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Thursday , Jul , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Unhappy Hornet: Chris Paul demands trade to Knicks, Magic, or Lakers

According to a source with knowledge of his plan, Chris Paul has requested that the Hornets trade him to the Knicks, Magic or Lakers before the season begins.

"He wants out," the source told Ken Berger of CBS Sports. "He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron's model of teaming up with other great players."

 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I know it. You know it. All of basketball knows it.
 
The 'it' is the worst kept secret in the NBA: Chris Paul does not want play for the New Orleans Hornets because they have no chance of contending.
 
None. So he`s requested a trade.
 
New Orleans is a small market that has always had trouble generating revenue. Factor in Hurricane Katrina, the financial meltdown, the recent oil spill, and fans and local businesses will have even less disposable income to support the club.
 
Currently, the Hornets can't possibly generate enough revenue to provide Paul with a star-studded supporting cast. Of course, owner George Shinn has always had notoriously short arms, so he won't dip into his pockets to make up the shortfall.
 
Paul is aware of this. He's seen the NBA become increasingly polarized the last few years. He's seen his buddies migrate to the league's have teams, and is determined not to be stuck with a have-not.
 
Now the jitterbug point guard wants out. This might not be a bad option. Young table-setter Darren Collison is waiting in the wings. The Hornets can get Paul's max' salary off their books, while receiving a package of expiring contracts, draft picks, and blue-chip prospects back.
 
However, the Paul quagmire speaks volumes about the current state of the league: the NBA is divided into a few rich teams and many poor teams.
 
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement's soft cap, luxury tax, and series of loop holes are a problem in this tough economy. And it is one of the many reasons a lockout is brewing.
 
I know it. You know it. All of basketball knows it.
 
Other than Paul's trade demands, a labour war in July of 2011 is the worst kept secret in the NBA.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Jul , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Paul to New York, New Jersey or Miami, not Charlotte

Chris Paul as a Charlotte Bobcat isn't crazy. I'm told it's a twinkle in the eyes of this team's decision-makers. There are a handful of places Paul would want to relocate in a trade, and Charlotte - near his suburban Winston-Salem home and possessing a Hall-of-Fame coach - should be among the viable candidates.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a nice thought. Really, it is.

Superstar gets traded to his hometown. Superstar finds mentors in a Hall of Fame coach and retired superstar turned owner. Hall of Fame coach and retired superstar turned owner take the current superstar under their wing. The current superstar then leads his hometown to greatness.

Now for reality.

Chris Paul is not leaving small market New Orleans for small market Charlotte. It doesn’t matter that the Bobcats play near his home in Winston-Salem. Or that Larry Brown, for now, runs the sideline. Or that Michael Jordan is the majority owner.

Paul is about one thing: winning. 

The Bobcats would be too similar to New Orleans. They wouldn’t generate enough revenue to pay top talent and compete for a championship in the polarized, have-have not world of the NBA.

Paul knows this, so he’ll lobby for a trade to a major market like New York, New Jersey, or Miami. If his efforts for a trade fail, he’ll play out his contract and pick his new club as an unrestricted free agent in 2012.

And that – hometown or not – won’t be Charlotte.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Enlighten us: LeBron James to (thankfully) announce decision Thursday

LeBron James is planning to announce the team with which he will sign during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night, ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard has learned through independent sources.

ESPN would only confirm that active discussions for the special are ongoing. But sources tell Broussard that representatives for James contacted the network, proposing that James makes his announcement during a 9 p.m. ET special.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

After years of speculation, gossip, drama, innuendo, and (frankly) nonsense, LeBron James will finally enlighten us with a one hour ESPN special announcing where he’ll play next. 

Thank you. Thank you so very much LeBron.

Expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to win these bizarre sweepstakes. Cleveland is James’ home. They can offer the most money and longest term.

Owner Dan Gilbert has likely promised to acquire Chris Paul - James’ best friend in the NBA - from the New Orleans Hornets. It’s one reason Gilbert hired Scott, the former sideline boss with Paul`s Hornets.

Most importantly, come Thursday James will have made his decision and we can get on with our lives.

-- Oly Sandor.


Where do you see King James signing? Get at us HoopsVibe News in the comment box with your prediction on Thursday night.

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New Orleans looking to trade frustrated Chris Paul?

Hornets point guard Chris Paul could become the NBA's biggest storyline once this summer's big free agents sign contracts.

Paul has said that he loves New Orleans, but he wants to see the team start to make improvements to their roster. He's impatient about contending for a title right now.

"(Paul's frustration) is very real, very real," a source close to Paul told FanHouse. "He doesn't see them putting a (championship-caliber) team together."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This isn't ending well.
 
Chris Paul may love the city of New Orleans, but he has no love for the Hornets. After all, his employers won't/can't spend on supporting pieces, and fired friend and mentor Coach Byron Scott -without consulting him.
 
New Orleans can do little. They have always been a small, economically challenged city.
 
Huricane Katrina, the recession, and Gulf Coast oil spill was particularly difficult, limiting the few disposable dollars fans and companies had to pay for tickets and luxury boxes. The team can not generate enough revenue to add big-ticket talent.
 
Of course, this means little to Paul, an Alpha Male who wants to compete for an NBA Title.
 
The franchise face - who is pulling in a maximum contract - is expendable, especially with second year table-setter Darren Collison waiting in the wings.
 
Various teams in the Eastern Conference have already called the Hornets about CP3. And Portland and New Orleans almost completed a deal for the tiny table-setter last week.
 
Yes, Paul`s frustration is `very real`. And so are the chances he`ll soon be traded.
 
-- Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   
 
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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Byron Scott to coach Cleveland Cavaliers -with or without LeBron James

Byron Scott has reached agreement on a three-year contract to become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The deal is expected to be finalized on Thursday.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's a big announcement, but not the one Cleveland Cavalier fans were hoping for.

Word is Cleveland owner and de facto GM Dan Gilbert will introduce Byron Scott as his bench-boss today, and the former sharpshooter is apparently excited to coach the Cavaliers -even if you-know-who, LeBron James, doesn't re-sign.

And perhaps he's right.

With James, Scott has a ready-built contender on his hand. Without him, Scott can take his time to reshape the roster -like he did with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets.

Either way, in Gilbert, Scott has the rare owner willing to spend to compete. This is what drew him to the job.

Now Scott must wait to see how the situation unfolds in Cleveland.

Got thoughts? Get at O.Sandor and HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jun , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter?

The Washington Wizards spoke with the Orlando Magic recently about a potential swap of Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not happening.

Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith is close friends with Gilbert Arenas, and he advised the 'sharpshooter' during his recent issues stemming from bringing guns into the Washington Wizards' locker room.  

However, Smith doesn't want to mix their personal and professional relationship. This is wise. After all, Carter's contract is only guaranteed for one season. Then his $17 million salary comes off the books, while Arenas is still owed over $80 million.

Reports have Smith dangling Carter's expiring contract in front of the cash-strapped New Orleans Hornets. And he wants to get back superstar point guard Chris Paul.  

Also, new Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is pushing the organization and fans to re-embrace Arenas. The businessman who brought much life to a morbid Capitals franchise is excited about pairing Arenas with first overall pick John Wall. 

An interesting idea, however, The Hibachi and VC aren't trading places.

Got thoughts on Arenas for Carter?

 

 

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Sunday , Jun , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets to trade for Chris Paul so they can sign LeBron James?

There have been rumors that the Nets might pursue point guard Chris Paul through a trade. Since they don't seem to be all that high on any of the players they are likely to get with the No. 3 pick, such as Georgia Tech`s Derrick Favors, Kentucky's  DeMarcus Cousins or Syracuse`s Wes Johnson, they could trade the pick to get an established player.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ve been making nice.

Since being named coach of the New Jersey Nets, Avery Johnson and Devin Harris have praised each other publicly. Johnson has insisted he’s proud of Harris’ development, while Harris has insisted his development is because of Johnson’s teachings.

Can you feel the love?

Such a dog-and-pony show is necessary because these two had a tumultuous run together with the Dallas Mavericks.

Johnson was coaching a Maverick team that was expected to win a championship. As a former point guard he was particularly hard on Harris, a young table-setter with heaps of potential.

Something was off, though. Johnson quickly lost faith in Harris and signed off on a controversial trade that sent him to, ironically, the Nets for Jason Kidd.

But Kidd couldn’t put Dallas over the top. Johnson was promptly fired. Harris made the All-Star team in 2009, but struggled with injuries in 2010.

Yet, they are back together, insisting fences have been mended and Kumbaya has been sung. For now.

Reports indicate the Nets are dangling their 2010 draft pick in hopes of plucking Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. CP3 heading to The Swamps of Jersey/Borough of Brooklyn makes sense for three reasons:

First, New Orleans is a struggling market. With second year point guard Darren Collison in the wings, they could swap Paul and his max deal for cheap talent.

Second, New Jersey is now a have-market. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov - also known as Russia’s richest man with a net worth of $18 billion - wants to make headlines this off-season. Acquiring Paul, who is arguably the game’s best point guard when fit and healthy, would achieve this end.

Third, and most importantly, Paul is tight with LeBron James, the jewel of the 2010 free agent class. And Prokhorov would surely use Paul and rapper/minority owner Jay-Z to recruit James to the East Coast.

So the Nets are looking to upgrade the one-spot. If Paul is acquired, Harris would surely be dealt.

Before dismissing this rumor remember that Nets’ senior executive Rod Thorn admitted to reporters that Harris and center Brook Lopez do not have untouchable status and could be moved.

Maybe Harris` lovefest with Johnson shouldn`t be believed. And maybe New Jersey trades him.  

Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box.

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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Izzo staying at MSU, Cleveland interested in Scott and Woodson?

Tom Izzo is staying at Michigan State, turning down a chance to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers and and perhaps LeBron James.

"I'm pleased to say I am here for life at Michigan State," Izzo said in a statement released by the school on Tuesday night.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Tom Izzo made the right decision -not just for himself, but also for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The NBA is an adjustment. The game is different; the players are millionaire businessmen not teenagers. And many great college coaches have failed in the pros: John Calipari, Mike Montgomery, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian.

Then there was the tiny issue of LeBron James' pending free agency. Izzo would be in quite the quagmire if he accepted the Cavaliers job and James signed elsewhere. 

In the end, the risk was too great. So Izzo decided to stay with Michigan State and become an all-time great in the college ranks.

Meanwhile, Cleveland will continue searching for a sideline boss. Byron Scott is the frontrunner; however, the former Hornets coach wants to replace Phil Jackson in LA -if the Zen-Master leaves.

Mike Woodson, who was recently fired by the Atlanta Hawks, is also under consideration. And this is where the musical chairs could occur. Suppose Cleveland hires Woodson and James leaves. The Cavaliers could replace James with Joe Johnson, another superstar free agent who Woodson coached in Atlanta.

The next few months will be interesting in Ohio and throughout the NBA.

Got thoughts on this?

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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hornets trading Collison to the Pacers for Jones, Rush, and/or Hansbrough?

"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.

And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.

The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.

No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice 

The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.

With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.

Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.

Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.

Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.

However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.

All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.            
 
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.

Enter Indiana.

They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.

All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.

That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.      
           
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?

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Saturday , Jun , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Coaching Carousel: Monty Williams to New Orleans; Tom Thibodeau to Chicago or New Jersey

The New Orleans Hornet quickly reached an agreement Friday night with Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach after Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau withdrew from consideration earlier in the day, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Williams' deal will be made official no later than Saturday after Thibodeau, who was offered New Orleans' job last week, informed the Hornets that he plans to pursue opportunities with the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: New Orleans got their man off the NBA coaching carousel. Well, sort of.

Once it became clear Boston Celtics defensive guru Tom Thibodeau had little interest in the Hornets gig, the club went all out for Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams.

Williams is a fine choice. He's young, personable, hardworking and smart.

This, however, may not be enough to resurrect a Hornets squad that fell behind in the competitive Western Conference last year and lacks the financial resources to catch up through upgrading their talent.

Meanwhile, Thibodeau is a lock for a head coaching gig, either with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. Of course, he'd also get serious consideration with Boston -if Doc Rivers retires at season's end. 

Got thoughts on the coaching carousel?

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Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New Orleans or Boston? The Tom Thibodeau coaching saga

The New Orleans Hornets, who offered their vacant coaching job to Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau last week, might hire someone else if Thibodeau has not accepted the job before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, according to sources close to the situation.

The Hornets don't want to let their coaching search drag beyond this week and plan to offer the job instead to Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams if Thibodeau, Boston's defensive specialist, doesn't accept by Thursday, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It all depends on why Thibodeau is making them wait. 

It's fair if the defensive guru has held off making a decision because he doesn't want distractions while the Boston Celtics are in the NBA Finals. However, it's unfair if the veteran assistant is keeping the New Orleans Hornets waiting in hopes of landing a better offer from another franchise -or perhaps even the Celtics.

Remember, head coach Doc Rivers could call it quits at season's end, so Thibodeau might prefer sliding down Boston's bench instead of relocating to New Orleans.

Got thoughts on the Hornets' coaching situation? Get at us in the comment box below.   

What should the New Orleans Hornets do with Chris Paul?
Saturday , May , 01 , 2010 J.N.

What should the New Orleans Hornets do with Chris Paul?

This subject is barely discussed among NBA hardcore aficionados. I once thought about the Hornet’s problem, but figured that it was too farfetched. I am sure that many fans thought about something similar, but dismissed this. As the 2010 NBA Playoffs are humming along, there are some elite stars that did not make it. One of them is fantasy statistical standout Chris Paul.

Read More
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Thursday , Apr , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul: It’ll Take a While to Find a New Coach

 

With the New Orleans Hornets' coaching search expected to be extensive and possibly include high-profile candidates Avery Johnson and Jeff Van Gundy, three-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul said he is excited.

"Like I said, it is going to be a good summer for us, '' Paul said. "It's exciting, but at the same time, it's going to be a long process.''

Paul declined to say if he recommended anyone for the Hornets to put on the search list.

But team president Hugh Weber and General Manager Jeff Bower said their pool of candidates will include current and former NBA head coaches, assistants and up-and-coming young coaches -- and college coaches might be considered.
 

 

 

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Friday , Apr , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Hornets Interested in David Lee

According to a source, the Hornets are in love with David Lee, a free agent who is not the Knicks' first priority.

"This is the first time we've been under the cap in 15 years," said Walsh. "I'm going to take that as good and see what we can make out of it. All I can do is work as hard as I can work to make that come true. You got to be crazy to say there is no doubt in my mind [we'll be better]. Yeah, there's always doubt on everything."

Indeed, a probable scenario for the big five free agents has James staying in Cleveland, Stoudemire joining Dwyane Wade in Miami and Bosh heading to Chicago or Dallas.

Walsh, however, thinks the stars may have the ego to conquer New York.

"I hope we're talking to people who want to build something up," Walsh said. "And want to be a part of a start of something in a big city. I can't imagine what it would be like to build this into a winner. There would be no other place like this -- none."