dell-demps
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Saturday , Jun , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook?

Demps laughed at Internet speculation there has been trade talks between the Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder regarding point guards Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

“(Thunder GM) Sam Presti and I, our offices used to be right next to each other, so we still text each other all the time, and I can assure you that has not been a conversation we’ve had,” Demps said, cracking a smile as he spoke to reporters.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Losing players in free agency leads to speculation. Losing games also leads to speculation.

It`s no surprise there was speculation that the New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder were considering swapping Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook.

Paul can opt-out of his contract next summer. He can leave New Orleans as a free agent. The Hornets will get nothing back. 

Meanwhile, Westbrook, fair or not, became the scapegoat for the Thunder losing the Western Conference Finals to the Mavericks.

Critics felt he was trying to get his offense at the expense of teammates. And critics felt his score-first mentality will make it difficult for the Thunder to take the next step.

A trade makes sense for both parties, right?  Well, wrong.

Hornets GM Dell Demps denied ever having a conversation about swapping point guards with Thunder GM Sam Presti.

It`s a no to the inquiring public. The real, unofficial story could be different.

Demps and Presti came up together with the San Antonio Spurs. They were tight. And still are. Demps admitted they text each other all the time.

Know this: NBA executives are no different than you or I. They do business with executives they trust and like.

For instance, Kevin McHale, when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, wrapped Kevin Garnett in a bow and gave him to former teammate and friend Danny Ainge, who was and still is boss of the Boston Celtics.

For instance, Jerry West played a part in Pau Gasol leaving Memphis for Los Angeles. West was once the front office Tsar for both the Grizzlies and Lakers.

If Paul for Westbrook happens, it will be because of the relationship between Demps and Presti.

After all, what's a swap of All-Star table-setters between friends?

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Oct , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul on trade rumors: ‘nothing is going to catch me off guard’

When asked if he was caught off guard by anything that took place over the summer, the point guard shrugged. "Nothing, nothing is going to catch me off guard," said Paul, who has seen a lot throughout the course of his five-year career.
 
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HoopsVibe’s Vibe’s Very Quick Call:
Good thing Chris Paul is up for anything because the New Orleans Hornets are again in flux.

Paul supposedly requested a trade this summer because he wanted to play for a winner. With cheapskate owner George Shinn, a small market, and a struggling local economy, the superstar realized a championship was beyond the Hornets’ reach.

However, Paul was –temporarily- appeased because basketball enthusiast Gary Chouest was interested in buying the club. Everything would change with the Louisiana billionaire in the owner’s box. 

The team would have money. Paul would get his supporting cast. And New Orleans would become a destination.

Well, that was the dream rookie GM Dell Demps and Coach Monty Williams sold Paul on this summer. Yesterday, Paul got a dose of a reality: Chouest and Shinn announced they weren’t able to reach an agreement on a sale. 
 
Bottom line: ‘The White Knight’ is out.

Of course, this impacts Paul. He was expecting a wealthy patron to support his quest for an NBA Title.

Instead, he’s got Shinn, who has been trying to dump the team for years. And the Donald Sterling of the south may just move Paul and his max salary –if he can’t find a  buyer.

Anything can happen with Shinn at the helm in New Orleans, so Paul better expect the unexpected.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Sep , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Rudy Fernandez vetoed trade to New Orleans

 Rudy Fernandez, according to a source, rejected a possible trade to New Orleans, where he could have played for former Blazers assistant Monty Williams, now the Hornets' coach.

 
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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Beggars can’t be choosers –unless, of course, that beggar is Rudy Fernandez.

For months, the Spanish swing has been whining for a trade out of Portland. And when the Blazers finally accommodated his wish by working out a deal to the New Orleans Hornets, Fernandez vetoed the move.

To be fair, New Orleans has its share of issues: superstar Chris Paul remains uncommitted; the much discussed ownership change has yet to occur; and Dell Demps and Monty Williams are in their first years as lead executive and head coach.

But Fernandez wanted an opportunity to play. He got it. But New Orleans wasn’t good enough. So he said no.

The saga between Fernandez and the Blazers will continue. And it’s bound to get uglier.

 --Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hornets can’t trade Okafor, hoping he produces

 “For most guys, when you are traded to a team that was successful, it’s hard to fit in right away,” Williams told SN. “The dynamic of fitting in, it’s not always right there and it’s probably not fair to Emeka to just expect him to come in and fit in right away. Emeka will have to find ways to be efficient. I think we have done some things—added some shooters—who will make things easier on Emeka. Now that he is adjusted, I think he is going to have a very good year.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Monty Williams knows he must get more from Emeka Okafor.

What other option does the first year sideline boss have?

After all, the New Orleans Hornets have been unsuccessful in their attempts to move the struggling post. In these dire economic times, no team would consider taking  the remaining four years and $51 million on Okafor’s contract.

The Hornets reportedly resorted to packaging his big ticket with superstar Chris Paul. If a team wanted CP3, they had to jump on Okafor’s grenade of a contract.

No team would take the hit -even if came with a superstar point guard. This is no longer an option because Williams and GM Dell Demps have taken Paul off the trading block.

Bottom line: Okafor, not Williams, is responsible for righting his career. Instead of sitting out training camp and practices with what some deemed as minor injuries, he could endear himself to the organization by managing pain.

So Okafor, Williams, and the Hornets are together for the long haul. All parties must make it work.

--Oly Sandor.

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