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Saturday , Feb , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks want Anthony to sign Paul in 2012?

The Knicks have improved their offer to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. New York is now putting Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry and a first round pick to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and salary cap filler.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It seems the Denver Nuggets’ ploy worked.

They made it seem like the New Jersey Nets were on the verge of acquiring Carmelo Anthony, forcing the New York Knicks to raise their lowball offer.

When the Nets were out of the ‘Melo sweepstakes, the Knicks had leverage. They could take their time, wait, and offer less than fair value because Anthony wants to opt-out of his contract at season’s end and sign on to play at Madison Square Garden.

Once the Nets were back in, the Knicks had to move. They recently sweetened the pot and included Danilo Gallineri in their package for Anthony.

Now things will get interesting, as the Nets and Knicks are openly competing for Anthony. Here’s why the Knicks made their Italian shooter available:

It would be bad business having Anthony suit up for the rival Nets. Consider that the Nets will soon leave New Jersey for their new Brooklyn stadium digs. Consider that their billionaire Russian owner will spend a plethora of rubles to battle the Knicks in New York.

The real prize may be New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, though. The tiny table-setter will leave the Hornets and sign with the Knicks, especially if it means playing with his superstar brethren in Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

A team with Anthony, Paul, and Stoudemire would be formidable, giving the Knicks their first real shot at an NBA Title in well over a decade.

So the Nuggets forced the Knicks to up their offer for Anthony. However, the real winner could well be the Knicks.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Feb , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lil’ Wayne squashes beef with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?

James was seen offering a “What’s up?” nod toward the rapper. NBC-6s Adam Kuperstein approached Lil Wayne, an AmericanAirlines Arena regular, to ask if he and James now were cool and received a response of, “Oh, yeah, yeah.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Peace has prevailed.

Rapper Lil’ Wayne has squashed his beef with Miami Heat superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Remember, Wayne felt slighted because James and Wade ignored him when he was sitting courtside at a recent game between the Heat and New Orleans Hornets.

Everything is ‘cool’, though. It was all a misunderstanding. No word on whether the three are expecting the Noble Peace Prize for their efforts.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jan , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Best Game Winner: Rudy Gay’s smiling fade-away or David West’s step-back?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The smile or the step-back?

Yesterday, Rudy Gay and David West each pulled off amazing buzzer-beaters for the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets. But which was better?

Watch both shots and get at us with thoughts on the best game-winner in the comment box below. 

 

(Rudy Gay smiles after hitting this fade-away on Julian Wright and the Raptors.)

(David West converts the step-back prayer against the OKC Thunder.)

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Dec , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would LeBron have picked Paul and Cleveland over Bosh, Wade and Miami?

Chris Bosh turned down a Raptors offer to trade the forward to the Cavaliers earlier this year, according to a source in Toronto. Bosh would have received a maximum contract as a result of the deal, roughly $10 million more than he received from Miami. A source says the Cavaliers also tried to acquire Chris Paul.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers were desperate, and tried everything to get franchise face and hometown hero LeBron James to sign an extension.

This included trading for Toronto Raptors post Chris Bosh and/or New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul.

Both attempts failed. James and Bosh are teammates with the Miami Heat, while Paul continues to dole out dimes for the Hornets.

However, this report makes for interesting speculation. Turn back the clock to last July. Suppose Cleveland acquired Paul, tore up the remaining two years on his contract, and gave him a long-term extension for the maximum.

Bosh hits free agency, leaves dysfunctional Toronto, and partners with Dwyane Wade in Miami. (Bosh and Wade both use agent Henry Thomas. For years, Thomas had been scheming on ways to get his two superstar clients on the same team.) 

What would James have done? Re-sign with Cleveland? Or bolt to Miami?

Ohio is James’ home. And he’d be playing with CP3, his best friend in the NBA. But Miami is the NBA’s most desirable locale, and Bosh and Wade are All-Stars.

We’ll never know the answer. Cleveland failed to find James a superstar running-mate. So he found two of his own in South Beach.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below?

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Monday , Dec , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bryan Colangelo: Jarrett Jack and/or Jose Calderon had to go

But they couldn’t get along, and Colangelo moved Jack to New Orleans last month. Very rarely are general managers so brutally frank about player relationships. We credit Colangelo for detailing why he wanted to trade the productive Jack — because he was the most marketable commodity. Calderon is a liability defensively and is a better 3- point shooter than 2-point shooter. “We came to the conclusion last year that one of either Jose or Jarrett had to go,’’ Colangelo said. “And I made that proclamation that I would trade one of the two, if not both.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Give Bryan Colangelo his due. If something doesn’t work, he moves on.

For instance, Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack couldn’t share point guard duties for his Toronto Raptors, so he dealt Jack.

It didn’t matter that Colangelo signed Jack to a four year, $20 million contract in July of 2009. And it didn’t matter that The Former Golden Boy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment hailed Calderon and Jack as a formidable combo at the one-spot.

It wasn’t working. And Jack was recently dealt to the New Orleans Hornets.

Fair enough. However, Colangelo discussing the situation with reporters isn’t good.

Why open up about Calderon and Jack’s relationship weeks after cutting ties with his former back-up point guard?

Last summer Colangelo exchanged public barbs with Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu, even though both had left the Raptors.

Part of this is doing business in a media center like Toronto. There are three national sports carriers, talk radio stations, and five major newspapers in the city.

Part of this is loose lips. Colangelo would be wise to remember the NBA is small. Players talk. And he doesn’t want to give the talent another reason not to sign in Toronto.

Colangelo should move players. And then keep quiet.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Nov , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic still interested in Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul?

The Magic are still open to making trades, reports Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel.

Schmitz writes that the Magic still like both Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony -- they are partial to Paul -- and they'll trade anyone but Dwight Howard for either All-Star.

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HoopsVibe News: One step back. Two steps forward.

Translation: the Orlando Magic is prepared for short-term struggles if it leads to long-term success, especially if that long-term success includes Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul.

Magic GM Otis Smith realizes his current squad lacks the horses to beat the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, or even the revamped San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game series.

He needs another superstar. Dwight Howard aside, Smith will move anybody on his roster for Anthony or Paul. 

Trades mean transition. Players need to adjust. Coaches must alter game plans. Roles must be redefined. And chemistry must develop.

Smith would accept these temporary stumbles because Howard with Anthony or Paul would supposedly give the Magic a better chance at a championship than the status quo.

Of course, there are complications. Anthony seems destined to suit up for the New York Knicks, while Paul appears to have reconciled with the New Orleans Hornets.

However, give the Magic credit. It’s championship or broke for Smith and Howard.

Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Nov , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

CP3 factor: why Hornets may trade Stojakovic and Bayless to Raptors for Jack

The New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors are in serious discussions on a five-player trade that would send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to the Raptors for Jarrett Jack and David Anderson and Marcus Banks, a source told ESPN.com Saturday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This swap would be a win-win for both parties.

The rebuilding Toronto Raptors would attain Peja Stojakovic’s expiring contract and developing piece Jerryd Bayless, while the New Orleans Hornets would add an experienced combo guard in Jarrett Jack.

The deal was nearly made official yesterday; however, the Raptors and Hornets were still ironing out last minute details, specifically the amount of cash that would change hands.

Here’s the key point: the Raptors are starting over, the Hornets, after some mediocre seasons, are back.

After losing Chris Bosh in The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 to the Miami Heat, The Big Smoke is in makeover mode. They want financial flexibility, young talent, and draft picks.

Enter Stojakovic and Bayless. The Euro sharpshooter is in the last year of a multi-year pact; Bayless is a 22 year old with upside.

Meanwhile, New Orleans –under rookie coach Monty Williams’ defensive system- is highly competitive. Jack, who can play both guard spots, will bolster their bench. 

Expect the Georgia Tech grad to relieve superstar Chris Paul and spell Marco Bellinelli at the two-spot.

Most importantly, this deal would show Chris Paul that the Hornets want to win.

Expect Toronto and New Orleans to continue talking. There are too many benefits not to.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Saturday , Nov , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves won’t trade Rubio to Knicks?

But multiple sources within the Timberwolves organization guaranteed Rubio will start his career with the club, not as a Knick. Minnesota brass is convinced that Rubio will play for the club next season, when his Barcelona buyout falls to $1 million. 

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When it rains, it pours.

For the past decade, a torrential storm has plagued the New York Knicks and Madison Square Gardens. The showers don’t seem to be easing.

Instead of signing a game-changing free agent last summer, the classic franchise overpaid the very good but hardly great Amar’e Stoudemire. The results have been mixed.

So far, it seems the Knicks lack the assets to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets, while Chris Paul has apparently reconciled with the New Orleans Hornets.

Scratch Anthony and Paul off The Big Apple saviour list.

Now this: Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio will reportedly start his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Not the Knicks.

Knick-nation had prophesized that Rubio would find his way east and run the point in Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ system.

No dice. Word is the Wolves won’t trade the shaggy-haired table-setter and want him managing their offensive sets for October 2011.

Executive Donnie Walsh and Coach D’Antoni have no choice but to move to the next option. All the while, the rain keeps falling over MSG and the Knicks.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Paul toast playing with Anthony and Stoudemire in New York?

Carmelo Anthony has confirmed a New York Post report that Hornets point guard Chris Paul made a champagne toast at the Denver forward's wedding in July that called for himself, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire to team up with the Knicks.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Remember the context before crucifying Chris Paul.

Paul was at the wedding of friend and fellow superstar Carmelo Anthony. Paul may have had a ‘pop’ or two. Paul was probably emotional. And Paul’s status with the New Orleans Hornets was up in the air.

So he made a toast about joining forces with Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire in New York.

Paul’s toast is not the issue. Anthony’s loose lips are.

After a pair of tough seasons, Paul has led his Hornets to a league-best 7-0 record. He has bought into rookie Coach Monty Williams’ defensive system and doesn’t need a friend creating distractions.

When asked about the toast, Anthony should’ve bit his tongue. Or, he should have told reporters to talk to Paul. By confirming the toast, Anthony threw Paul, his friend, under the bus.

Perhaps Paul should keep this in mind when deciding whether to team up with Anthony in New York.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Monday , Oct , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stern and NBA won’t contract Jordan’s Bobcats

Stern didn't single out any franchises, but a Celtics team source told the Boston Globe that small-market cities like Charlotte, Memphis and New Orleans may be in danger of losing their teams.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a ploy. The owners and players are currently negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Commissioner David Stern will use this leverage to threaten the Player’s Union. They concede on salary rollbacks or he’ll ‘push’ to contract the Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Hornets.

Forget the CBA drama. Would contraction be so bad?

Memphis and New Orleans will always struggle to generate sufficient revenue –even with a new CBA. After all, Grizzly and Hornet owners Michael Heisley and George Shinn have been trying to sell their teams for years.
 
They can't.
 
There’s no interest. And there's no market.

However, Stern wouldn’t let Michael Jordan - the most popular NBA player of all time - buy the Bobcats if contraction was a real possibility in Charlotte.

Charlotte may still be angry because of the Hornets’ departure. Attendance may be mediocre. And Jordan may have bought the team for less than the expansion fee that original owner Bob Johnson paid.

North Carolina is a hoops hotbed. Basketball is a religion; years before they left Charlotte, the Hornets led the NBA in attendance.

Jordan used his money to buy the team. He’s too competitive to allow the Bobcats to languish. He’ll change the culture and environment.

Stern knows this.

While contraction may be the best option for Memphis and New Orleans, Charlotte should stay. Let Jordan stick out his trademark tongue, put in work, and fix things.

If number 23 can’t right the ship, nobody can.

--Oly Sandor.

 
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Sunday , Oct , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Portland and New Orleans both win with Jerryd Bayless trade

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired a conditional, future first round draft pick from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for guard Jerryd Bayless, it was announced on Saturday by General Manager Rich Cho.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the rarest of trades – a mutually beneficial arrangement for both sides.

Last night, the Portland Trail Blazers sent promising combo guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a future first round pick.

Portland accomplished a few things moving Bayless. First, they created minutes for Rudy Fernandez at off-guard. Second, they saved $2.5 million. Finally, they scored a first round pick to include in future trades.

Bayless will do several things for New Orleans: he’ll back-up Chris Paul; he’ll also play next to the superstar table-point guard; and he’ll strengthen a shallow bench.

Best of all, Hornets coach Monty Williams spent several years in Portland as an assistant. Williams is familiar with and believes in Bayless.

Look for both sides to reap the benefits of this deal for some time.

--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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Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New Orleans Hornets and Coach Monty Williams protecting Chris Paul?

"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."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Credit rookie coach Monty Williams for getting one thing: Chris Paul is his and the New Orleans Hornets’ meal ticket.

Maybe Paul requested a trade. Maybe not. Regardless, Williams won’t throw his best player under the preverbal bus and into the media firestorm.

According to Williams, Paul doesn’t want a trade, but does want the team to improve. Translation: ownership better splurge on some high-priced talent or CP3 bolts as a free agent in 2012. 

For that to happen, George Shinn - the club’s owner and the NBA's most dysfunctional rich old guy other than the Clippers’ Donald Sterling and Knicks’ James Dolan – must finally sell the Hornets to Louisiana billionaire Gary Chouest.

Chouest loves hoops. Chouest is also filthy rich and will spend some of his considerable shipping empire on bringing a contender to The Bayou.

So Williams is right to protect Paul. Perhaps the organization eventually appeases him. However, this doesn't happen unless a change in ownership occurs.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Could Chris Paul and Tony Parker call New York home?

Stefan Bondy: Asked eva longoria if tony parker wants to play in new york: her answer, "yes"

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No surprise here.

The Desperate Housewife wants hubby Tony Parker to take his talent to the media capital of the world, New York City. So Parker - a free agent at season's end - could be on the move.

The San Antonio Spurs have young George Hill waiting in the wings at point guard. And Manu Ginobili found his game when Parker was injured during the latter months of the 2010 regular season.

A move to New York is slightly more complicated than Mr. and Mrs. Eva Longoria realize, though.

The Knicks have their eyes on prying superstar Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. However, the Knicks could add Paul and Parker.

Coach Mike D'Antoni would love the scoring opportunities Paul and Parker would collectively create, and he wouldn't worry about their lack of size on defense.

This isn't such a crazy idea. Remember, Coach Gregg Popovich once considered moving Parker to the two-spot when the Spurs were chasing free agent point guard Jason Kidd.

Now Kidd is bigger than Paul and Parker. He can easily defend opposing two-guards. But Paul and Parker would compensate for their smaller stature by pressuring the ball full court, and they would be protected in D'Antoni's up-tempo system.

Again, it's no surprise Parker has interest in New York. The surprise could be having Paul as his backcourt mate.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Indiana Pacers win, New Orleans Hornets lose four-team, five player trade

Four NBA teams have agreed to a five-player trade that will send Trevor Ariza to the New Orlean Hornets and Darren Collison to the Indiana Pacers, two league sources said.

In the proposed deal, the Houston Rockets will send Ariza to the Hornets, who in turn will send Collison and James Posey to the Pacers. The Pacers will send Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets. And the Nets will send Courtney Lee to the Rockets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Four teams with different agendas have connected for an end of summer trade to address their needs before the 2011 season begins.

The winner in this blockbuster is the Indiana Pacers. While they gave up Murphy’s expiring contract and took back an over-the-hill/overpaid Posey, they also got a budding table-setter in Collison.

The second year point guard is lightning quick and excelled when starting for the injured Paul. Look for Collison to star in Indiana next to Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, and Lance Stephenson.

By swapping Ariza for Lee, the Houston Rockets gain cap relief. This summer, the Rockets spent $87 million to re-sign Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry, while also adding Brad Miller.

Ariza, the Rockets' prize free agent signing of 2009, became expendable after the deadline day acquisition of Kevin Martin from the Sacramento Kings.

Murphy will provide depth and experience to a young New Jersey Nets frontcourt. Best of all, his deal comes off the books at year’s end, which makes him an attractive trading chip.

The loser in this trade has to be the New Orleans Hornets. Yes, Ariza is a fine player. And yes, today they’re a marginally better team.

With this trade, the organization seems to think they have a shot at re-signing Paul. Let’s be real: they have zero shot. None.

Add up small market New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, and owner George Shinn’s thriftiness and the club can’t generate enough revenue to sign a star-studded supporting cast for Paul.

I know this. You know this. Paul knows this.

He’s gone when his contract expires at the end of 2012. There’s no chance of an extension.

Two summers from now, Paul will walk on the Hornets like Kaiser Soze walked on the police station in The Usual Suspects. Unlike the finish of this classic flick, there will be no suspense or surprise when CP3 leaves.

We know what’s coming. This is expected. Like Lindsay Lohan going to jail. Like the sun rising. Or, in my case being from Vancouver, like the rain falling.

So why not trade Paul and rebuild around Collison?

After all, Ariza, while a fine player, won’t appease Paul. He wants LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Miami. He wants Amar’e Stoudemire and (possibly) Carmelo Anthony in New York.

He doesn't want New Orleans. In fact, he won’t re-up with the Hornets regardless of who they sign or trade for.

Rather than face reality, Hornets management is delusional, aiming to please the snooty super model girlfriend (Paul) who is bidding her time until she can break up with them. 

Instead of waiting for the inevitable, the club should trade Paul while his market value is relatively high, get back draft picks, expiring contracts, and blue-chip prospects, and make Collison the starter.  
 
It seems New Orleans’ blunder is Indiana’s victory.

--Oly Sandor.

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Memo to NBA: Is Chris Paul a quitter?
Thursday , Jul , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Memo to NBA: Is Chris Paul a quitter?

The latest trend of “leaving your team while you’re young” has taken Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets as its’ latest victim. A campaign spearheaded by LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Chris Paul is convinced that he needs to leave for another team to win because he does not have what LeBron has.  Get him teamed up with Carmelo Anthony and everything is gravy. It goes without saying that Chris Paul has no leverage. The whining and bitching is disgusting, but hilarious to examine.

Read More
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Sunday , Jul , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is LeBron James behind Chris Paul’s trade request?

LeBron James continues to put his fingerprints on the NBA's most-hyped offseason in history. Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote on his Twitter page Saturday that James suggested that Hornets point guard Chris Paul request a trade.

However, Windhorst added that James is urging Paul to stay in the Western Conference to make for a better rivalry.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: LeBron James is surely involved in Chris Paul's trade request.

First, James and Paul are tight. They're boys. Their boys are boys. They've surely discussed each other's situations.

Second, Paul is represented to some degree by an agency that James owns. James' business team are Paul's business team.

So they have a personal and business relationship. The lines of that relationship are blurred.

However, James shouldn't be blamed for Paul's trade request. This storm has been brewing for some time.

New Orleans is a small market, and lacks the revenue and resources to provide Paul with a reasonable supporting cast. They need time, a new owner, and a revamped Collective Bargaining Agreement to compete.

Paul and the Hornets are aware of the team's current predicament. They clashed over the firing of Coach Byron Scott. And they understand young table-setter Darren Collison is waiting in the wings.

Add it all up and a trade request was inevitable. James probably just encouraged and supported Paul to take his wishes public.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: has Chris Paul to N.Y. Knicks been in the works for weeks?

The Knicks are willing to trade anyone aside from newly-signed forward Amar'e Stoudemire for Hornets guard Chris Paul, according to a league source.

Paul is scheduled to meet with New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, head coach Monty Williams and president Hugh Weber on Monday.

"Amar'e won't be traded, but everyone else is available," the executive said of New York.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Chris Paul to the New York Knicks has been in the works for weeks.

After all, Paul and the New Orleans Hornets couldn't possibly last. Not in today's polarized NBA, where a few big spenders dominate and the rest of the league gets the table scraps.

New Orleans as a market can't generate enough revenue to provide Paul with a supporting cast. And New Orleans' owner, George Shinn, either lacks the pockets or will to personally pay for talent.

So it wasn't a if, but a when. When would the point guard tire of small market New Orleans and demand a trade to a major market.

Enter the Knicks.

New York is the media capital of the world. They play in historic Madison Square Gardens. Owner James Dolan has no issue throwing money around like a multi-platinum rapper at the strip club.

And for some time, they’ve wanted Paul.

Consider the evidence. After signing a max contract with the Knicks, Amar'e Stoudemire announced he'd form his own super team in New York with Carmelo Anthony and Paul to rival the Miami Heat's Three Kings.

Unfortunately, his prospective co-stars both had contracts. Anthony has a year left on his deal with the Nuggets. Paul owes the Hornets two years. 

Unless STAT knew something we didn't. Where the wheels were already in motion?

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni, New York's lead executive and coach, surely heard the rumblings that Paul wanted out of New Orleans. They probably promised Stoudemire they'd do everything possible to get C3P.  

The NBA is also a close fraternity. Players are buddy-buddy. Stoudemire and Paul have probably discussed balling together over bottles in the club or through text messages.

Then, this summer the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors, where they sent David Lee out west for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, and Ronny Turiaf.

There's a feeling the Knicks specifically took back assets the Hornets would want. Turiaf makes sense as a back-up to Stoudemire, but Walsh likely picked Azubuike and Randolph because he knew their age and cheap salaries would appeal to New Orleans. 

In other words, they were positioning themselves to get Paul.

They knew this was coming. They saw the sign -Paul leaving his long-time management company Octagon in early July to join LRMR services, owned by best friend LeBron James.   

Today's report clearly supports this belief. Apparently, the Hornets can ask for any player(s), other than Stoudemire, on the Knicks' roster. Azubuike and Randolph could easily be part of a blockbuster package.

So if Paul lands in New York, it's no accident and has been in the works for a long, long time.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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