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Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: July 23, 2010 11:09 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 11:10 am
 

Source gives reasons Chris Paul wants out of NOLA

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Paul is meeting with the Hornets Monday to discuss his situation, the team's vision and where he fits in with all that. That still doesn't mean he doesn't want a trade.

An article from the Times-Picayune today quotes a source close to Paul and offers some insight as to why CP3 is looking elsewhere.

“No one from our camp has said that Chris demanded a trade,’’ the Paul confidante said Thursday to the Picayune. ”But they (Hornets) have not put themselves in position to win this season. We have the same team as last year, basically. The only thing that matters to Chris is winning.’’

While the source said it, we all already know why Paul wants out. Reportedly, CP3 is growing more agitated watching guys like Matt Barnes, Mike Miller and Shaq sign elsewhere. Mentioned later in the article is another quote from the source: “Are they even calling guys and trying to get them to play? We would have loved to hear that Mike had narrowed his choices down to the Hornets and Heat. But we’re never in the running for players.“

What's most interesting is that there's really no denial involved. The person close to Paul never says CP3 doesn't want out. Typicaly, that sort of stuff happens. But not in this case. For instance, the parting quote: “Chris is still true to his words that New Orleans is his first choice, but if they are not committed to winning in the 2010-11 season, he would be open to a trade,” the source told the paper. "The Hornets have not put any pieces around him this summer to make him think otherwise.’’

Monday's meeting could likely be the hammer that nails something down either way. Paul will either come out relieved, encouraged and motivated, or he'll leave saying he's got to get out. At this point, signs are pointing to the latter. Then it'll be a question as to if the Hornets will oblige him in his request.
Category: NBA
Posted on: July 23, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 3:30 pm
 

Offseason reviews: Southwest Division

Posted by Royce Young

Dallas Mavericks

Added: Tyson Chandler (trade), Alexis Ajinca (trade), Ian Mahinmi (free agency), Dominique Jones (draft)
Lost:
Erick Dampier (trade), Eduardo Najera (trade), Matt Carroll (trade)

Philosophy: "It's now or never."

The Mavs' clock is starting to tick. Time is beginning to run out on the Dirk Nowitzki era and the team knows this. And every move this offseason was made in an effort to stay competitive, get to the playoffs and hopefully set themselves up for more midseason moves if necessary. The Mavericks have had the type of roster over the last 10 years that's always good enough to win 50 games, get to the postseason and maybe even win a series. But there's just never enough oomph to it and it seems like the Mavs are always a player short.

Tyson Chandler for Erick Dampier seems like a lateral move in a sense because does that really improve Dallas to the point that they're a legitimate contender now? Unlikely. The Mavericks picked up about 10 centers, but with Brendan Haywood now established inside, the Mavericks are looking to match up with Bynum and Gasol and with Chandler, things got a little better.

Grade: B-

Houston Rockets

Added: Luis Scola (re-signed), Kyle Lowry (re-signed), Brad Miller (free agency), Patrick Patterson (draft)
Lost: None

Philosophy: "Keep playing chess while the rest, you know."

You might as well count Yao as addition as well, because getting the big man back is huge for the Rockets. But Houston re-inked Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola for the long-term and brought in Brad Miller as help/insurance behind Yao. The Rockets are a team that want sustained success but are looking to compete now. Daryl Morey isn't shy about being active to build a roster he prefers, and this offseason, he did exactly that. The Rockets drafted Patrick Patterson in the first round, re-signed a few players and attempted to address an issue inside.

Grade: B+

Memphis Grizzlies

Added: Rudy Gay (re-signed), Tony Allen (free agency), Xavier Henry (draft)
Lost: Marcus Williams (free agency), Lester Hudson (free agency)

Philosophy: "Hang with us, we're getting there."

The Grizzlies have built a quality roster somewhat unconventionally. They've acquired a large bulk of it through the draft and trades, but really scored big last season when Zach Randolph decided he was ready to play without any baggage. The biggest thing the Grizzlies did this offseason was re-sign Rudy Gay. Now, is Gay worth $84 million? Eh, that's a pretty hefty price for him. But keep in mind, Gay is only 23 and had his best season last year. And someone was going to pay him. It basically came down to if Memphis wanted to hang on to its franchise player, they were going to have to overpay. These are the type of things that can hurt in the long term, but it was a choice the Grizzlies had to make and they chose to keep their most talented player. Hard to say it's really that dumb.

The Tony Allen signing is a slight headscratcher, mainly because where does he fit in for quality minutes? O.J. Mayo may be learning to play point, but he's still the starting 2. Of course there's Xavier Henry who the Grizzlies drafted and though he can play small forward, he's a more natural shooting guard. Allen is versatile and brought in to defend, but $15 million over three years is pretty steep for a guy that might only play 15-20 minutes a night.

The one thing about the Grizzlies is that there doesn't seem to be any real direction. It's more a collection of talented players, but how do they fit together? How do they play together? Memphis isn't necessarily a player or two away from being a playoff team, but more an existing roster player elevating his game. Mike Conley Jr. definitely was an improved player last season, so maybe he's a candidate for a leap. Same with O.J. Mayo. The talent is in the cupboard, it's just about pulling it out onto the floor.

Grade: B

New Orleans Hornets

Added: Quincy Pondexter (draft), Craig Brackins (draft)
Lost: Morris Peterson (trade), Sean Marks (free agency), Chris Paul's commitment to the franchise

Philosophy: "Just trust us Chris! We'll get better!"

Ignore all that Chris Paul talk for just one minute. The Hornets, have been a pretty active team this offseason. And not just in terms of the roster. New Orleans has its GM resign, then hired a new GM, hired a new coach and is in the process of transferring ownership. Then they signed Luther Head and rescinded that deal. Plus they traded the 11th pick, Cole Aldrich, for Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins.

They've done a whole lot, while doing very little. But it all comes back to Paul. The main goal of this offseason is to set up a new front office, install a new coach and somehow convince your soured star to stay true to the mission. If that gets done, this is a slam dunk of an offseason for the Hornets, considering the circumstances. If Paul walks, the summer months were nothing short of a disaster.

Grade: Incomplete

San Antonio Spurs

Added: Tiago Splitter (signed), Richard Jefferson (re-signed), James Anderson (draft), Ryan Richards (draft), Gary Neal (summer league signee)
Lost: Roger Mason Jr. (free agency), Keith Bogans (free agency), Ian Mahinmi (free agency),

Philosophy: "We're not done yet."

The Spurs are offseason savants. RC Buford and company know how to pay just the right money, push the right buttons and get the right players. And evidently how to talk people out of $15 million. Take say, Richard Jefferson for example. The Spurs lucked out when Jefferson opted out of his $15 million deal. He claimed it was because he wanted a long-term deal. The Spurs obliged, Jefferson took less money and it saved the Spurs from busting the luxury tax and kept some serious coin in their pockets. It's a fishy deal, but nonetheless, good for San Antonio.

Next, they signed Tiago Splitter. Splitter has been sort of a myth the last few years. A gifted big man that tore it up internationally, but couldn't come to terms with San Antonio. Well, the Spurs officially inked him to a sensible deal (about $16 million over three years) and not only is Splitter visions of the future for San Antonio, but he also helps now. They also added James Anderson, an All-American and prolific college scorer to replace Roger Mason Jr. The Spurs know what they want to do and while their core may seem ancient, the goal remains the same: build around talent and ride Tim Duncan until he can't walk anymore.

Grade: B+


Posted on: July 22, 2010 2:36 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 9:47 pm
 

LeBron advises Chris Paul on his "decision"

Posted by Royce Young

Nobody is blaming Chris Paul for wanting out of New Orleans. The roster is a wreck, the Hornets fired a coach he liked, fired their general manager and ownership is changing hands. There's no direction and really, no immediate success on the horizon.

And today, CP3 got an endorsement for someone that may sour some on Paul's demands. LeBron James tweeted: "Best of luck to my brother @oneandonlycp3 . Do what's best for You and your family." At this point, LeBron endorsing CP3's idea to leave his club is like Bernie Madoff recommending the next Secretary of the Treasury.

Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer put it rather brilliantly in just 140 characters : "These days 'brand management' & 'doing what is best for your family' apparently means turning off as many of your fans as possible. "

It's almost getting to the point where someone could commit armed robbery or sell meth and it would be justified as long as they precluded it with a, "I'm going to do what's best for me and my family." Wait, actually that's the plot of Breaking Bad and honestly, within the context of that show, it makes total sense.

But this isn't life or death here. This is basketball . If I were being careless with words, I'd make some sort of comparison to the World Trade Center or poverty in Africa here. But that's the point - this line of looking out for number one is getting old, because we all really know it's just an excuse to get what you want. It's not about the greater good, it's about numero uno. Doing what's best for "me and my family" really just means, "Where am I going to have the on-court success, get the glory I feel I deserve and make bunches of money?"

What's interesting is that LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul all just made a trip out to Vegas to talk to Team USA as they prepare for the World Championships. So it's clearly interesting that LeBron wanted his encouraging note to CP3 to be public. He could've just leaned over and told him while out in Vegas together. And no one is so naive to think that Paul hasn't talked to LeBron and Wade about all this anyway. Maybe that's where the original seed was planted. Paul is repped by the same agent as LeBron so the people that orchestrated the King's departure from Cleveland could surely manufacture the same for CP3 and New Orleans.

The thing is, it's not a bad thing at all to do what you want to do. Actually, it's a good thing! LeBron wanted to go to Miami. He didn't really hurt his reputation in my mind, he just hurt his legacy. And if he's fine with that, I have no qualms. Paul could escape NOLA and be the good guy. He wouldn't take near the blowback LeBron has received and CP3 will be seen as the victim. Nobody would blame him for leaving.

But Windhorst's point remains - just because you do what you want doesn't mean everyone is going to be behind it. Paul's efforts to get out of New Orleans has already surely hurt his standing with the Hornet fanbase. But it's not about that for CP3. It's about brand, about money and about what's best for me. And I'm not entirely sure that's really such a bad thing. Or is it?

Posted on: July 21, 2010 6:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 7:33 pm
 

If the Hornets trade CP3, how do they get back?

Posted by Royce Young

The surfacing trade talk surrounding Chris Paul just seems crazy . How could the Hornets just let go of their franchise player? How could they give up one of the best players in the league? How could they give a potential all-time great?

Sometimes, it's not about what the team wants. It's about what the players demands. In some cases, there's just no way to stop a runaway train. And regardless of how things go down in New Orleans, the Hornets aren't going to let Paul go for free. They want, they need , something worthwhile in return.

Not only do the Hornets need to make a substantial deal just in basketball sense to replace Paul, but they're at risk of completely losing their fanbase as well. Chris Paul is the New Orleans Hornets. They have to make some sort of deal that can be somewhat justified to the fanbase, otherwise this may be the second death of basketball in New Orleans.

Take Minnesota for example. Kevin Garnett was the face of the franchise for 12 years before finally asking for a way out that led to him landing in Boston. The Wolves received Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, a top-three protected draft pick (which turned into Wayne Ellington) and cash. How many of those players are still with Minnesota? Just Ellington who was taken in 2009. The Wolves still haven't recovered from the deal and honestly, no resurrection is currently within sight.

Another example of how things worked out better for a team departaing with their man was Toronto trading Vince Carter to New Jersey. In exchange, the Raptors received Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft picks (turned into Joey Graham and the second one was traded to New York) for their franchise player. The Raptors went the rebuilding route instead of trying to receive talent and though it took a little time, they recovered. Of course having Chris Bosh helped, but the point remains.

The thing is, the Hornets aren't going to be completely left floating aimlessly in the ocean if they trade CP3. Darren Collison had one of the most impressive rookie campaigns for a point guard in a while, and that was in a limited number of games filling in for the injured Paul. Last season Collison started only 37 games but averaged 12.4 points per game and 5.7 assists per game. He had 14 games with 10 or more assists and even dished out 20, 18 and 15 helpers in three games. For a rookie, that's quality stuff.

So the Hornets aren't looking to grab a point guard back in a deal. They need help on the inside since as Ken Berger mentioned, Emeka Okafor is going to most likely be included in the deal. New Orleans is a franchise that's always search for financial relief, so of course a hefty non-guaranteed contract (Erick Dampier cough cough) or at least a few expiring deals might suffice.

But they also want assets. Draft picks, and high ones at that. The Hornets are going to be left in rebuilding mode and likely can't sell their fanbase on a few expiring contracts and a a late first round pick. But they also need interior help and a scorer. Marcus Thornton has emerged as a candidate to potentially remedy the latter, but who can play inside for NOLA? David West? Julian Wright?

Even with Paul, the Hornets need help. The key in any deal sending the franchise somewhere else is that the returning package is the short road to rebuilding. A deal like what Matt Moore constructed involving Orlando is ideal . Some assets, an expiring contract and a couple quality players that can actually help on the floor in the near future.

The Hornets have two ways to go in a deal involving Paul. They can either be left the way Minnesota was, in shambles trying to find the new face of the team and scrambling to rebuild or grab assets and flexibility like Toronto and trust they'll find their way back.

Otherwise, the Hornets might not just be trading away Chris Paul, but basketball in their city as well.

Posted on: July 21, 2010 6:37 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Who's in the market for CP3?

Posted by Matt Moore

With Ken Berger's report that Chris Paul is adamantly requesting a trade , we need to start exploring the possibilities. The odds are substantially low that Paul gets moved despite his feelings, simply based on the extreme difficulty in packaging the necessary assets to convince Hornets management to pull the trigger. But with a player of Paul's stature on the market (whether his team likes it or not), we need to examine the possibilities. So who's a realistic candidate to make a move for CP3?

Orlando Magic: This one's been out there for a while. The Magic have the right combination of talent, contracts, and assets to maneuver into position for Paul. They can send back a versatile shooting point guard to help with the transition of Darren Collison. They can send Vince Carter and his expiring contract, along with a significant player at shooting guard to pair with Marcus Thornton. They still have draft picks in the can, have expendable players with talent like Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass. It puts an elite player next to Dwight Howard and matches the upgrade the Heat have made, and potentially gives them an advantage over the Celtics in terms of talent. The question would be if Paul could function inside the unique spacing the Magic employ, which primarily functions on a series of swing passes. There's no question he'd be dominant in the pick and roll with Howard.

New York Knicks:
I know. I'm nuts. Hear me out. The deal could in no-way be cemented until December 15th, but the Knicks have Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, and a handful of prospects. They lack the ability to send draft picks thanks to the desperate firesale move they pulled with the Rockets, but the right combination of players might work. Wilson Chandler next to Marcus Thornton would give the Hornets flexibility on the wing, especially if the Knicks are willing to take on Peja Stojakovic's poison pill. That may be the Knicks' biggest asset: financial flexibility to take on the rest of the Hornets' ill-advised veteran figures. The pull for Paul? If the New York toast rumors were true, this would get him with the best player he's ever played alongside in Amar'e Stoudemire (with apologies to David West), in a major market, and would likely convince Carmelo Anthony to hold off on that contract extension. It's a pretty perfect scenario, which of course means it won't happen.

Portland Trail Blazers: If the Blazers want to get back into talk of being a title contender immediately, this could be their path to salvation. They have picks to move, a ton of flexible players at multiple positions, and Paul in Portland would be ridiculous. Paul, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge, with those centers down low? All of a sudden the Blazers would be within range of the title. The numbers, however, might be too much, especially with the massive amount of money they just tossed at Wesley Matthews. The Blazers would have to surrender most of the depth they've worked to acquire, along with at least one of their two top centers in order to facilitate a deal. But it would also mean a tremendous coup for the new regime.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Here's a stretch. Trying to convince Paul to go to the Ruins of NBA Pompei would be a tricky feat. But if you look at the roster, it might not be impossible. The Cavs do feature a team with depth, with Antawn Jamison and J.J. Hickson still on roster. They have some flexibility in the coming years. They need a hero, and they've shown they're willing to commit to spending. With Byron Scott on roster, who Paul has gone on record in support of multiple times, the Cavs could conceivably replace LeBron James with a new savior. They'd have to give up most of their most attractive assets and nearly everything they got from Miami. But somehow, if New Orleans was at all interested, I don't think they'd mind.

Los Angeles Lakers: Tremble, and be afraid, ye mortals of Earth. This is plausible, possible, and according to KB, one of the teams on Paul's list. The Lakers can send Andrew Bynum, a young stud center, and a handful of short-term contracts for Paul. Paul gets to play alongside the best team in the NBA in the most attractive market in the NBA. He takes the reins from Kobe and helps lead that team into what, three more titles? More? It's a terrifying possibility that would give the Lakers the one-up over the Miami-three. He and Gasol could work the two-man game, and in the triangle, well, okay, that's a downside. Chris Paul in the triangle is like binding a horse's legs. They're not meant to be constrained that way. Shooting corner threes is a waste of Paul's potential, and most of the ball handling isn't done by a point in the triangle. But somehow, playing next to Kobe and Gasol, Paul may not mind.

New Orleans Hornets: No, they won't be trading Paul to themselves. But you have to think this is still the most likely scenario (yes, we said that about LeBron James, too). Paul has been a major force in the community. That's going to tug at him. The Hornets just hired two representatives from the Spurs organization, who clearly have been part of winning environments. He can make the most money there, and has teammates he's gone to battle with. Mostly, though, it's hard to see new GM Dell Demps or head coach Monty Williams being willing to put themselves in a deep dark hole to start their run with the franchise. And trading Paul means a complete rebuild. Not the situation you want to embark on before you've even put your pictures up in your office.

But with the way Paul sounds according to KB, we may see the unlikely become reality once again this year.

So what is it that the Hronets need to get back? Royce Young tells us more on that one .



Posted on: July 21, 2010 1:23 am
Edited on: July 21, 2010 9:39 am
 

Hornets tag Demps for GM

Posted by Matt Moore

After our own Ken Berger reported this afternoon , the Hornets have been dancing with San Antonio Spurs VP and Austin Toros GM Dell Demps for the majority of the weekend to fill their GM position. Marc Stein reports tonight that the dancing is done, and Dell will be hired for the Hornets' management position .

Demps brings a different perspective, combining pro experience with a development background, and having gotten his MBA to compete in the business aspects. He'll join Monty Williams in N'Awlins, a fellow Popovich-tree disciple. Demps is a strong believer in development, and has been part of a tremendous drafting and development program in Texas. The Spurs have consistently drafted well, regardless of position, and their D-Legue team has not only performed well record-wise, but has consistently produced call-up worthy talent, including Alonzo Gee, who was signed last season and lit up summer league.

Demps will have his hands full with a discontent Chris Paul, a roster that needs uprades at multiple positions, and young players that need to be kept on track. That's before we bring up the touchy subject of Julian Wright. The Hornets looked like a wreck two months ago, but with solid hires at the key positions in the front office, Hornets fans have a lot to be hopeful about.

Assuming Demps and company can convince Paul to stay, that is.
Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:28 pm
 

Julian Wright needsVegas League guidance

We interrupt your coverage of NBA free agency apocalypse to bring you Julian Wright's ego run amuck.

So Julian Wright had so much potential and just never got there. The prototypical athletic forward that can't seem to develop consistent moves, touch, or keep his head on straight while defending. Your favorite team probably has one. If your favorite team is the Warriors you have about five.

But the story of a career is not writtten a handful of years into it, it's written at the end. So if he works hard, and continues to committing to developing...

Oh, well .

The Times Picayune in New Orleans reports that Wright has elected not to participate in Summer League. The assumption is that he believes he's got nothing to gain from attending. It's entirely possbile there's some injury keeping Wright out. Or maybe he's got a significant personal engagement he can't break.

But skippig is kind of par for the course for "Juju." He's failed to recognize that you can't skip stages in this league unless you're an elite talent. And like most players, he's not an elite talent. Which means he needs to try and work his way to where he wants to be instead of just saying he's there.

Not the best way to start off with a new coach, there, Juju.



Posted on: July 2, 2010 1:58 am
 

Free-agency layup line: Handshake deals aplenty

All of the little free-agency stories that flow through. We'll have several of these throughout the day, updated regularly.

Lot of little things going on.

As Ken Berger reported earlier , the Raptors came to an agreement with Amir Johnson for five years at $34 million. Johnson's super-young, super-athletic, and a defensive stalwart. He can't hit the broad side of a barn with a 12-guage, but it's not like offense is what the Raptors need to improve on. Considering the other moves made today, you have to wonder if Johnson's deal wasn't one of the shrewdest.

CSN New England is reporting that the Celtics are taking a good long look at free-agent Brendan Haywood as a replacement for Kendrick Perkins, who is out till December after knee surgery. After Doc Rivers came back to the fold, the Celtics turned their attention to upgrading their roster. Turning to Haywood is an interesting idea. Haywood is an older veteran, but still younger than most of the Celtics at 30, and fits their profile at what is probably a reasonable price. Of course, the Celts' biggest priority is getting Paul Pierce re-signed, as KB informed you they've begun work on

The Nets are feeling pretty good about themselves after this morning's presentation to LeBron James. The sticking point? James will want help, and right now all of the other max guys have different ideas. Wade clearly wants to stay in Miami, Amar'e likes that idea as well, and who knows what Chris Bosh is thinking.

Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Suns are considering Hakim Warrick, which makes about as much sense as any signing you'll hear about. Warrick is a veteran with length and athleticism, with some years left in front of him. He doesn't play defense but can dunk pretty well. Sounds like just about your average Phoenix Sun, no?

Be sure to check back every thirty seconds, because that's about how long it takes for the pendulum to swing back and forth from "Dirk Nowitzki is totally looking at New York!" to "Dirk Nowitzki is going nowhere ."

ESPN's Chad Ford reports teams are still looking to try and nab Chris Paul. But the interesting aspect of this is that no one is talking about the Hornets' side. After trading Mo Peterson's rottting corpse last week to OKC, the Hornets areout of the tax. The biggest reason to trade CP3 is gone, and they have not said they'e considering trading Paul. Your crazy Chris Paul rumor of the moment? The Knicks may take a swing if they strike out on LeBron or one of the other max free agents. Good luck with that.

Rusty Simmons of the San Franciso Chronicle reports that the Warriors are in the market for a small forward after dealing Corey Maggette to the Bucks. Apparently Marvin Williams, Trevor Ariza, and Shane Battier are on the lists. Shane Battier on the Warriors is not only weird, but would be a tragedy to see his defensive prowess on the ole' Dubs.






 
 
 
 
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