Archive for July, 2009

Tyson Chandler: CLASS ACT (we’ll miss ya)
July 29, 2009

Tyson Chandler posted this statement on his blog:

I feel very good about the trade. I’m going to a place that has some good young players, some players that play hard and a great coach in Larry Brown. I’m really excited about the new opportunity to be a part of something that I feel like is on the rise.

On the other hand, I’m sad to leave New Orleans. I met a lot of people in the community that I got close to. It was an incredible playing environment, playing with a group of teammates that I grew to love and respect. That part I’m really going to miss. With those guys it was like a family. Being under Coach Scott and his staff and growing close with he and his family and the Pauls, really all of my teammates. We were really close, so I’m really going to miss them. It’s tough for me to leave, but I am looking forward to the future.

POSTCARD TO NOLA
I felt like we really had an opportunity as a team to grow within that franchise and get better and better. I thought we had the opportunity for a title shot. I’m going to miss playing alongside the guy who I think is the best point guard in the game and has a chance to be one of the greatest of all time, Chris. Then D-West, watching him develop as a player, I’m going to miss that. I felt like playing with David, I was also playing with the best shooter in the game.

Everyone knows how I feel about Coach. I just love and respect him so much and he’s helped me turn my career around from where it was heading in Chicago, coming into New Orleans and allowing people to see that talent that I have.

 

I’m really going to miss all of New Orleans, including the fans. I’ve grown close to a lot of the fans in my time there and I’ll miss that a lot. Especially because of last year, being injured and hurt. Obviously, I tried to play through it, but I wasn’t the type of player that I normally am. So it’s also tough to leave there without giving the fans that final taste of what I’m capable of doing.

To keep reading click link below:

http://www.tysonchandler.com/tyson-chandlers-blog/move-again/2009/07/29

Chandler/Okafor Trade Analysis
July 28, 2009

ANALYSIS:

1. The Trade

2. Kudos George

3. My Opinion

4. The Team

5. Are They Done?

The Trade

If the Hornets and Bobcats trade centers as is expected today (Tuesday) I’d say the Hornets came out on top.

The deal is a one player for one player swap…Tyson Chandler for Emeka Okafor.

The Hornets get a durable rebounding machine in Emeka Okafor.  The 26 year old former University of Connecticut star averages 14 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Sure, the Hornets are taking on a tremendous salary (Okafor is due a total of $63 million dollars through the 2014 season) but the 6’10 250 pounder helps the Hornets win now.

Charlotte gets a solid center in Chandler but a player who’s not as good as or durable as Okafor.  The Bobcats do get salary relief because Chandler’s deal ends after the 2011 season (Chandler’s contract could end after this season if he exercises an early termination clause).

The Hornets front court now features two rugged, passionate and smart players in David West and Emeka Okafor.

Kudos George

Kudos to Hornets owner George Shinn for making a commitment to winning and going after Okafor. 

All offseason Shinn and the Hornets have been beaten up for their lack of activity.

They’ve now made a big splash and deserve a pat on the back for keeping the franchise competative and in the hunt for a Western Conference title.

My Opinion

I love the deal!  I think Okafor is perfect for the Hornets and will be a much better player than Tyson Chandler ever was.  No offense to Tyson, I love him as a person and think he’s a quality player….but Okafor is better.   

Heck, I wish the Hornets would let it ride and see if the Charlotte Bobcats would add another player into the deal.  If the Hornets could get Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats for a package that included Antonio Daniels, Julian Wright and a 1st round pick then the Hornets would be arguably the force in the west.

I can’t imagine Charlotte giving away their two best players in a salary dump but I guess crazier things have happened. 

In reality…it’s going to be a one for one deal and I like Okafor for Chandler.    

The Team           

The Hornets will now trot out a starting five of:

1. Chris Paul

2. Rasual Butler

3. Julian Wright

4. David West

5. Emeka Okafor

Top reserves off the bench figure to be James Posey, Peja Stojakovic, Darren Collison, Marcus Thornton and Hilton Armstrong.  I can’t see Morris Peterson and Antonio Daniels having significant roles on this club. 

The above players give the Hornets 12 players under contract.  The team can carry up to 15 players. 

Look for the Hornets to add one more big man…possibly a player like Joe Smith or Hakim Warrick. 

The final two roster spots should be a couple of young big guys I saw play with the Hornets in the Las Vegas summer league.  Remember the names Marc Salyers, Brian Cusworth and Earl Barron.  In my opinion, all three of these guys can play and could easily make the Hornets final roster.        

Are The Done? 

I’m not sure the Hornets are done wheeling and dealing.  I think general manager Jeff Bower will keep working hard to trade some of the dead-weight contracts the team is stuck with.  If it’s at all possible to move MoPete or Antonio Daniels they’ll do it!  I would not be surprised to see a young player like Julian Wright, a key bench player like James Posey or future 1st round draft picks moved before training camp if the Hornets could get a quality veteran with an expiring contract back in return.

Emeka For Tyson!!!!
July 27, 2009

Love Emeka Okafor!!!!  GET IT DONE HORNETS!!!!

This deal doesn’t help the Hornets financially but it does make them better on the court!  Also, don’t be surprised to see the Hornets send a bad contract like MoPetes to Charlotte in this deal (they’d get back Raja Bell or Vlad Radmonovic).

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4359609

Not Sports….But Hilarious
July 27, 2009

This isn’t sports…but I had to ut it on the blog!

I’m sure by now many of you are some of the 7 million people who’ve viewed this: HILARIOUS!

Cador Not Coming To UNO
July 27, 2009

Roger Cador staying at Southern.Out of running for UNO job.

Looks like Bruce Peddie.

 http://www.2theadvocate.com…

Former Holy Cross Tiger Trying Out For Saints
July 24, 2009

This SAINTS info via John Marie from neworleans.com:

Former Holy Cross HS and Univ of Kentucky WR Dicky Lyons trying out for Saints. That’s according to his twitter acct: @lyonheart1

fb_102806_lyons1

http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/lyonsjr_dicky00.html

Significant Hornets Move???
July 21, 2009

www.hoopsworld.com published this little nugget a few days ago about the Hornets.

“There’s more work to be done, and Bower has even hinted at a significant move that will change the team’s core group…”

Bower is of course Hornets general manager Jeff Bower. 

I’m not sure how much validity their is to this sentence but lets assume it’s true.  Shaking up the ‘core’ means trading David West.  No question about it!

So are the Hornets trying to move one of their two really bad contracts (Peja, Tyson) with West?  I’d say, probably so.

Now I realize the Hornets may be talking to a number of teams but for some reason I can’t get the Chicago Bulls out of my head!

A deal that works under the NBA salary trade guidlines would be:

David West & Peja Stojakovic to Chicago Bulls

Brad Miller & Tyrus Thomas to New Orleans Hornets

The Bulls get an All-Star power forward to play alongside Joakim Noah in their front court and a shooter in Peja who can help replace some of the pop off the bench they lost when Ben Gordon left via free agency.    

 The Hornets get a young power forward from Louisiana who’s underachieved but who could still be really good.  They also get a tough, veteran big man in Miller.  This deal also helps the Hornets financially because Thomas and Miller both have expiring contracts.

If the Hornets did this deal and signed another reasonably priced veteran big man (*Drew Gooden or Joe Smith) their starting line-up and bench would look as follows.

1. Chris Paul (Darren Collison)

2. Rasual Butler (Marcus Thornton)

3. Julian Wright (James Posey)

4. Tyrus Thomas (*Drew Gooden or Joe Smith)

5. Tyson Chandler (Brad Miller)

Antonio Daniels, Morris Peterson, Devin Brown and Hilton Armstrong are also on the roster but are all really dead money because I can’t see them having significant roles.

If a deal like this one happened I’d be okay with it.  The Hornets get tons of financial flexibility after the 2009-2010 season and could perhaps use that money to sign a quality free agent.

Plus, I like the young core of CP3, Tyrus Thomas, Julian Wright, Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison.

2009 New Orleans Press Club Awards
July 21, 2009

The 2009 New Orleans Press Club Awards were last weekend.

WDSU TV won 11 awards (4 first place). Chief Meteorologist Emeritus Dan Milham was also honored with a special lifetime achievement award for his 31 years of service to viewers in New Orleans. 

1st place: Best Breaking News (Travers Mackel)

1st place: Best Weathercast (Maragret Orr)

1st place: Best Sportscast (Fletcher Mackel, Keli Fulton, Dr. Corey Hebert)

1st place: Best Sports Show (Rich Kiss, Fletcher Mackel, Keli Fulton)

Margaret Orr, Dan Milham, Fletcher Mackel, Rich Kiss, Dr. Corey Hebert, Travers Mackel

Margaret Orr, Dan Milham, Fletcher Mackel, Rich Kiss, Dr. Corey Hebert, Travers Mackel

 

WDSU Family: Clint Durret, Amy Sneed Barrios, Margaret Orr, Dan Milham, Randi Rousseau, Fletcher Mackel, Rich Kiss, Jonathan Shelley, Dr. Corey Hebert, Travers Mackel, Kyra Phillips, Joel Vilmenay, Eileen Fleming, Greg Sheppard, Becka Byrd

WDSU Family: Clint Durret, Amy Sneed Barrios, Margaret Orr, Dan Milham, Randi Rousseau, Fletcher Mackel, Rich Kiss, Jonathan Shelley, Dr. Corey Hebert, Travers Mackel, Kyra Phillips, Joel Vilmenay, Eileen Fleming, Greg Sheppard, Becka Byrd

The Hornets Ghost Of Christmas Future
July 18, 2009

It’s not Christmas…and I’m certainly not a ghost…but I liked the title of this blog.  Personally I hope this does NOT happen…but this is my doomsday look into the Hornets future.

February 22nd, 2010

New Orleans-The biggest moves made at this year’s NBA trade deadline were made by the New Orleans Hornets who are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference (4 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot behind the 8th place Golden State Warriors).

Less than two years ago the Hornets were considered one of the up and coming teams in the NBA but are now in full rebuild mode.

The franchises failure to develop young players coupled with injury-plagued veterans and bad contracts led to the Hornets struggles this season and means the Hornets are now back to square one.

In a frenzy of moves aimed at clearing salary the Hornets traded former All-Stars David West and Peja Stojakovic along with Tyson Chandler, Morris Peterson, Julian Wright and Hilton Armstrong.  The six players were sent to three different teams jockeying for playoff positioning.

Stojakovic and Armstrong are headed to the Chicago Bulls for Brad Miller and Tim Thomas.  Both Miller and Thomas have expiring contracts.  Peja will hopefully fill the scoring void the Bulls have been dealing with since losing Ben Gordon to free agency last summer.

New Jersey native David West returns to the Garden State to help bolster a Nets front court led by Brooke Lopez.  Fresh off his 3rd All-Star appearance West was traded along with James Posey and Julian Wright to New Jersey for Tony Battie, Bobby Simmons, Yi Jianlian and a 2010 1st round draft pick.  Both Battie and Simmons have expiring contracts.  Led by the back court of Devin Harris and Courtney Lee the Nets are surprisingly in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and made no secret of their intentions to trade for a player of West’s caliber.  Jianlian could still emerge as a top player in the league and exposes the Hornets to new fans in China.    

In a deal that seems like it’s been a year in the making Tyson Chandler is headed to the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder.  Led by MVP candidate Kevin Durrant the Thunder are currently in 4th place in the Western Conference and are the darlings of the NBA this season. OKC is sending the Hornets the expiring contract of Chuckey Atkins plus a 2010 1st round draft pick and a 2012 2nd round selection for Chandler.  The emergence of Shaun Livingston made Atkins expendable.  Chandler gives the Thunder their one missing ingrident…interior defense. 

By trading away all their top veterans the Hornets are now truly an army of one: Chris Paul.

Paul is the face of the franchise, a three time All-Star and the best point guard in the NBA…and he’s now all alone without a supporting cast or a head coach.

Last November, after slumping to a 10-10 start coach Byron Scott was fired.  

Assistant coach Paul Pressey has been acting as the interim head coach but he is not expected to land the job full-time.

It’s believed the Hornets will pursue New Orleanian Avery Johnson to coach the team this offseason but Johnson will command a 4-year contract valued at anywhere between $16-20 million dollars.

Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower is also on the hot seat due to the teams failures this season and he could be replaced when the season ends.  Although it is worth noting that with the trades made today Bower just rid the team of tens of millions of dollars in bad contracts. 

By making the trades they did today the Hornets have cleared $41 million dollars worth of salaries off their books for next season.  The team will also save another $10 million when the contracts of free-agents-to-be Antonio Daniels and Rasual Butler expire July 1st.  By making the moves they did the Hornets will not have to pay the NBA’s luxury tax penalty.

With some of the cash they’re getting back from expiring contracts the Hornets will no doubt look to add a big name free agent this summer.  Look for the Hornets to offer max-money contracts to players like Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.  The trades also give the Hornets three first round draft picks in the NBA draft this June (west bank resident Greg Monroe who prepped at Helen Cox High School and is playing his college ball at Georgetown is a player the Hornets reportedly could target…as is 19 year old Lithuanian star Donatas Motiejunas). 

The Hornets young core now consists of Chris Paul, 2 time NBA rookie of the month Marcus Thornton and Yi Jianlian. 

But the big question now for the Hornets is:  Can the franchise rebuild fast enough to keep Chris Paul happy?  Paul is signed with the Hornets through 2012.  Here’s hoping the moves made this offseason will keep Paul happy and bring the team back to the playoffs soon.

Let’s also hope Paul does not get too frustrated with the rebuilding process and demand a trade!

-Fletch

SPEED 6
July 16, 2009

We have new segment here at WDSU.

SPEED 6!!!!!

The segment is of course dedicated to NASCAR.

Please e-mail NASCAR expert Andy Cannatella your questions so he can answer them during the online segment.