Tag:New Jersey Nets
Posted on: August 11, 2010 11:39 pm
 

With Thorn in place, is Stefanski on hot seat?

Posted by Matt Moore

Rod Thorn is definitely retiring. At some point. Maybe. We're pretty sure when he gets to heaven he'll be trading up to get a better cloud.

Less than two months after he was released from the New Jersey Nets organization, Rod Thorn has been hired by the Philadelphia 76ers as team presidents, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and confirmed by our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com . Ed Stefanski will remain with the 76ers as General Manager. But the question is, for how long?

Stefanski was brought in to replace Billy King, who now ironically is the GM in New Jersey. And as KB writes, Stefanski and Thorn are expected to work side by side:

"Thorn and Stefanski working side-by-side, as they did for several years in New Jersey, makes perfect sense.

Yahoo! Sports first reported Thorn's hiring in Philly, which gives the Sixers -- and Stefanski -- a strong and like-minded voice in a front office that frequently is burdened with the overbearing ownership of Ed Snider and Peter Luukko."

But even as the move seems to indicate at best a reformed power base for Stefanski, and at worst a unified front inside management, there are going to be questions. When Stefanski took over, the Sixers seemed to be headed towards contention with a young core of athletic, versatile players. Instead, they've stalled, then regressed, spiraling into mediocrity last season before being saved by the fortune of a No. 2 overall lottery coup. As a result, several coaches have lost their jobs while Stefanski has remained in place.

Now with the more experienced, higher-profile Thorn in place, tehre will be questions about how much Thorn will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the club, and what role Stefanski finds himself in. Thorn may provide cover for Stefanski, but if Evan Turner doesn't light the league up, or if the assets gained from the trade of Samuel Dalembert's high-value expiring contract don't work out, we may see a move away from Stefanski as the face of the club and towards Thorn.

It has been a very musical-chairs-y day.
Posted on: August 11, 2010 1:23 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 4:22 pm
 

Nets, Hornets, Rockets, Pacers talking trade

"" "" Posted by Royce Young

Update: Our own Ken Berger of CBSSpors.com confirms that the deal is done, pending league approval.

I guess new Hornets general manager Dell Demps was serious about upgrading the talent and putting together a plan in New Orleans to keep Chris Paul. And he's not wasting any time doing it, sacrificing Darren Collison in a trade in order to move James Posey's hefty chain of a contract.

Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports that the Hornets, Nets, Rockets and Pacers are talking a four-team trade that would send Trevor Ariza to NOLA, Courtney Lee to Houston, Collison and Posey to Indiana and Troy Murphy to New Jersey.

Goodness. Let's all let that one soak in for a minute.

At first glance, I'm having trouble finding anything all that appalling about it. It makes sense for Indiana who desperately needs a point guard and is willing to take on Posey's ugly contract to get a potentially excellent point man in Collison. The Nets don't really need Murphy long-term because they just drafted Derrick Favors, but with Yi Jianlian moving to Washington, the Nets could use some more scoring punch and honestly, unloading Lee is not that much of a price to pay for a double-double machine like Murphy. Plus having Murphy in front of Favors and pairing those two with Brook Lopez would be darn fine frontcourt.

The Rockets would get Lee, who is a good shooter and scorer to spell Kevin Martin and also clear room for Shane Battier who now can get the minutes he deserves. Not to mention they'd ship Ariza's $5.8 million off the books in exchange for Lee's $1.2. Houston clearly is looking to clear some money off the books, because a straight swap of Lee for Ariza really isn't equal in terms of a talent trade. For instance, as Ford points out, before the trade, the team was bracing for a $10 million-plus luxury tax hit. This trade would save them $28 million on the life of the contracts and $10 million this season, including luxury tax considerations. That's a good chunk of change.

And of course the Hornets, who are the most important part of this proposed trade. Demps promised CP3 he would improve the roster and here's his first stab at it. Ariza replaces Posey in the proposed trade and this would also gives Demps the flexibility to move Peja Stojakovic, who he surely would love to.

Though he has faults (like shooting way too much, shooting too many 3s and shooting too low a percentage) Ariza is a quality scorer and someone that Paul can be encouraged in having. Plus, the kicker: Demps is already starting to try and clear some of the dust off the shelves by moving contracts like Posey's off the books. Though if there is a question mark here, it's that one would think the Hornets could get more than Ariza in a trade that sends Collison somewhere.

Obviously New Orleans wouldn't trade Collison if it weren't certain that Paul were staying. So if there's anything to take from all this, it's that CP3 will likely be with the Hornets for at least two more years. That is, if it all goes through in the end.
Posted on: July 24, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 1:18 pm
 

Report: Chris Paul prefers Orlando

Posted by Royce Young

The Chris Paul situation is heating up. He has a meeting with the team Monday that could influence him to stay or maybe to go. And now there's a report telling the world where he wants to be: Orlando.

Chris Broussard of ESPN reports the Magic have emerged as Paul's top preferred destination, supplanting the New York Knicks. In the story, Broussard mentions that while the Knicks are still high on Paul's list, he believes the Magic would be a better fit. Plus, CP3 also realizes Orlando has much more to offer New Orleans in a trade and thus believes it's a more realistic destination than New York,

CP3's desire to play in New York is largely tied to Carmelo Anthony and the chance to form a new Big 3 in the Big Apple with Amar'e Stoudemire. But that's not a guaranteed situation, especially with reports indicating Anthony prefers to re-sign with Denver. On top of that, the Knicks probably will be able to present the least attractive offer to the Hornets. Ken Berger's original report mentioned the Hornets would want to move Emeka Okafor with Paul, and if the Knicks took back Okafor, they wouldn't have the cap space to sign Anthony anyway in 2011.

Paul does have two years left on his contract so the Hornets don't have to move him by any means. But the team understands the predicament its star is in and realizes the unwanted situation new coach Monty Williams would have starting his coaching career with an unhappy star.

That's why the Hornets may indeed decide to trade Paul. But New Orleans would not limit itself to the four clubs on Paul's list, Broussard points out. Instead, the Hornets would look for the best deal for its franchise, according to his sources.

Currently the four teams Paul reportedly prefers are the Knicks, the Magic, the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on Friday that Paul's agent Leon Rose reached out to all four teams this week. The Bobcats and Nets have also made inquiries about packaging a deal for CP3.

If Monday's meeting doesn't go well for the Paul camp, there are teams lined up ready to pony up just about anything to grab CP3. This thing is getting good. Well, that is unless you're a Hornets fan.


Posted on: July 12, 2010 9:34 am
 

Shootaround: Free-agency weekend in rhyme

A lot happened over the weekend, so we want to catch you up quickly. We'll have more on each of these stories in a bit. But while you're waiting, here's a little poem for you to get caught up.

The Mavs are chasing Haslem to make them seem bigger .

While the Nets are tapping Morrow to pull the big trigger .

The Pistons and Ben Wallace wed for two more years .

While Nellie brought in DWright as the latest wing he'll bring to tears.

The Nets brought in Petro to perplex us much more .

Then they tagged Jordan Farmar after Phil showed him the door.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas misses the King .

And Matt Barnes at this point is just chasing a ring .

The Baby Bears added a stopper in Allen.

And then the Suns traded Leandro Barbosa and some trade exceptions for Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress, while Toronto then swapped out the trade exception they got from the Suns who got it from New York for Boris Diaw in exchange for almost nothing.

That last one doesn't rhyme because it doesn't make any sense, whatsoever.

Oh, and Jesse Jackson compared Dan Gilbert to a slave owner . You may have heard about that one already.



Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:09 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:53 am
 

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Posted by Matt Moore

We told you for days that someone was going to lose the NBA free agency arms race. That several teams were going to lose. And tonight, the final blows were struck. With LeBron James announcing his intention to sign with the Miami Heat, every team but the Heat will fall into the losers category. From here on out it's just a matter of degrees. Here are the losers, in order of degree by which this day sucked:

Level 1- LeBrocalypse Devastation: First four Black Sabbath albums


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Go ahead. Let it out. You too, Dan. Get it out of your system . In Comic Sans, no less. It's bad. It's really bad. It's not just the emotional stuff. The deep connection people had to the kid from Akron, Ohio's native son, the local boy done good. It's the practical stuff. The city of Cleveland just lost out on what some estimates have put at $250 million in revenue to a South Beach heist. That's jobs. That's vacations. That's benefits. They weren't James' responsibility to watch out for, his obligation is to his family and his company. But it still deepens the wound. And that's not all. What about the practical holes in the roster? Who plays the small forward? They sacrificed so much, committed to bad contracts of veteran players in an attempt to build around James. And now?

It's a team poorly constructed. With little hope to remain in contention. Their best players are now Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. There's no bright side to this. They can't bring in another player to put their hopes in. There's nothing but the sting of watching the media coverage for the Heat ramp up to levels the Cavs never saw. There's just nothing left. In a television interview, Brian Windhorst described the scene in Cleveland as if an atomic bomb went off. Kaboom.

Level 2- "Boom Goes the Dynamite"


2. Chicago Bulls:
Here's a bad sign for when your organization has probably thought too much of itself. New York looked humble and realistic next to the Bulls in this whole thing. When the most self-important set of zip codes in the modern world is showing you how to keep things in perspective, you may have overestimated your position. The Bulls played their cards strong to the point of bullying, challenging and charging at LeBron at every turn. In the end, it was the quiet, subtle Pat Riley who made the most effective pitch and converted the deal, while the Bulls come off as brash and overly confident.

The Bulls honestly expected that the attitude "You should want to sign here" would work. And by all accounts, they were close. But as usual, the Bulls organization fumbled an opportunity and now face a reality where their big "get" was Carlos Boozer. Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35. Wait.

Level 3 - "A Series of Unfortunate Events "


3. New Jersey Nets:
The Nets knew they were sunk before ESPN's camera's showed up at the Greenwich depot for coffee (they may not have a depot in Greenwich). They signed Travis Outlaw to a deal which slammed the door shut. The Nets are committed to a long-term approach using youth and growth. That's the new plan. Landing one of the top guys would have helped. But they fell out of favor almost as soon as they made their pitch. It's more that the Nets are looking at a longer rebuilding process than the other teams that lands them here. They have no Derrick Rose to comfort them, nor an Amar'e Stoudemire signing to take the sting off. But really, their fate was sealed when the lottery balls didn't go their way.  That's the way the cookie crumbles. Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

4. New York Knicks: Well, they did get Amar'e. And now have Anthony Randolph and some solid roleplayers. The Knicks wanted to become a legitimate force in the NBA championship picture. Well, that didn't happen. And so they wind up on this failures list, but in the end, the pain isn't as great as it could be. They did get a top flight free agent. And from there, D'Antoni has started to assemble a roster that may not be a championship contender, but is similar to some sort of mid-70's ABA underground club, playing in the back-arenas of New York. A running, striding, power team with point-forward capabilities and shooters that can get out and run with the best of them.

It's not the worst of fates for the Knicks, and unlike the Bulls they don't look desperate or misguided and unlike the Cavaliers, the franchise still stands with hope for the future. It wasn't a win, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. Los Angeles Clippers: “Self-pity  is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” - Helen Keller

Funny story, Helen actually had a better overall vision for a basketball organization than the Clippers do.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 11:54 am
 

Non-Lebron News: Nets will sign Outlaw

Posted by Matt Moore
Let's call it. The New Jersey Nets are off the board for LeBron James. We knew this probably by Tuesday, (or when they fell to third in the lottery, really) but today it pretty much became official. The Nets have agreed to terms with small forward Travis Outlaw on a 5-year, $35 million deal according to ESPN. The deal will give the Nets some much needed depth at a postion they've given up space at in an attempt to sign a max free-agent, which of course, they did not. It's kind of a big amount to be giving a default option, but Outlaw is certainly capable, is a veteran that knows what he's doing, and shores up the position. With Derrick Favors so raw, they needed some experience at the forward spot in between Favors and second-year man Terrence Williams.

Not exactly the brilliant star signing Mikhail Prokhorov probably hoped would start his tenure as owner.

Outlaw averaged 14 points on less than 40% shooting last year , being traded midseason to the Clippers in the Marcus Camby deal. He's only 26 this season, so he's got some upside, but it certainly seems like a resigned kind of signing to put that much money into a player that doesn't help take the Nets from the worst record to anything repspectable on his own.
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 9:44 am
 

Reports: Bosh to Miami

The next significant piece may be falling into place, and it's good news for Miami.

Our own Ken Berger reported last night that an executive close to the talks between the Big 3 free agents (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) has indicated that Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade in Miami in a sign-and-trade. That's followed by a report from ESPN's Chris Broussard this morning indicating sources have confirmed Wade and Bosh announcing their decision to join the Heat Wednesday afternoon.

This will send tremors throughout the NBA as without Bosh, LeBron James will likely be rejoining a Cavaliers team that has won 60 games the past two seasons but has failed to win a championship and now returns with no significant changes to their roster outside of a new head coach in Byron Scott.

But more importantly, it signals Miami as a rising contender to the Eastern title. Miami will have enough room to sign auxiliary free agents to put support around the superstar duo. But the question will be how much. Miami will need to arrange for a sign-and-trade agreement that sends either Mario Chalmers or Michael Beasley out if they want to be able to have the flexibility to really improve the roster around this new monster combo to the point of contention. And as Ken Berger tells us this morning, that's not necessarily a done deal.

While the Raptors are prepared to move forward with sign-and-trade scenarios sending Bosh to Miami, the duo's agent Henry Thomas had yet to sign off on any finalized trade agreement as of Wednesday morning, two sources involved in the process told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger .

So now we wait to see how the rest of the pieces unfold. Will this deal get done, with Miami having one of the most formidable combinations in the league... and not much else? How will they put a contending support core around the two? What will James do, faced now with no significant superstar additions if he doesn't leave Cleveland? What else does Pat Riley have up his sleeve? Where does Chicago turn if they miss out on all three of the top free agents in this class, after working so hard to clear space, despite having the best collection of talent? The big questions are starting to be answered, which means the rest could be coming in a flood over the next few weeks.

-Matt Moore

Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:58 am
 

LeBron James follows the trend of control

Mr. Young brought you the news that LeBron James is hosting a little dog and pony show to announce his decision on Thursday. James, Bosh, and Wade will share a conference call Wednesday to discuss their plans and possibly coordinate the checkmate moves. The storm clouds are gathering, as one might say.

But let's take a moment and recognize the apex of a movement in cultural interactions between celebrities and their fans. As is often the case, trends in sports and sports personalities reflect the ongoing evolution of our cultural landscape, and King James, he is reflectin'.

Over the weekend, Joe Johnson's agent, Arn Tellem announced without announcing on the Huffington Post that Joe Johnson would be accepting the max offer from the Hawks to return to Atlanta. Tellem was able to give what the Johnson camp wants to expound as his motivations and intentions regarding the decision to re-sign with the Hawks. He painted the picture that Johnson wants painted, and that's the lead story. By controlling the story, shaping it and putting it in a public forum, Tellem took the power away from the small army of reporters that broke news of the extension offer throughout the week prior.

This follows a year where we saw the best and worst of social media interactions with athletes. Some NBA players stuck their foot in their mouth, Michael Beasley famously posted images of himself with marijuana on a nearby table (later confirmed to not be his house). But on the flip side, the Oklahoma City Thunder embraced Twitter and saw their public image soar, particularly Kevin Durant. Dwyane Wade reached out and communicated, as did Chris Paul. By reaching out and communicating up front with their fans, these players made themselves even bigger and did so on their own terms without the risks involved in third party conversations and interviews.

Which brings us to LeBron James' actions throughout the week. First his website appeared revamped, with talk of "finding out first." Rumors of James intending to announce his free agency decision via the website were later debunked . Then the Twitter account opened. Don't think there's been a radical shift in policy with James? Consider that the reporter who's followed him his entire career is completely baffled by the opening of James' Twitter account. That, along with the announcement of the live announcement represent a drastic change in the perception of James by those that have been with him the longest. The stakes have changed. And the playing field has changed alongside with it.

The key to this is the ability to control the message. Instead of having every angle, feeling, and angle about his business decisions laid out by reporters around the media sphere and the world wide web (it's an information superhighway, you know), James has the opportunity to lay out his decision in the most dramatic way possible, while raising money for charity. He raises his profile, puts himself on the map in a way never before seen. He'll never be Jordan, but he can market himself bigger. What's striking is that by doing so, he's somehow moved the importance of this operation from what his decision is to the announcement itself.

It doesn't matter where James goes. It's how he announces it. The man is having an hour on the most powerful sports television entity in the world, selling his own advertising, and donating it to charity, only furthering his image. There will be backlash, because that's what happens when you market yourself. It's self-aggrandizement, but you should also recognize that it's proof of the power of controlling your own message, of honing and delivering it on your own terms. More so than going to New York or Chicago or staying home and being the hero, it's the process of his declaration that gives this moment its weight. It's false dramatics, but then, this is sport. We turn athletes into Warriors and games into legends. We're not above this behavior, James is simply harnessing its full power.

LeBron James is on the verge of a decision which will impact the next half-decade in the NBA. He could win multiple titles or walk away empty handed. He could destroy Cleveland or save it. He could resurrect New York, rise in Jordan's shadow, claim Brooklyn as his kingdom, or bring the party to South Beach. But in reality, regardless of his decision, he's making history. He's bringing the power of individual control to a new level, and capitalizing on the full weight of his business potential. For years, he's discussed wanting to be a global icon. It turns out that where he plays may not be the key to accomplishing that. Instead, his method for revealing his decision could be the launching pad towards finally reaching that particular atmosphere.

-Matt Moore
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com