Archive for July, 2010

Hornets-Knicks-Sixers Deal
July 28, 2010

This trade was emialed to me…says it courtesy of: yackman

I LOVE IT!!!  Kinda upset I didn’t think of it!

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TradeMachine: Hornets-Sixers-Knicks Trade…Everybody Wins!
Knicks get:

Chris Paul
Omeka Okafor

Hornets get:

E. Curry (expiring)
D. Gallinari
A. Randolph
A. Iguodala
M. Speights
L. Williams

Sixers get:

D. West
R. Turiaf
T. Douglas
J. Wright

Hornets would be getting starters at SG, SF, PF, a serviceable center, and a great backup PG. If you’re going to give up 2 allstars, that’s what you expect to get in return. We’d also save about $2 million this year.

Sixers get rid of Iggy’s contract, freeing up Evan Turner to start at the 2, and they get an All Star PF, a capable backup at center, and a young PG/SG that can backup Jrue Holliday and depth at the 3. If they want to and can sign West/Turiaf/Douglas/Wright to extensions great, if not, $16.2 million comes off the books at the end of this year giving them the cap room to build around Evan Turner.

Knicks get CP3. And they also get to keep Wilson Chandler, even though they’d prefer to keep Gallinari or Randolph, keeping one of those three is a win for the Knicks.

Hornets roster looks like this:

Collison/Williams
Iguodala/Thornton
Gallinari/QPon/Peja/Posey
Randolph/Songaila/Brackins
Speights/Gray/Curry

(Thornton could also play the 2, Iggy the 3, Galli the 4, and Randolph the 5 for stretches of the game)

At the end of this season you have roughly $31 million coming off the books and probable starters at every position except for Center (unless Spreights and/Grey develop), and good depth.

Maybe you throw a max deal at Gasol or Horford and you rely on your GM to continue to add pieces at the right cost.

Then you rely on your coach to develop the young talent and to make sure this team is getting better every game.

Chris Paul & Dell Demps Are Classy
July 26, 2010

Let’s get this straight….Chris Paul is classy. 

Dell Demps is classy.

Unlike the Hornets situation 5 years ago with Baron Davis….the CP3 situation will not turn ugly.

Baron played the role of malcontent to perfection and finally forced his way out of New Orleans.    

Chris Paul will not be a malcontent.  CP3 is too classy of a guy and too good of a player on the court to give less than 100%.

Demps is a solid front office executive that I truly believe will build something special in New Orleans…but it’s gonna take time.   

All that being said….I would be shocked if Chris Paul is still a Hornet in March of 2011….same goes for David West.

The only way the two Hornets all-stars are on the roster after the NBA trade deadline next February is if the Hornets steam roll everyone and are surprisingly one of the top 3 teams in the Western Conference.

I’m not saying that can’t happen (check out Phoenix Suns from last season…missed playoffs, made only minimal changes then advanced to the Western Conf. finals) but the odds are against the Hornets.

If the Hornets are ranked anywhere below 6th place next February….make my words….they’ll wheel-and-deal. 

Part of me thinks the Hornets should deal now and start the rebuilding…but I totally understand the course they’re taking.  At least try to win with what you’ve got. 

The good news for the Hornets is that if they do decide to move CP3 and West they can rebuild quickly because they’ll get a king’s ransom back in return.

And make no mistake, if the Hornets move their two best players they’ll have to do so before next summer.  West has a player option in his contract and will most certainly opt out and become a free agent.  Plus, with a lockout looming no one will give the Hornets quality young players for Paul next summer if they fear their will be no season (or an abbreviated season) in 2011-2012.     

So let’s sit back….watch the Hornets and hope they win…but in the long run, I believe they win not win enough and will eventually move the best point guard in NBA.

A Trade To Make CP3 Happy
July 24, 2010

Reports now say that the Hornets will tell Chris Paul that they are NOT trading him.

At their Monday meeting the team will also reportedly show Chris several trades they can make to upgrade the team around him.

Here is a deal I came up with that works under NBA trade rules and helps 3 teams (hopefully this is a deal the Hornets show Paul!):

TEAMS INVOLVED: New Orleans, Toronto, Washington

Hornets Get: Gilbert Arenas, JaVale McGee, DeMar DeRozan, Jose Calderon

Wizards Get: Emeka Okafor, James Posey

Raptors Get: Darren Collison, Darius Songaila, Julian Wright 

Why the deal Works:  The Hornets get an all-star type player to pair with Paul in the backcourt.  Sure, Arenas has been banged up, has a huge contract, is a ballhog and comes with controversy but it’s a risk the Hornets will have to take.  Hopefully after last seasons struggles Arenas will be focused.  To rid themselves of Arenas the Wizards will have to include the young 7-footer McGee in any deal.  Calderon is an expensive backup for CP3 but to get the deal done with Toronto the Hornets would have to eat the final 3 years of Calderon’s deal.

Washington gets two solid veteran players as they rebuild.  Okafor would be a nice match with Blache and Yi in the frontcourt and Posey is either a solid backup and leader or a chip they can move at the trade deadline for more pieces in the rebuild…or both.  Plus, D.C. rids itself of Arenas and sends a message to their fans that they are truly moving in a new direction.

The Raptors probably have no intentions of moving DeRozan but they have lots of wings and really need a PG.  Collison has proven he’s ready to run a team and is going to be pretty solid.  Pair Collison with Bargnani and you’ve got a great 1/5 core to move forward with.  Julian Wright also needs a change of scenery and may thrive in the great white north.  Songaila has an expiring contract and makes the deal work.  Darius is also a solid role player that every team needs.          

New & Improved (Keep CP3 Happy) Hornets:

1. Chris Paul, Jose Calderon

2. Gilbert Arenas, Marcus Thornton

3. DeMar DeRozan, Peja Stojakovic, Quincy Pondexter

4. David West, Craig Brackins

5. JaVale McGee, Aaron Grey, Brian Cusworth 

I’d also love to see the Hornets make a trade moving Peja.  One deal I keep coming back to is Peja to Philly for Jason Kapono, Andres Nocioni and a future 2nd round pick. 

We’ll see.

This Is An Amazing Must Read!!!!!!
July 23, 2010

RT @WojYahooNBA Column: Before he’s gone too far down this road, Chris Paul ought to turn back now: http://tinyurl.com/2avj659

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Chris Paul(notes) had come into the NBA with so much of Kevin Durant’s(notes) pureness of purpose: humble, grateful, still the kid who worked summers pumping gas and changing tires at his grandfather’s gas station in North Carolina. He constructed himself a reputation of values and character, and separated himself in all the best ways.

He should stay on course to be his generation’s Tim Duncan(notes), but that no longer appeals to Paul. He’s veered the wrong way, into the wrong clutches. Bad enough that LeBron James(notes) damaged his own standing in the sport this summer, he wants to take down Chris Paul with him too.

//

Chris Paul has asked the Hornets to trade him because he doesn’t think they’re a contender.
(NBAE/ Getty Images)

James, his business manager Maverick Carter and powerbroker William Wesley have far too much influence over Paul’s career, and they’re running it right out of the sunshine and into darkness. They’re using Paul as a commodity to elevate their clout, to show how they can take a player with no contractual leverage and muscle him out of New Orleans….

http://tinyurl.com/2avj659

New Deal: CP3 To The Clippers (and I’m kinda serious!!!)
July 23, 2010

Look, I love the Chris Paul trade I proposed last night involving Portland.  I make no secret that I love some of the Blazers young players and think the deal works nicely for both franchises.  Granted I was a bit over the top thinking the Blazers would give up Oden & Batum.  Getting one would be big for the Hornets and that would be fine (keep scrolling down to the next blog to view my Hornets/Blazers trade).

That being said, ESPN’s John Hollinger makes some great points about CP3.  If the Hornets do shop him…a bidding war will take place and the team with the most to offer is probably Orlando.

But….I’ve come up with an extremely far-fetched, crazy idea that in a strange way kinda makes sense for two franchises.

CHRIS PAUL TO THE LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS!

According to NBA rules:

  • Teams below the salary cap may trade without regard to salary, as long as they don’t end up more than $100,000 above the cap following a trade.

The NBA salary cap for 2010-2011 is $58 million dollars.

So, I’ve come up with an unbalanced deal that keeps the Clips under $58 million and gets the Hornets exactly what they want: Young players and salary relief.

L.A. Clippers Get: Chris Paul,  Emeka Okafor & 2011 Hornets 1st Round Pick

N.O. Hornets Get: Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu & Randy Foye

The Clippers currently have 11 players under contract totaling $47 million dollars.  If you take away the salaries of Griffin, Gordon, Aminu & Foye the Clippers have only $32 million dollars in salary.

Adding in Cp3 and Okafor brings the Clippers to a grand total of $58 million dollars…perfectly even with the $58 million dollar salary cap….meaning this trade would be approved.

WHY The Clippers Do The Deal:  The other LA team has been searching for a superstar and an identity for years.  Getting Cp3 makes them more relevant. 

The team’s crunch time 5 would be:  Cp3, Baron Davis, Ryan Gomes (or Rasual Butler if they re-sign him…or maybe even Tracy McGrady or Josh Howard), Emeka Okafor and Chris Kaman.   

(Sidebar: I think Baron Davis is a selfish, crybaby, coach-killer who’ll never win….but maybe, at 31 years old and having won only 1 playoff series in his career….Davis will accept the role of shooting guard and work with Paul…not against him.)

Giving up all their young players might not seem logical but this deal helps the Clippers win immediately….and who knows if Griffin & Amuni will be great players???   

The Hornets rid themselves of Okafor’s bad contract and pickup three young lottery picks with high ceilings and a quality backup point guard for Collison. 

Also, I still stand by the point I made two days ago….if Paul goes…David West also has to be traded.  West has been a warrior for the Hornets and I love the guy but if the team is in rebuild mode then it would be unfair to keep him around.

David West To Orlando

Marcin Gortat and Ryan Anderson to New Orleans  

West joining the Magic, in my opinion, makes them the favorites in the east. 

Jameer Nelson, VC, Rashard Lewis, DWest and Superman is a pretty excellent crunch time 5.

That being said…here’s how the 2010-2011 rebuilding Hornets would look:

1. Darren Collison, Randy Foye

2. Eric Gordon, Marcus Thornton

3. Al-Farouq Aminu, Quincy Pondexter, Peja Stojakovic, Julian Wright, James Posey

***If the Hornets could find another team (like the Washington Wizards) to do another unbalanced trade with then they should give away Posey and Wright for future 2nd round picks.

4. Blake Griffin, Ryan Anderson, Craig Brackins

5. Marcin Gortat, Aaron Grey,  Darius Songaila, Brian Cusworth (Cusworth gives the Hornets 16 players…one over the NBA max…but If Posey, Wright or Songaila can be moved then Cusworth can be signed.  Cusworth is a free agent big man from Harvard who played on the Hornets Las Vegas summer league team).

Paul To Portland…West To Orlando
July 22, 2010

{updated: Thursday, July 22nd 1:15pm: Hornets source confirms that if Demps & Williams cannot convince CP3 to stay….they’ll start aggressively trying to move him.  Source also says Portland has the pieces Monty and Demps covet…NOT NYC, Orlando or Dallas.)

What should have been a glorious day for the Hornets (the first in what’s been a very difficult month)…..turned sour because www.cbssports.com posted a story tonight with harsh quotes from people who say they are speaking on behalf of Chris Paul.

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/13659617/new-hornets-brass-already-facing-crisis-with-paul

If the above column is even half true the Hornets have to start looking into trading Paul.

Look, I love CP3 and DO NOT want to see him traded.  I wish new general manager Dell Demps would tell Paul (and his inner circle) to simmer down and play hard and that maybe good things will happen if the Hornets are heatlhy and focused. 

But I doubt that will happen.  Paul (and his people) will sulk and tension will grow between he and management. 

So, Demps and new coach Monty Williams….in my opinion….have no choice but to start rebuilding.

And rebuilding is not such a bad idea.  The Hornets have four good young players (Collison, Thornton, Brackins and Pondexter) and trading Paul and West can net them more young talent.

Fans immediately would not understand this move but heading down this path is probably the way the Hornets will have to go.

Of all the deals I’ve poured through the one that I keep coming back too sends CP3 to Portland:

***Chris Paul & Emeka Okafor to Portland (if CP3 is traded a team HAS to take Okafor and his horrible contract with him!!!!!)

***Greg Oden, Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Andre Miller, The rights to Joel Freeland and a 2011 or 2012 1st round draft pick to New Orleans

This is a lot for Portland to give up but the Blazers now feature a starting lineup of:

CP3, Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews/Luke Babbitt, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby/Joel Przybilla/Emeka Okafor

That is a ready-to-win-now team that can compete with the Lakers in the West.  

The Hornets get tons of young players with loads of talent.  Oden is a former #1 overall pick who if healthy could be a dominating big man.  Batum and Fernandez are skilled wings who Monty Williams helped develop in Portland.  Freeland is a Brit who’s playing in Spain and who’s been compared to David Lee.  Andre Miller is a veteran PG who’ll backup Darren Collison and the 1st round pick makes the deal work money-wise.

Now, if Paul is shipped away…David West also has to go.  I can’t imagine D-West being happy on a rebuilding team.  

***David West To Orlando

***Marcin Gortat & Brandon Bass To New Orleans

West to the Magic allows Orlando to slide Rashard Lewis back to his natural SF position.  West being on a championship contender and in a contract year…I bet he’d be great for Orlando. 

The Hornets get a young big man in Gortat who’s dying to start and a solid backup in Bass.

The Hornets would also have no use for Darius Songaila and could give him away to a team like the Los Angeles Clippers for a future 2nd round pick (kind of the same deal that Rasual Butler was part of last year).

Julian Wright and James Posey fall into the same category as Songaila.  While JuJu would be easy to give away (perhaps to the Washington Wizards for a future 2nd rounder)….Posey will be more difficult to move because of his bad contract.

After These Deals:

The 2010-2011 (Chris Paul-less) Hornets:

1. Darren Collison, Andre Miller

2. Rudy Fernandez, Marcus Thornton

3. Nicolas Batum, Quincy Pondexter, Peja Stojakovic, James Posey

4. Marcin Gortat, Brandon Bass, Craig Brackins

5. Greg Oden, Aaron Grey, Joel Freeland

Call me crazy….but I think this is a young, dynamic, talented team.  I’d love to see what Gortat and Oden (two 7-footers) could do as full time starters and I’ve been high on Batum and Fernandez for years!  Collison is legit and the young players on the bench (led by Thornton) seem very very solid.

New Hornets General Manager
July 14, 2010

As we speak the Hornets are in utter chaos!

Uncertain ownership situation.  Unproven head coach.  No general manager.  An unhappy superstar player.  

But fear not Hornets fans…I have appointed myself general manager and am ready to get to work to turn the franchise around.

Had I been in control weeks ago things would have been different. 

I’d have signed Ian Mahinmi, given away Songaila and JuJu to free up $6 million dollars so I could sign a quality free agent and shopped Collison and Okafor hard as a package deal.

But, none of the moves I’ve been lobbying for happened….so now I’ve got to cleanup the mess left behind.

Since all the good free agents signed while the Hornets sat on their hands doing nothing we’ll have to use trades to improve the roster.  And yes, as general manager I’ll be wearing the cell phone out trying to wheel and deal. 

1st Deal:

I’d give Darius Songaila to the Los Angeles Clippers.  The Clips can do an unbalanced deal allowing the Hornets to shed nearly $5 million dollars in salary by taking back only a 2nd round draft pick.   The Clips could use Songaila as insurance and as a mentor to Blake Griffin.

2nd Deal:

Peja Stojakovic and Julian Wright to Utah

Andrei Kirilenko to New Orleans. 

WHY: Utah has enough big men to rebound with Millsap, Jefferson, Fesenko and Okur.  They need shooters to spread the floor and Peja gives them a good shooter.  New Orleans needs rebounding and help on defense and Kirilenko gives them that.  Both Peja and AK-47 have expiring contracts…JuJu makes the deal work money-wise. 

3rd Deal:

David West To Detroit

Austin Daye & Jonas Jerebko To New Orleans

WHY:  Yes, people will say I’m crazy for doing this deal but West can become a free agent following this season and may bolt New Orleans….he’s also been soft defensively for two years.  Detroit has now rebuilt it’s front court with West and Greg Monroe.  The Hornets get two young, talented forwards with tons of upside.  The Hornets also get about $5 million dollars in salary relief because this is an unbalanced deal.  Like the Clippers, Detroit is under the salary cap and can do an unbalanced trade.   

4th Deal:

Emeka Okafor & Darren Collison to Toronto

DeMar DeRozan & Jose Calderon To New Orleans

WHY: Toronto is still looking for a big man who can rebound and protect Andrea Bargnani.  The Raptors are also looking for a point guard to lead them.  The Hornets get a backup PG in Calderon and a great wing player in DeRozan.

5th Move:

Sign Shaquille O’Neal

WHY:  Why Not?  The former LSU Tiger is a huge fan favorite who sells tickets and still has some gas left in the tank.  Playing with Chris Paul would no doubt excite Shaq and with the money the Hornets recouped in the above deals the Hornets could pay  O’Neal $15 million over 2 seasons.    

2010-2011 Rebuilt Hornets:

Chris Paul/Jose Calderon

DeMar DeRozan/Marcus Thornton/Luther Head

Andrei Kirilenko/Austin Daye/James Posey/Quincy Pondexter

Jonas Jerebko/Craig Brackins

Shaquille O’Neal/Aaron Grey/Brain Cusworth

As general manager I’d also have a long conversation with soon-to-be-owner Gary Chouest about changing the name of the team.  

The name ‘Hornets’ is associated with a vagabond franchise.  This decade the ‘Hornets’ have called Charlotte, Oklahoma City & New Orleans home.

Let’s get more local!  Go with the nickname the “Voodoo’ or the ‘Pelicans’. 

Now, Saints team owner Tom Benson owns and has trademarked both of those nicknames…but if you have a heart to heart with the man maybe you can buy one of them.  Tom would have to realize that such a name would be great for your franchise and he’d look like a team player who truly cares about this city by donating it to you.  Mr. Benson seems to be in great spirits since the Super Bowl win…so I say strike now while the iron is hot!

Chris Paul Thinking Big Three On Broadway?
July 12, 2010

Chris Paul thinking big three on Broadway?

2:31 PM By Alan Hahn

LeBron James finally made a visit to New York, but it was to attend Carmelo Anthony’s wedding. Though James spurned the Big Apple for a shot at a dynasty in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, his move might still benefit the Knicks.

According to multiple sources who attended the wedding, which was held at Cipriani on 42nd St., the common theme among the best wishes to Melo and his new bride, television personality LaLa Vazquez, was that they should consider taking up permanent residence in New York and Carmelo should take the challenge LeBron passed on with the Knicks.

Then, with a less-than-pleased Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke in attendance, Chris Paul included in his address to the happy couple that he wanted to get Carmelo to go with him to join Amar’e Stoudemire with the Knicks “and form our own Big Three.”

Stoudemire, who also attended the wedding, loved what he heard. When Stoudemire first arrived in New York the previous Saturday night, he said, “I’ve talked to Carmelo Anthony that he needs to come out here.”

Several NBA players have said Anthony is hesitant to sign the extension with Denver because he is unsure about the franchise’s future (George Karl’s health, Chauncey Billups’ age both play a factor) and is also intrigued by what a move to the Garden stage could do for his career. Anthony was born in Brooklyn and still has a great deal of family here, as does fellow Brooklynite Vazquez, whose own career would benefit from being in New York City.

Anthony has consistently lagged behind fellow Class of ’03 stars, LeBron and Wade, in popularity. His jersey, in fact, isn’t among the top 10 in sales, according to the NBA.

The concern in not taking the extension is that, with with the uncertainty of the collective bargaining process, which re-opens next summer, Carmelo could wind up losing money. That’s why the instinct is to take the money while it’s there. But the urge is to push for a trade, perhaps a trade-and-extend deal. At this point, the Nuggets are not considering offers for him, but if Carmelo steps forward and asks for it, then Denver will have to consider dealing him or losing him for nothing next summer.

Anthony shares the same agent as James in Leon Rose. Paul just left his agency, Octagon, to become the most significant client for James’ fledgling marketing and branding company, LRMR, which he owns with business partner Maverick Carter. There could be some obvious strategy here.

Paul has an opt-out in 2012 and has told ESPN that if the New Orleans Hornets are not committed to building a championship-caliber team, he would accept a trade.

It would be extremely difficult for the Knicks to pull off both blockbuster deals, especially any time soon. They have very few assets — almost certainly would have to give up a Danilo Gallinari in one of these scenarios — and all of their new players can’t be moved for 90 days. But it’s obvious that Donnie Walsh has kept his payroll under control and the contracts short to allow flexibility for when something like what we’re talking about here becomes available.

It may take some time, but if the players want it, you generally believe it will eventually happen.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/basket…dway-1.2096409

The Hornets Have No More Money To Spend…But
July 10, 2010

The Hornets signed shooting guard Luther Head this morning.  Here are the players the Hornets have under contract and their salaries for the upcoming season:  (salaries are in millions)

Peja Stojakovic: $15.3

Chris Paul: $14.9

Emeka Okafor: $11.5

David West: $8.2

James Posey: $6.4

Darius Songaila: $4.8

Julian Wright: $2.8 

Darren Collison: $1.3

Craig Brackins: $1.3

Luther Head: $1.1

Quincy Pondexter: $1

Marcus Thornton: $762,000

12 Players for a Total:  $69.8

NBA Luxury for 2010-2011:  $70.3

AS OF THIS MINUTE (with the current roster) HORNETS ARE $500,000 UNDER THE DREADED NBA LUXURY TAX.

 The Hornets have never and will never exceed the NBA luxury tax. 

I think the Hornets will sign free agent center Brian Cusworth off their summer league team.  His salary will be $400,000.  Cusworth is a solid 7-footer who played his college ball at Harvard and who’s spent the past few years playing professionally in Spain. 

So what else do they do from this point forward? 

Does the team stay as is and hope that if Paul is healthy they can make the playoffs?  Perhaps.

What seems more likely is a series of creative trades to free up money. 

Teams under the NBA salary cap can do unbalanced trades.  Look for the Hornets to give away Darius Songaila and Julian Wright…maybe to a team like the Clippers.  The Hornets will get back future 2nd round draft picks.  A move like this would free up $7.6 million dollars.  The Clippers need players (they have only 6 under contract) and the Hornets need salary relief (plus, with Brackins and Pondexter the Hornets can easily live without Songaila and JuJu). 

If the Hornets could swing a move like this they could make a move for two or more free agents.  The Hornets could sign a player like Josh Childress for $6 million annually to play small forward and a young center like Ian Mahimni for $1.6 million annually. 

I think the Hornets would love to dump the salaries of Emeka Okafor (maybe to Toronto) and James Posey…..but finding teams willing to take those salaries is going to be tough.

Just some food for thought.

Jack Cressend Leaving Tulane
July 10, 2010

Houston – College baseball sources told FOX 26 Sports new University of Houston baseball coach Todd Whitting has hired his pitching coach.

Tulane assistant coach Jack Cressend will handle the Cougars’ pitching staff.

Cressend, who pitched five years in the Major Leagues, has been on the Tulane staff for two years.

He was the Green Wave’s pitching coach…

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/sports/local/100710-uh-%27s-whitting-hires-pitching-coach