Tag:Chris Paul
Posted on: September 25, 2010 2:11 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 4:51 pm
 

Chris Paul a key in Carmelo-to-Nets deal?

Posted by Royce Young

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com passed along these few items:
  • Bobcats guard D.J. Augustin is still not part of the deal. The Nets are pushing for Augustin for obvious reasons. By trading Devin Harris, New Jersey wouldn't have a point guard on the roster sans Jordan Farmar. And who really wants Jordan Farmar as their starting point guard?
  • From Denver's perspective there are "a lot of moving parts that could make it fall apart," but "no deal breakers."
  • A league executive speculated that Melo may not be sold on Jersey and might be afraid about going there "by himself." Melo could be trying to determine whether Chris Paul would join him there in two years. The Nets certainly wouldn't have the remaining assets to land Paul now, but with CP3 becoming a free agent in 2012, there's that opportunity for sure.
  • Remember, this deal isn't done yet. Not only has Carmelo not committed to New Jersey, but Denver's a bit hesitant to pull the trigger.
  • A person involved in Melo talks tells Ken he's "not optimistic" this gets done today. But remember, wheels move fast in the NBA once they get set in motion, so it's definitely possible.
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports the same thing about Paul joining Melo saying, "This is part of reason CP3 joined with Worldwide Wes and CAA: to be packaged with fellow stars. Once, they wanted Knicks. Now? May be Nets. " And don't we remember Chris Paul's toast at Carmelo's wedding? It's definitely possible they've been talking of joining up for a while.
That should catch you up somewhat until the next flurry of news comes out. Spend that time waiting for the next batch of news reading up on our stellar college football blog before Alabama and Arkansas play on CBS today. Or go mow your yard or something. Whatever.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:58 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 12:26 am
 

Report: Pargo to sign with Hornets

Posted by Royce Young

There's no issue in New Orleans over who the starting point guard is. That problem got sorted out this summer. But as far as who will be backing up Chris Paul? Whoa boy.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! reported late Friday that the Hornets will sign guard Jannero Pargo to a one-year, minimum veteran deal. This is a day after completing a curious trade for guard Willie Green that general manager Dell Demps justified by saying Green could potentially back up Paul.

And this is after signing former D-Leaguer Mustafa Shakur to a non-guaranteed deal to potentially win the position in training camp. Oh, and don't forget point guard D.J. Strawberry will also be in Hornets camp trying to win that backup spot as well.

Pargo previously nearly reached a deal with thw Warriors earlier this summer, but concerns over a scoped knee hung up the signing, eventually causing the Warriors to back out. Pargo has already had one stint with the Hornets, backing up Paul from 2006-2008 before going to Chicago for a season. Pargo spent last year playing overseas.

Pargo is an instant offense point guard that can either make you want to throw a brick through your television or can help you win a game. He gets in ruts where he looks for his own all the time, but there are other times he looks flat brilliant. For his career, the 30-year-old is averaging 6.6 ppg and 2.0 apg.

The backup position isn't settled in New Orleans now as training camp will eventually decide who gets the job of backing up Chris Paul. But Pargo likely has the edge, seeing as he's already got experience doing it.
Posted on: September 21, 2010 1:13 pm
 

Pop Quiz: Who's winning MVP?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who will be lifting the Maurice Podoloff Trophy next season?

No, I'm not going to spend the first three paragraphs explaining my definition of "Most Valuable Player." I'm not going to go on about if I think it's about the player that means the most to his team or if it's the guy that was the most outstanding through the season.

Because truly, it doesn't really matter. Everyone likes the MVP to be a bit ambiguous, leaving the voting criteria up for interpretation. It makes for better results in the end, I suppose. Or at least more arguments.

But it also means that this season won't be much different than the rest in terms of who the main faces in the race will be. You're not going to have a guy like Gerald Wallace that plays bulldog defense and leads his team in rebounds, blocks and scoring all from the small forward position. His value to the Bobcats last season can't really be quantified, but he's definitely not the traditional MVP type of player. He just has no chance.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. So in the end, you'll have the same cast of characters. Kobe Bryant. LeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Dwight Howard. And on. Oh, and one more guy - Kevin Durant.

Most don't realize that Durant was actually MVP runner-up last season. Now LeBron ran away with the award in a vote that wasn't close, but still, 21-year-old Kevin Durant was the runner-up. And he's my favorite to win it this season.

Why Durant? Because while LeBron is splitting not only the spotlight with Wade in South Beach, he'll also be splitting shots. He'll be splitting assists. He'll be splitting time with the ball. And most importantly, he'll be splitting big moments. To be an MVP, you need to own your team. You need to be The Man. And while most saw LeBron as the unstoppable MVP force that might win 10 straight last season, now he might not really even be in the discussion. And some think it was selfish that LeBron went to Miami.

There is the chance LeBron does something otherworldly though. I mean, he still is LeBron, an otherwordly basketball talent. What if he averages a triple-double? At that point, doesn't he have to be anointed? He's likely going to be on a team with one of the best records, plus add huge stats and something that hasn't been done in 40 years? You've got to award that. Even if he's the media devil right now.

And of course, don't forget the other usual suspects. Kobe will have numbers, his team will be good and he has everyone's attention. But as he ages, the less important big numbers have become and he's completely satisfied with 25-28 points per game. Dwight Howard does it all for the Magic, but voters have already proven hesitant to award such an imperfect player. Wade has the LeBron Problem and while there are other great candidates (Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams), one guys has to just stick out.

And Durant already has a leg up on everyone in the most important category: the media. Because of his uneventful but very eventful summer, Durant skyrocketed up popularity charts and had every person with a blog, Twitter or press pass writing about what a swell guy he is. You know, for announcing his "exstension" in a tweet and then for winning gold for his country. He's been cast as the anti-LeBron and in a world where whether it's sports, movies or real life, we like good vs. bad. Durant is Obi-Wan to LeBron's Darth Vader.

And that sort of thing is what could separate him. Durant is going to have the numbers. It's likely he'll finish with a line of something like 31 points per game, eight rebounds, three assists with percentages of 50-40-90. And if his darling Thunder squad wins over 50 and is in the Western mix, voters will pretty much hand deliver the award to Durant.

But KD has to deal with something he really hasn't had to yet - expectations. People are writing how he's the savior to basketball, the good guy, the one we should root for the sake of the children - children!!! - Durant should be the role model. But still, he has to perform.

His MVP campaign started with a simple tweet and built up serious steam in Turkey. But if Durant wants to hoist the Maurice Podoloff trophy in front of the Thunder faithful, he's still going to have to play. And there's no doubt he will.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 4:14 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 4:15 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Hornets

Posted by Royce Young

Time to give the hardwood a good waxing and to put some air in the roundball. Training camp is seriously just days away. Ken Berger has already kicked the priming off looking at Boston and San Antonio's training camp issues . And so let's start over here with a team with a disgruntled star that had people talking about where he could go before Carmelo Anthony took over - the New Orleans Hornets.

New Orleans Hornets


Training camp site: New Orleans, LA

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Trevor Ariza (trade), Marco Belinelli (trade), Craig Brackins (draft), Quincy Pondexter (draft), Mustafa Shakur (free agent)

Key subtractions: Darren Collison (trade), James Posey (trade)

Likely starting lineup: Chris Paul, PG; Marcus Thornton, SG; Trevor Ariza, SF; David West, PF; Emeka Okafor, C

Player to watch:   Chris Paul. Coming off an injury that caused him to miss the last 37 games of the season, some wonder if Paul will be the same player. Add in the turbulent offseason with rumors about his New Orleans future and all eyes are on CP3 as he heads to camp. Marcus Thornton is maybe the most intriguing player on the roster because of his potential to break out as a big time scorer, but the Hornets are Chris Paul's team and therefore, he's the one to be watching.

Chemistry check: Though Chris Paul tried to sooth some of the chemistry questions kicked up by him this summer by reportedly asking out of New Orleans, it's still something that's likely to linger over the team. Since it appears that Paul is kind of running the team with Dell Demps catering to Paul's wishes and desires, how does that make the rest of the squad feel?

Obviously CP3 is the leader. Obviously, he's the star. But how does all of that fit in with the rest of the group? Plus, Paul has a new running buddy in Trevor Ariza, a player that shoots first and asks questions later. How does Paul integrate his game with Ariza's trigger happy approach? Luckily for the Hornets, Monty Williams is a good man to have in charge of these issues and someone that can likely solve any kind of chemistry uptick.

Camp battles: One key area is up for discussion going into camp for the Hornets: Who's Chris Paul's new backup point guard? After trading Darren Collison as part of the Ariza deal, the Hornets signed D-Leaguer Mustafa Shakur in the offseason and have recently inked D.J. Strawberry to come to camp and compete for the job. It's the type of position battle that's not overly important because if all goes well, whoever wins the job will only get 8-10 minutes a night. But if something goes wrong like it did last season, it could become a very important spot for the Hornets.

At shooting guard, Marcus Thornton is almost assured of having the starting job, but Marco Belinelli could potentially push him a bit.

Long shots: Strawberry isn't necessarily a long shot, but the job is Shakur's to lose. The Hornets also are bringing in D-League journeyman Daryl Watkins who has spent time with the Kings, Spurs and Clippers. He's a big guy that has somewhat of a chance because of the thin Hornet front line, but it's not likely he makes the team.

Biggest strength: The starting five. Not to pull a Rodney Stuckey here, but on paper, NOLA has a pretty nice first first. Paul, Thornton, Ariza, David West and Emeka Okafor. That five should be able to match up with most, assuming Thornton continues his rise as a prolific scorer. West is a former All-Star, Okafor should have a full run with Paul and is a quality rim-protector and Ariza can score and is a capable lockdown defender.

Glaring weakness:   Depth. As is the case with a lot of teams with good front line talent, there's just not much waiting in reserve. The Hornets traded James Posey and Collison to get Ariza, which definitely hurt their depth. Add in the fact that they might have a D-Leaguer backing up CP3, Darius Songaila spelling West and Aaron Gray as their backup center, and you've got a team with issues on the bench. If rookies Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins can step up, those issues can be resolved but as of right now, it's a major question.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How will the All-Star Game look?

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...



What will the All-Star Game look like?


Los Angeles. City of Angels. Home of the back-to-back NBA champions, the legendary LA Lakers. And in February, home of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. It's going to be ridiculous, it's going to be over-the-top (more so than even your normal All-Star Game). It's going to be expensive. Really, really expensive. It will also be interesting as next year there are likely to be big changes in the All-Star Game. So what exactly is that game going to look like?

It's difficult to predict, obviously, who will be participating in the game. Even more so than any other episode of predicting the future, there are so many factors that can play into who makes it. Not only things like injuries, team downturns, unexpected rises, and trades, but the popularity contest of the voting system. But there are some things we can examine the possibility of.

For starters, with Amar'e Stoudemire headed to New York, there's a spot down low for the West. You can slide in Tim Duncan, because he's like Johnny Cash. Steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor. Pau Gasol's another lock, as many think he's the best power forward in the league right no w. From there, you've got Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman as the other two bigs from last year's squad. Kaman's unlikely to return with the addition of Blake Griffin, and Randolph's success is tied to an inconsistent Grizzlies team. Meanwhile, Yao Ming returns from injury and will most likely look like a legitimate contender for the starting spot.

But what about Andrew Bynum? We've been waiting for Bynum to live up to his potential for three seasons, and he's constantly referred to as one of the best centers in the league, despite his numerous injury issues. With the Lakers getting older, and Bynum supposedly healthier than he has been in years, Bynum has to be considered a strong contender not just for the backup position, but possibly as a starting center (which would put Tim Duncan at power forward, where he belongs).

Speaking of Duncan, he and Dirk Nowitzki are headed down the stretch and it'll be important to note that one of them is going to take a step backwards. Age demands it. And though Duncan is widely considered the best power forward of all time by those that consider him a power forward, he's most likely to have the dropoff. You saw it at times last season. The writing isn't on the wall, but there's a pen by the chalkboard. Bear in mind we're talking about inches below the greatness he's always provided, but it might be enough with a rising Bynum to shove either him or Dirk out of the starting lineup. And that will just be weird.

This is all before we start trying to figure out the point guards in the West. Steve Nash showing no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul back to full health. Deron Williams healthy with Al Jefferson beside him and more of the offensive load. Tyreke Evans, out of the rookie well and into the general pool. Russell Westbrook, possibly coming on as one of the better slide and dice guards in the league on a team that looks poised to make a run. Stephoe Curry, a rookie of the year runner-up with another season under him and a license to score. This likely means Jason Kidd will not be returning to the team for the 11th time in his career.

And oh, yeah, Kobe will be back in the starting spot. No "probably." He will be.

In the East? Well, the Miami Triad was formed from guys in the East, so they're likely to stay. Even with a downturn in production from sharing the ball, all three should be locks, though it's hard to see Bosh making the starting spot as he was a reserve last season. Amar'e Stoudemire could wind up knocking Kevin Garnett out of the starting spot which would be another changing of the guard. But a more likely scenario is Joe Johnson being unable to reach the starting spot again and moving into the reserve spot as the East looks like the West from last year: four bigs and a guard (Dwyane Wade). Which will be disappointing considering Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo's existence, both of whom are probable to return as starters.

Carlos Boozer, freed from the big-heavy West, may be able to work his way into a spot, and Paul Pierce may be on the bubble. If Andrew Bogut returns healthy, he could complicate matters, along with Brandon Jennings. Basically, point guards are going to massively complicate these rosters.

Sure, some of these players are going to go down to injury, others will have downturn seasons. But there's a strong indication that this might be a year of big changes in the All-Star Game, both with starting rosters and the reserve spots.

But the parties will be awesome regardless.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:49 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 12:51 pm
 

Hornets aren't done pleasing CP3 yet

Posted by Royce Young

It's pretty obvious that the Hornets' offseason moves this summer were done for a pretty specific reason - to keep Chris Paul happy. The acquisition of swingman Trevor Ariza and then a deal to bring in shooting guard Marco Belinelli were both accomplished after reports of Paul's unhappiness surfaced.

And according to head coach Monty Williams, the Hornets might not be finished competing for CP3's heart.

“My gut feeling is that we are not done yet," Williams told the Times-Picayune. ”Dell and I share information on both sides. I talk to him about players and he talks to me about things we can do. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together."

Granted, a lot of people pull the "We're not done yet!" card. Everyone is looking to improve if the opportunity presents itself. But the Hornets will actually be called on it if they're bluffing.

Some have mentioned New Orleans being a destination for Carmelo Anthony, though it's unlikely. I'm teaming with Chris Paul is intriguing, but it's not the market he wants and the Hornets probably don't have the assets to complete a trade with the Nuggets.

And while Williams talks about more players, the reality is the current Hornets roster might just be good enough for a playoff birth if everyone starts playing to their capability. Already in place is the best point guard in the league, plus a rising scorer in Marcus Thornton, then the addition of a quality defender and scorer Trevor Ariza. Add in David West who is an all-star caliber power forward and then center Emeka Okafor who has underachieved and that's a nice starting five.

Obviously a higher caliber scorer would be on the wish list, but as it stands, there's not really a clear cut hole in the first five. Okafor has been a disappointment for the most part, but he's definitely a capable player. Plus, he didn't have the luxury of playing with Chris Paul for the entire season. Do the Hornets need to make a few more moves? Of course. They need a new backup for Paul, a reliable bench scorer and a couple secondary big men. They aren't good enough right now to be a real contender. But are they that far off? Surprisingly, probably not.

Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:13 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 12:14 pm
 

Monty Williams says CP3 never asked for trade

Posted by Royce Young

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Sean Deveney of Sporting News spoke with Hornets head coach Monty Williams recently and when asked about Chris Paul's summer trade demands, Williams said Paul never asked for any such thing.

"You can say it has settled down now, but it was settled before that," Williams told Sporting News. "For me, it was never an issue. Chris never said anything about a trade. He never asked for a trade. He wants us to be a better team, but we all want that and Dell [Demps] and I are going to do all that we can to make it a better team. We're going to make this a better team with Chris here."

Yeeeeeah, surrrrrrre. So what we're all those meetings about this summer? Why did Dell Demps scramble to make a move for Trevor Ariza?

But I mean, what's Williams supposed to say when someone asks him if Chris Paul asked to be traded? "Yeah he did. He totally wanted out but somehow we talked him in to staying here for a while. Or at least we told him that he still has two years on his contract and there's nothing he can do until then."

Or CP3 might have just said, "Get better or I'm out." That's not technically an official trade demand, but more of an ultimatum. So Williams might not even be fibbing in a technical sense.

There's of course the possibility that all of Paul's trade talk was just something to push new Hornets management in an aggressive direction. Maybe he didn't have any real intentions of leaving New Orleans, but just wanted to give ownership and the front office a little kick in the pants.

And in the end, it doesn't necessarily matter. Paul is in New Orleans for the time being and Demps is trying to put together a competitive roster that will keep his star happy. All signs say that CP3 at some point wanted out of New Orleans, but Demps made some moves, said some good things and at least for the immediate future, Chris Paul is a Hornet.
Posted on: August 13, 2010 11:41 am
Edited on: August 13, 2010 11:42 am
 

Nike rescues LeBron from some more boos

Posted by Royce Young

Nike has a small history of trying to protect LeBron James' image. Most recall Dunkgate from last summer where Jordan Crawford dunked on LeBron and a Nike official confiscated a couple recordings from an observers. Nike said it was because no cameras were allowed at the event, but most saw it as Nike trying to shield LeBron from humiliation.

Well, here we go again.

At last night's Team USA's showcase at the World Basketball Festival (presented by Nike) at Radio City Music Hall, multiple members of the Redeem Team were interviewed during the scrimmage. Players like Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Amar'e Stoudemire were put up on the big screen throughout. One wasn't. You guessed it - LeBron.

A Nike official said it didn't want its World Basketball Festival to get littered with boos. "We wanted to stay away from that," a Nike official said.
At least they're honest. Because Knicks' fans certainly would have been fairly brutal if LeBron's face has been flashed on screen. And it would've been even worse, had he spoken. Though, it's hard to really blame Nike from wanting to prevent a boisterous crowd soil its event.

Of course, Nike can't save LeBron from the booing and heckling this season, because the Heat's road trips will really turn into a 41-game boo-tour. But according to LeBron, that's exactly what he wants.
 
 
 
 
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