Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:31 am
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Eric Gordon rejected Hornets extension offer?

Posted by Royce Young
Eric Gordon will be a restricted free agent this summer. (Getty Images)

The Hornets made a pretty big stink about getting back an ample amount of young talent and assets when they dealt Chris Paul. The prize piece was guard Eric Gordon, a 23-year-old scorer that could be a franchise cornerstone.

Except the Hornets weren't able to lock him up long-term before the deadline passed for Gordon to sign an extension. According to an AP source, Gordon turned down a four-year extension offer from the Hornets, which means he'll be a restricted free agent this summer.

Financial terms of the Hornets' offer wasn't in the report, but clearly, it wasn't good enough for Gordon and his representatives.

According to another report, part of the hurdle Gordon had to jump was getting his extension through the commissioner's office. Gordon had said he wanted to re-sign with the Hornets, but obviously wanted to be well taken care of.

It's a very strange situation because the league and Hornets really pushed hard to get Gordon in return and now face the prospect of losing him in free agency this summer. Which was precisely the reason they dealt Chris Paul. Rather than watch a star walk for nothing, they wanted something to show for him. And because Gordon didn't get extended, he could do the exact same thing.

Without knowing the numbers, it's hard to really say who is more to blame in this situation. The Hornets, a struggling small market franchise, can't afford to part with precious cap flexibility and money over a player that's not quite star level. Gordon is a very good player but definitely not a no-brainer max player like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook or Kevin Love. He's certainly a great building block piece and potentially has that caliber of talent, but it's yet to be seen. And I'm sure the Hornets' offer reflected that.

Gordon has only appeared in two games this season for the Hornets because of a bruised right knee and coach Monty Williams said Wednesday that Gordon will likely miss three more weeks with the injury.
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:30 am
 

Gordon waiting on Stern's approval for extension

By Matt Moore

The Hornets are stuck behind the commissioner. Again. Yahoo Sports reports that Eric Gordon is in a position for an extension from the Hornets with the deadline for any deal looming Wednesday afternoo, but that the team has to wait for David Stern to grant permission to offer it. 
Gordon’s agent, Rob Pelinka, has engaged in recent contract talks with the Hornets’ front office, but hasn’t received an official offer. Gordon told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night he was informed by Hornets general manager Dell Demps that Stern must decide whether to extend an offer. The NBA owns the Hornets. Gordon wants to re-sign with New Orleans, but is uncertain if or when Stern will reach out to him or Pelinka.

“In terms of my contract extension, Dell Demps indicated that it’s out of his control and NBA commissioner David Stern has the last determination on the contract extension,” said Gordon, who will be a restricted free agent this summer if he doesn’t sign an extension.
via Gordon waiting on Stern to give him extension - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

The league of course notoriously vetoed a trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers involving the Rockets that upset all three teams and generally made everyone act as if all common laws of decency were being upended, despite the trade actually being quite bad for the Hornets long term. This, however, is a bigger deal. Working out a contract extension takes time, and the league not giving Demps the ability to negotiate such a contract severely limits the franchise. Losing Gordon in free agency should he enter restricted free agency and sign the qualifying offer would be a disaster for New Orleans.

It's not known whether the two sides can piece together a deal in 24 hours, but in order for that process to even begin, the league has to grant the Hornets permission. If Stern elects not to, it will only cause more outrage from Hornets fans, league pundits, and especially Gordon.  
Posted on: January 21, 2012 2:00 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 2:29 pm
 

Eric Gordon: Contract talks to get 'very serious'

Posted by Ben Golliver eric-gordon-noh

Eric Gordon didn't look particularly thrilled when he got traded to the Hornets in December, but he says he's open to the idea of staying in New Orleans long-term.

The Times-Picayune reports that Gordon, a 2008 lottery pick who is eligible to receive an extension until a Jan. 25 deadline, is open to a multi-year commitment to the Hornets, thinks the interest is mutual, and expects negotiations to pick up in advance of Wednesday's deadline.
“I’m very open to a long-term extension,” said Gordon, the seventh pick in the 2008 draft. “It’s all about having enough security to where I’m able to be here.”

“You know they’ve told me they want me here, they want an extension,” Gordon said. “But it’s all about what they think is the worth in me. They see that I’m capable of helping this team win, capable of playing hard every night offensively and defensively. Now it’s all about dealing with what I’m worth.”

“I’d say starting next week (talks aimed at an extension) would be very serious and maybe have something down the line. And whatever happens, happens. I think both sides may be able to come to an agreement. But right now, we’re both comfortable.”
Gordon, 23, has been one of the top performers from the 2008 draft class when he's been healthy. Last season, he averaged 22.3 points, 4.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for the Los Angeles Clippers, who included him in a blockbuster trade for All-Star point guard Chris Paul during the December free agency period. Although he's a bit undersized, Gordon can shoot, create his own shot and can score the ball in a variety of ways. Last season, he was one of the most consistent scorers game-to-game in the NBA, thanks in part to his ability to get to the free throw line.

His ceiling is likely that of a good team's No. 2 player and a bad team's No. 1 player. With the Clippers, he was an excellent outside complement to the inside force of All-Star forward Blake Griffin. In New Orleans, once he's healthy, he will be asked to step into the role of being "The Man."

There's no question Gordon is a cut below the Max contract performers in his class, which include Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love. He's in the second-tier, though, but that still means a handsome pay day. Second-tier guys from the 2007 Draft included Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford (5 years, $60 million) and Joakim Noah (5 years, $60 million).

Gordon is currently nursing a knee injury that's kept him out for 13 games this esason and he missed 20+ games in each of the last two seasons. That missed games number is certainly going to impact his price when it comes time to negotiate. Another wild card: the fact that the Hornets are still owned by the league and in the process of being sold. No extension for Gordon would mean maximum flexibility and minimal allocated payroll for a new owner. On the other hand, an extension for Gordon would at least ensure one star-type player in place for the future rather than a barren pantry.

Despite the injuries, Gordon has a fair bit of leverage here. He would command interest and major offers if he hits the market as a restricted free agent next summer, and, let's face it, the Hornets need him a lot more than he needs them now that Paul is gone and the rebuild is just getting started. His representation should therefore be able to drive a hard bargain and, ultimately, could deliver Gordon a deal slightly larger than his performance and health to date has warranted.

One thing is certain: if the Hornets aren't able to get this done before Wednesday, it will be very interesting to hear how they spin it to their beleaguered fanbase.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:39 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 12:11 am
 

Report Card: Anderson and Orlando work some magic

Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore



Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

Ryan Anderson and the Magic

Orlando might've picked up its best win of the season Monday in New York and the Magic did it behind Ryan Anderson's scoring barrage. Anderson has emerged as a legit option for the Magic and with Dwight Howard inside, Anderson, a finesse power forward, can afford to play on the perimeter. It's really a pretty perfect pairing, much in the way Rashard Lewis worked well playing alongside Howard. Anderson went for 30 against the Knicks and did it with seven 3-pointers. -- RY

Kyrie Irving

Irving closed out the Bobcats with a series of dervish inside moves and layups. His handle and confidence improves every game and he's now distributing as well. Ricky Rubio has all the hype but right now Irving needs to at least share the lead for ROY. The Cavaliers keep winning, surprisingly, and it looks more and more like they have a star to build around. He's got great control over his body in mid-air and his shooting is surprisingly on target for a rookie. He took the team on his back to get the win Monday, and that's exactly what the Cavs want to see. -- MM

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder

That's six straight for Oklahoma City, but how about Westbrook? He drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in crunchtime, scored 26 points and made plays all over the court in Boston for the Thunder. He was helped obviously by Kevin Durant (28 points) but the unusual suspect of Thabo Sefolosha stepped up with 19 points on 7-9 shooting. The Celtics were a desperate team Monday looking for a win to hang their hat on and OKC did what needed to be done. Impressive victory for the team now with the league's best record.

Memphis Grizzlies

The bad: the third quarter where the Grizzlies let a 25-point lead evaporate. But other than that, which was largely fueled by a free throw disparity and C.J. Watson stealing the spirit of Derrick Rose who missed the game with turf toe, the Grizzlies were brilliant. Rudy Gay scored 24 points, his third 20-plus points game. The offensive flow was working and they hustled defensively. Memphis has won three straight and is back to ball hawking in the passing lanes to force turnovers. Rose's absence was of course the difference. -- MM

John Wall

It's not his fault his team stinks. OK, maybe it's kind of his fault because as the de facto "star," he's supposedly to lift everyone else to a higher place. But still, against the Rockets Monday, he did what he could do. Wall went for 38 points, eight assists and six rebounds but didn't get much else from his fellow starters who scored a combined 30 points as the Wizards lost to Houston. -- RY

Zone

The Magic dropped into a zone, and much the same way the zone has jacked with the Heat's star-powered lineups, it clogged up the works. It makes sense if you think about it. Teams with star power that don't have competent shooters are going to struggle when the athleticism is compromised and more pressure is applied by angling the zone to the star players. Zone is seldom used in the NBA, but the playoffs could have a ton of it this year. -- MM

Sixers Distribution

Against a very good defensive team in Milwaukee, the Sixers had four players in double digits. The Sixers aren't beating teams with star power, they're beating teams with coaching, execution, and depth. It's really important to note now how good this Sixers team is because if they're playing this well in May, they're going to make a run and stun some teams. They have a great bench scorer, they have a solid all-around frontcourt, they have a do-it-all forward in Iguodala playing the best ball of his career. Fear the Sixers. -- MM

Boston Celtics

The Celtics were competitive and actually had a chance to beat one of the best, if not the best team in the league Monday, but were bitten by the unlikely barrage of 3-pointers from Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook. It has to be a tad encouraging that the Celtics were ready, played good defense and really pounded the glass. Still they lost their fifth straight and their four wins are against Washington (twice), New Jersey and Detroit. -- RY

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls without Rose reverted back to a largely inefficient team, but more concerning was their lack of defense as the Grizzlies relentlessly attacked the rim. Essentially, unless Omer Asik was in, the rim was vulnerable. The question has to be asked for the hundreth time, if the Bulls would be better off with Taj Gibson starting, and now Asik is angling for the job of Joakim Noah. Noah was particularly bad, getting outworked and outsmarted by Marc Gasol and dunked on by Rudy Gay in space, while missing layups. Rose is the reason they lost, but there was a lot not to like for Chicago. -- MM

Carmelo Anthony

He returned to the Knicks. He scored 33 points but did it in 9-27 shooting and New York lost to the Magic. So a pretty Melo day all around. (Get it? Melo... You get it.) -- RY


The Hornets

Here's the starting five the Hornets rolled out against Portland: Jarrett Jack, Marco Belinelli, Emeka Okafor, Jason Smith and DaJuan Summers. Does that strike you as a competitive NBA team? Jack led the Hornets in scoring with 21 points, but my goodness does that team need Eric Gordon back. A lot of teams are fun to watch even when they're bad because of young players or because it's comical, but the Hornets don't really even have interesting players right now. -- RY
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:59 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:01 am
 

Eric Gordon out 2-3 weeks with knee swelling

By Matt Moore

Eric Gordon is not really having the kind of season he probably thought he would. The Hornets announced Friday that Gordon experienced knee swelling after Wednesday's loss to the Sixers, his first game back from injury, and as a result, on the advice of doctors he's out 2-3 weeks. 

That's just bad all over.

The Hornets don't want to tank, that's clear from what Monty Williams and Dell Demps wanted in the vetoed Chris Paul trade with the Lakers and Rockets. Even though losing out is the best thing for their franchise, it's harder for guys to keep jobs through rebuilding projects. It's not fair, but it's what it is. And losing Gordon is going to make it even harder for a Hornets offense that has struggled without him. They've actually been really stout defensively, but they don't have any scorers with Gordon out. It could get ugly for the Hornets.

Jokes will be made about how this shows how much better the Lakers' offer was. But in reality, the Hornets need to tank out. They need to get a top draft pick, and combined with what will be at worst a 13-15 pick from Minnesota, they'll have a great core of players to rebuild around.

For Gordon, you have to hope he can get healthy completely. He needs to finish the season strong, because he's a restricted free agent in the summer. This is the first real payday for players coming off the rookie deal, and whether it's in New Orleans or eliciting a massive offer in restricted free agency, he needs to be healthy to pull it in. If he continues to have injury issues, Gordon could sign the qualifying offer instead, on the hopes of improving his value in a healthy year going into unrestricted free agency in 2013.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:39 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 8:41 pm
 

Gordon, Kaman blast Clippers for Chris Paul trade

Posted by Ben Golliver

hornets-new

The Los Angeles Clippers took a major step towards rehabilitating their image as a second-class organization with a bad owner in Donald Sterling when they landed All-Star point guard Chris Paul in a preseason trade with the New Orleans Hornets. But the pieces moved in exchange for Paul have nothing but bad things to say about how the trade went down.  

Yahoo Sports reports that guard Eric Gordon and center Chris Kaman were both blindsided by the trade. Gordon says he was lied to by GM Neil Olshey and Clippers management and Kaman expressed disappointment that he wasn't treated more professionally after nearly a decade spent playing for the team.
“All you do is take the man’s word and take that he said that no one is going to go anywhere,” Gordon told Yahoo! Sports. “… To completely lie like that is something unprofessional.”

Said Gordon: “They literally told me as an organization that they wanted to keep me, and [the trade still] went down?”

“He said, ‘Hey, you got traded.’ I was like, ‘C’mon,’ ” Kaman said. “Then everyone started talking to me like, ‘Hey, what happened?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ Then my agent wasn’t calling me. I couldn’t get ahold of him. Then Farouq talked to his agent and said it was done. The Clippers didn’t tell me anything. They didn’t tell me I was traded or nothing after eight years. They didn’t have the guts to come tell me they traded me.”
In the hours after the Clippers/Hornets trade was finally consummated, word spread that Gordon found out about it while on a bus full of Clippers season ticketholders. At that point it was immediately clear that this trade would be met with hard feelings. Going from playing in a media mecca alongside Blake Griffin to a tenuous basketball outpost destined for the lottery was going to be a tough pill to swallow no matter what. Feeling like you were duped and deceived only makes the taste in the mouth that much worse. 

If there's any defense of the Clippers on this one, it centers around the sheer lunacy of being involved in trade talks that include the league office and NBA commissioner David Stern. With Stern shutting down a 3-team trade proposal for Paul involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets prior to approving the Clippers' package, it's very possible that Olshey and company honestly believed there wouldn't be a major roster shake up. Trades develop quickly in the NBA and secrecy and expediency are valued commodities. It's unreasonable to expect a GM to break off of a trade call to phone one of his star plays to let him know, "Guess what? I might be trading you now." There's always time for fence-mending after the fact.

While the trade damage is done -- with Gordon and Kaman likely to get over it, at least mostly, with the help of the passage of time -- this episode becomes an important reminder for the Clippers. Producing a first-class basketball organization involves treating players -- past, present and future -- in a first-class manner and with consistent professionalism. Karma tends to govern behind-the-scenes dealings in the NBA and this sure looks like another strike in the negative column for Sterling and company.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:17 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Report: Grizzlies looking to get Speights in deal

Posted by Royce Young

The Grizzlies front line is thin and has been even thinner with Darrell Arthur's season-ending injury and now Zach Randolph's knee turned out to be more serious than originally though (out eight weeks with an MCL tear).

Currently though, Memphis doesn't have really any depth inside.

But they're looking to beef that up. According to ESPN.com, the Grizzlies are in "advanced talks" to acquire Marreese Speights from the 76ers in a three-team deal with the Hornets.

In the proposed trade, Speights would go to Memphis, Xavier Henry to New Orleans and the Hornets would give Philadelphia two future first round picks. Those aren't big names, but that's quietly kind of a big trade.

Speights will make a huge impact on the Grizzlies, but they'll be giving up a lottery pick from last year in Henry. Henry hasn't been able to find a spot in the Memphis rotation with O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen getting the minutes in front of him, but the Hornets, a team in search of young talent, could be a good fit for him. It comes at the cost of future first round picks, something the Hornets want to rebuild with after the Chris Paul deal, but Henry is a first round talent anyway.

Speights has been a terrific bench player with the 76ers in terms of per-minute production, but hasn't found many minutes this season, not having played yet instead seeing Doug Collins go with rookie Nikola Vucevic. But for Memphis, Speights will immediately step into the rotation and play big minutes for a contender.

Assuming it goes through, it's a quality deal for Memphis because it's something that fills a very big need. While giving up Henry is a shame, he wasn't a player seeing minutes anyway and the Grizzlies are trying to win now, not build for the future anymore.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 1:08 am
 

Report Card 12.30.11: Heat escape from Wolves

Posted by Ben Golliver

lebron-wolves

A: LeBron James to Dwyane Wade game-winning inbounds lob

The Miami Heat really, really should have lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which is one of those phrases that you expect never to  think, much less write. But it's true: rookie point guard Ricky Rubio's 12-point, 12-assist effort kept Minnesota in it until the very end, and a careless LeBron James turnover on a critical late possession gave Minnesota multiple chances to steal their only game against the Heat this season.

Instead, order was restored by an absolutely brilliant play design from coach Erik Spoelstra. Miami set up a sideline inbounds play out of a timeout, using James as the inbounder. Miami ran two players to the near corner to pull Minnesota's defense away from the middle of the court and then ran guard Dwyane Wade on a looping pattern using a high screen from forward Chris Bosh to free himself. James then threw the lob pass to a suddenly open Wade, who did well to catch it from behind his body and finish a lay-up smoothly in one motion, as the Timberwolves defense tried, too late, to contest his shot. Final score: Miami 103-101. Can't draw it up any better than that.


A: Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls

You'll rarely see two teams play harder than the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers did during the third quarter on Friday night, when bodies were flying all over the court on both ends. Chris Paul and Derrick Rose went tit-for-tat, blow-for-blow throughout, and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin finished more dunks than anyone could keep track of. But the Bulls, led by Rose, remained their steady selves, down the stretch, pulling out a 114-101 win at Staples Center. Rose finished with a ridiculous 29 points on just 14 shots, adding 16 assists on top of that. Elite, elite, elite play. Paul was excellent; Rose was on a different level.

B: Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce's return

It must have felt nice for the Boston Celtics to enjoy a return to normalcy. After a dismal 0-3 start to the season in All-Star forward Paul Pierce's absence, Boston got its first win of the year by thumping the pathetic Detroit Pistons at home, 96-85. Pierce wasn't dominant, finishing with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in just 23 minutes, but the contribution was much needed. 

C: Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers remained undefeated on the season, improving to 3-0 on Friday night, but it took overtime and a gift from the Gods to make sure it happened. Indiana struggled to shoot all night, finishing just 36-for-94 from the field and a pitiful 2-for-10 from deep. The Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the league's weakest sisters, were almost exactly as terrible (34-for-88 overall and 5-for-25 from deep) but one Cavaliers miss swung this in Indiana's favor. Rookie guard Kyrie Irving made a beautiful series of moves to free himself near the rim on the final possession of regulation, staring at a point blank lay-up that would have given Cleveland a thrilling buzzer-beating victory. Instead, Irving, who finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, saw his attempt rim out, forced to hold his head in disbelief. The Pacers slammed the door, winning overtime 14-7, to seal the 98-91 victory. But, Indiana: you're better than all that.

D: New Orleans Hornets' bricklaying

The Phoenix Suns have had a rough start to the 2011-2012 season but they got an elixir for their ills in the New Orleans Hornets' bricklaying. Minus guard Eric Gordon, who didn't play because of a knee bruise, the Hornets starting backcourt of Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli combined to shoot 9-for-33. The starting frontcourt of Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry was only barely better, at 8-for-27. In fact, not a single one of the 12 Hornets who played shot 50 percent or better. The final damage: 26-for-90. Unreal.

F: Chris Bosh's ridiculous pass

Oh, Chris Bosh. Just when you were starting to look invincible and slightly more likeable you had to pull us back in. The following blooper brings plenty of unintentional comedy. Bosh, working near the three-point line, hesitates to pass the ball to center Joel Anthony, who decides to move away and set a pick for a teammate. With Anthony's head turned, Bosh decides to fire a pass to him, which richochets hard off his back and out of bounds. Bosh doubles down on the hilarity by giving Anthony a death stare, pointing at his own eyes as if to say, "Watch for the pass." Sorry, man. That one was on you.

Here's the video.



E for Effort: Minnesota Timberwolves

Just like the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this week, The young, frisky Timberwolves watched an excellent shot at upsetting the Heat slip between their fingers at the last possible moment thanks to miracle work by Dwyane Wade. Now 0-3 after suffering varying degrees of heartbreak throughout the first week of the season, Minnesota now possesses what it hasn't in previous seasons: its dignity. A respect level is beginning to develop around the league, thanks largely to the hype building around Rubio, and these close encounters will surely turn into nailbiting upsets before too long.
 
 
 
 
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