Rajon Rondo (6)
Tied for 2nd: Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard (3)
Tied for 3rd: Kevin Love, LeBron James (2)
Tied for 4th: John Wall, Deron Williams (1)

Top 5 in Totals:
1. Chris Paul: 9
2. Rajon Rondo (8)
3. Pau Gasol (7)
4. Dirk Nowitzki (6)
5. Dwight Howard (4)
Posted on: November 30, 2010 12:28 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 1:35 pm
 

Westbrook gets the best of CP3 in big PG showdown

Posted by Royce Young

OKLAHOMA CITY -- NBA fans, probably more than any other group, love to debate and argue. Mostly about who is the best at this position, who is the best overall, or if you're a Laker fan, you just yell "KOBE KOBE KOBE" when asked about anything.

Kobe or LeBron used to dominate every message board and comment section, but really, 2010-11 has become the season of the Great Point Guard. At the beginning of the year, it was Rajon Rondo with all those history-making assists. Then it was Chris Paul again as he led his Hornets to a surprising start. Then of course there's Deron Williams, who is consistently excellent. Oh yeah, Derrick Rose who wows us with his up-and-unders, plus is carrying the Bulls to one of their best starts in years.

Everyone has a favorite in the race, but the lineup is pretty well settled. Those four really make up the current pantheon of great point men in the league. But there's another player that's standing at the door, asking for an invitation to the club.

I think it's time to start talking about Russell Westbrook.

Monday night in Oklahoma City, we were treated to a duel between Westbrook and Paul and by the end of the game, we were getting exactly what we wanted. Both players were going right after each other, trying to put their team on their back. Everyone expected Paul to have the edge. But it was Westbrook who came out on top.

In the fourth quarter, Westbrook scored 12 of his 25 points, while going a perfect 4-4 from the field. He also finished with 11 assists, five rebounds and five steals. He hit the game-clinching shot too, a 3-pointer right in the face of Paul with 1:38 left that put OKC up 88-81. Westbrook took over the game entirely, and did it against maybe the best player in the league at his position.

"It's the new Russell man," Kevin Durant said after the game. "He’s just taking over games and controlling games. That’s what we need for us to win.”

It's true. While Durant is Oklahoma City's de facto best player, Westbrook has probably been the team's MVP in the opening month. While Durant has struggled shooting the ball, Westbrook has found a way to pick up the slack, scoring in bunches all while running a fluent point guard. He's the team's unquestioned emotional spark and Westbrook has developed a knack for the dramatic in big moments.

Westbrook was so terrific in the game that his eight turnovers almost went unnoticed until you looked at the box score. It's true - Westbrook was out of control at times and four of those turnovers were completely unforced. But it speaks to something when a guy can shake that off and still put up the effort he did against one of the best defending guards in the league.

"Russell made big plays for us, which was helpful in getting the victory," said Thunder forward Jeff Green. "That's what Russell does. He's been doing it all season for us. Russell has been playing big all year and hopefully, will continue."

Here's a fun fact: Westbrook is one of two players averaging over 20 points, five assists and five rebounds a game. The other guy sharing that honor is LeBron James. Actually though, save rebounds where James hold a slim edge, Westbrook is averaging more points and assists than the reigning two-time MVP.

In head-to-head matchups with the game's other elite point guards (Williams, Paul, Rondo and Rose), Westbrook is averaging 24.0 points, 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. Plus, his team is 4-2.

The West is stacked with Steve Nash, Paul, Williams and Jason Kidd so getting an invitation to the All-Star Game won't be easy. But Westbrook's putting together a nice early campaign and he's got the attention of opposing coaches.

"He's an All-Star," said New Orleans head coach Monty Williams. "He probably won't get the votes unless [the commissioner] puts him in the game. But that guy is playing at a level that you scout for him about 10-15 minutes of your practice because of his pick-and-roll, how he's shooting the ball now, and he gets to the free throw line about 10 times a game. If you said that and just left the name blank, you'd say that's an All-Star."

Funny to think about this time last season people were still wondering if Westbrook was really even a point guard. Now the question is, is if he one of the best in the game. Right now, it's kind of hard to argue against it.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:57 am
 

Shootaround 11.30.10: Riley doesn't want back

Posted by Royce Young
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "The Heat knew going in that LeBron James would be high maintenance. Superstars almost always are. But pair that with a young, intellectual sideline purist and you have what you have right now, a leadership void that allows the ancillary to dominate. So reports emerge from within the locker about unease with the sideline guidance, with the same coach who first found a way to get two rotation rookies to the No. 5 playoff seed in 2009 and then a cap-conscious team to that same seed a year ago. And to the coach's aid steps ... Not a word from Pat Riley, even though a source close to Riley and his family insist that the last thing Riley wants to do right now is return to the sideline."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "Unless --- knock on wood --- he is felled by a catastrophic injury, Dwight Howard is destined to join basketball's hall of fame. 'He's a sure-fire hall of famer' if he remains on course, agrees Magic coach Stan Van Gundy of his 24-year-old center. Oddly, 16 games into Dwight's seventh season, that heady forecast is more sure-fire than Howard ever being awarded MVP."
  • And on cue, Stan Van Gundy says Howard doesn't get fair treatment in the media : "Maybe it's a size thing. Maybe people are harder on that. But he's a guy who clearly is the best guy in the league at his position, and has been. He's still very young, he's improving, he's won, he's a damn good person. I don't understand why there are so many negatives on him in comparison to the other guys. I've always felt since I've been here that he's taken more of a hit than the other people."
  • Stephen Jackson was ejected again a few days ago but his coach says he doesn't think Jackson ever change: "I don't know how things are going to change. I understand from his perspective what's going on, but that's the way it is: As hard as it is for a player to understand that, you've got to play through (emotion). You're too important to our team. We need you on the court."
  • John Rohde of The Oklahoman: "The novelty of Oklahoma City serving as the New Orleans Hornets' temporary home from 2005-07 seems to have all but disappeared. Crowd reaction during pre-game introductions drew only polite applause for Chris Paul and David West. Monday would have qualified as one of the most lethargic crowds in Thunder history, but the eighth sellout (18,203) gathering of the season finally came to life with 4:17 left in the third quarter when Jeff Green sprinted down court and blocked Paul's wide-open layup attempt."
  • Hornets24/7 on last night's loss to OKC: "Dear Coach Williams, West is moderately efficient as a scorer, but he is not brilliant.  Paul is a brilliant scorer and distributor.  Crunch time should be Chris Paul time, not David West time.  Actually, let me change that.  It can be David West time, but ONLY when he’s shooting after Chris Paul has broken down the defense.  The ball needs to start in Paul’s hands.  It can end wherever, but Paul needs to be creating the shot. Thanks.  Great job so far, by the way."
Posted on: November 24, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 8:38 pm
 

Shootaround 11.24.10: Winners and losers

People trying to keep LeBron out of the All-Star Game, Jarrett Jack doubts the Heat, Durant and Beasley as young guns, and T-Will is out of sight, out of mind, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • There's a movement afoot specifically to keep LeBron James out of the All-Star Game. It's things like this that trot the fine line at the nexus of funny, pathetic, and mean. Props for the idea, but just because you don't like a guy's ego, is that really reason to sully a system to honor play that's been in place for decades? And this is all beyond the fact that it would take coaches about forty five seconds to select him as a reserve and then all of a sudden the person atually voted in would have a hamstring injury.
  • Terrence Williams looked like a star in the making last year. Now he's been suspended for two games for "violations of team policy" whle Avery Johnson is talking about him "not getting" it. A perfect example of how a coaching change can dramtically alter a player's forecast. Meanwhile, if Williams is on the block, the Grizzlies and Bulls should both be on the horn to see if they can grab him at a bargain bin price.
  • Jarrett Jack, a winner his whole career except for when he wasn't winning, which was most of his career, is already ready to pack it in on the Heat, saying their failure could curtail others from going the superstar route. In other news, Jack put the cart before the horse and said "Done!" before walking off. The Hornets are 0-1 since Jack arrived, clearly indicating he's not a winner. See what I did there? You see? Because he said ...
  • Spurs fans were joking about Ime Udoka being signed last week, and now it has happened . Still bizarre they thought Udoka was more valuable than Gee.
  • Flip Saunders, getting digs in on Doug Collins. Better hurry to get them in, he may not be around long.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 9:26 am
 

Game Changer 11.23.10: Spurs and ammo

Spurs and Magic have a classic, the Pacers show they're decent in dismantling a mediocre Miami team, and the Celtics take the Hawks to the shed in today's Game Changer.
Posted by Matt Moore


Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  


THE BIG ONE: Spurs have one more round than Magic in shootout


San Antonio 106 Orlando 97 .

That's the final score but it doesn't even come close to descrbing A. how great this game was or B. how close this game was. It was a back and forth affair for the entire game, as neither team could shake the other one. Just as one team would seem to be pulling away, the other would respond with a flurry of offense. San Antonio would bruise their way to a lead, only to find the Magic creating turnovers, sparking the break, and dropping in three-pointers in transition. The Magic would burst their way into a lead only to find the Spurs settle down, get a bucket, then a stop, then Manu Ginobili Ginobili'ing his way with a knife to their heart. In the end, the Spurs had a few more bullets left in the gun and the Magic were unable to find an answer for Manu.

Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili combined to shoot 23 of 42, for 64 points, 13 rebounds, 21 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. Guess Boston and Miami aren't the only ones with Big 3s. The efficiency with which the Spurs attacked was ruthless. In the third, Tony Parker got up to full speed and was using those wide curving pick and rolls to find Duncan, while Ginobili was using the deep wing picks for that step-back jumper he's gotten to like so much. It was a clinic in execution, and the Magic weren't far behind, with Dwight Howard forcing the issue and the Magic backcourt raining 3s. Combined the two teams hit 21 threes on 37 attempts which is just ridiculous. Matt Bonner came through with 4 big ones (4-4 from the arc) while Mikael Pietrus kept breaking up Spurs runs on his way to a 3-5 run from the perimeter.

Sharp defense, tough shots, fun basketball, a close game. This one was a beauty.

WHAT YOU MISSED: The Heat suck.


I torched the Heat for their lack of effort, cohesion, and heart.

Ken Berger spoke with Delonte West in a must-read interview about his experiences with bipolar disorder .


DEAD BEFORE THE SHIP EVEN SANK

Last night's Celtics-Hawks game was not a game. It was a mercy killing, only without the mercy. The Celtics owned the Hawks 39-13 in the first quarter, and it didn't feel that close. Boston simply could not miss. Sharp passes, smart playsets, intensity at both ends of the floor, attacking rebounds, and Nate Robinson doing his best Rondo Baron Davis when he was good impression, throw in the Hawks looking like they wanted to be anywhere but on the floor and Al Horford being physically dominated by Boston's size and you've got a recipe for Von Wafer to get a fair amount of time by the end of this one.

It was stunning, considering the Hawks swept the Celtics last year. But call it motivation over last year's flukes, or the Celtics' last fluke against the Raptors, or just the impact of a healthy Kevin Garnett, but this one was over with before the t-shirt guns had even been loaded. The Hawks continue to perplex as they look genuinely good and improved at times, and like roadkill in others.

Kevin Garnett looks not only like he's healthy, but like he's healthy like when he was 31. That's terrifying for the rest of the league.

YOUR DAILY "QUAKE" GRIFFIN NIGHTMARE DUNK:




GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:


Carmelo Anthony:
39 points (17-17 from the line), 9 rebound, 5 assists

Runner-Up:


Manu Ginobili: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists

FINAL THOUGHTS:


The Hornets are 11-2. Which is great. But the last few games have shown some of their cracks in the foundation. Relying on Jason Smith to be a significant bench contributor isn't going to get it done. Neither is hoping Emeka Okafor stays as an offensive force. The bigger concern may be that Chris Paul has started looking flat-out tired at the ends of games. Him missing the game-tying assist to David West was nothing more than one of those that happens, but in general he looked lethargic down the stretch. Some concerns for the Hornets do exist, even at 11-2.

Last night's game perfectly illustrates why Boston fans get so frustrated with their team. They look so awesome when they consistently try.

The story from Indiana-Miami was the Heat playing terribly but the Pacers deserve a world of credit for getting Danny Granger going, and Brandon Rush took it to Dwyane Wade, which, injured or not, isn't an easy thing to do. The Pacers look like a solid playoff contender.

People will tell you that the Oklahoma City-Minnesota game was closer than the final score appears. And it's true the Wolves lead down the stretch. So maybe I'm just exhibiting confirmation bias when I tell you that I never had a doubt the Thunder would win that game. The Wolves have no idea how to execute in clutch situations most times, and Michael Beasley still does a lot of Michael Beasley-type things.

Houston loses. Again.


Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.



Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:57 pm
 

Chris Paul is feeling pretty good about things

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
 

Raptors / Hornets Trade Analysis

An analysis of the five-player trade between the Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Hornets involving Peja Stojakovic, Jerryd Bayless, Jarrett jack-bayless  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 20, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: November 20, 2010 2:14 pm
 

Report: Hornets and Raptors close to trade

Trade being discussed to send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to Toronto for Jarrett Jack, David Andersen, Marcus Banks. Posted by Matt Moore

UPDATE 2:07PM: CBSSports.com confirms the trade is done, talks with the league will occur this afternoon. Bizarre.

Ken Berger confirms that the Hornets save $4.6 million immediately, which gets them off the cap and allows them to look at options at the deadline. The Raptors, in addition to getting Peja's expiring contract they can move before the deadline, save $4.7 million next year.

We'll have more analysis in a bit.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune , a bizarre Euro site via HoopsHype.com , and ESPN are reporting that the New Orleans Hornets are close to a trade that would send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to the Toronto Raptors for Jarrett Jack, Marcus Banks, and David Andersen. It is a baffling trade from about a hundred angles. We'll go over some of them here while the two fight over how much money the Hornets have to send the Raptors.

  • The Hornets are 10-1, not exactly in need of a bump-up, and having Bayless as a change of speed, dynamic scorer off the bench was a good thing for them. Getting Jack gives them a veteran defender and solid backup point guard in a more traditional mold, but it also means they get a B+ point guard in salary and talent for a spot they only have about 15-20 minutes or less for a night due to them having the best point guard on the planet.
  • Moving Peja right now means they lose the ability to swap him at the trade deadline, when his $14-million-plus expiring contract is likely to have more value than it does now. That kind of expiring change can help you fill in a lot of holes when teams decide they need to cut payroll dramatically. Teams will also know more about how the CBA talks are headed after the All-Star break. 
  • For the Raptors, it's just as puzzling. Bayless is a terrific young talent and having Peja's expiring are both good things. But this puts Jose Calderon firmly in the starter's role for point guard, and he's a defensive sieve. They get smaller at the guard positions, and just try and imagine a Jerryd Bayless and Leandro Barbosa backcourt. They would represent the Lollipop Guild for crying out loud.
  • As Bayless can't be moved until December 23rd, Bruce Arthur of the National Post reports via Twitter that the deal may be set up as one of those "agreed all together, executed in parts" type deals where the Raptors would use part of their Chris Bosh trade exception to acquire Bayless.
  • Andersen's not a terrible center, he's really not in a league that has so few good ones, but he's redundant with Aaron Gray on the roster.
  • Marcus Banks is barely alive in NBA terms.
  • The Raptors will at least be fun to watch, and with Willie Green becoming the entrenched backup to Marco Bellinelli (who saw either of those things happening this year?), Bayless and Peja were expendable. This isn't really about losing vital assets for the Hornets, it's about not capitalizing on bigger opportunities. But at 10-1, I guess Dell Demps and Monty Williams have earned the right to bet with House money a bit. 
  • ESPN also reports via Twitter that Jack is a close personal friend of CP3, which could explain this as a further move to make the superstar happy.




 
 
 
 
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