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Friday, December 02, 2011

NBA THREAD DECEMBER: POST-LOCKOUT

With the lockout over, I estimate that there may be more than 10-12 Primates who want to talk about the NBA, and with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: fractional reserve banking, and Tim Tebow.

robinred Posted: December 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1001. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:20 AM (#4014687)
Flipping off David Stern.
   1002. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#4014704)
I'm trying to track the parallels if Vince McMahon ran the NBA. Shaq would come back to the league (cf. Kevin Nash), but which NBA player would be married to Stephanie McMahon to be the driving force behing that?


Brian Cardinal. HEEL TURN!
   1003. madvillain Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#4014721)
Some great stuff from the knicks realgm board:

only time mike dantonio gets defensive is when he's asked about his defense


And his media day picture.
   1004. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:53 AM (#4014722)
I'm not seeing Sam's conflict. How is the Hornets situation any different from, eg, the (very common) situation where Owner both owns Team and holds a substantial equity stake in NetworkCo, and makes personnel decisions to benefit NetworkCo, which is the far more valuable entity? If Owner owns 100% of Team, I'm not sure where the conflict is. It's his toy, and he can play with it as he chooses. Owner is not a fiduciary of his players.
   1005. Sam M. Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:08 AM (#4014727)
I'm not seeing Sam's conflict.


If David Stern is acting in the best interests of Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban, because he is acting primarily in his role as NBA Commissioner (they, after all, pay his salary -- and he has been acting in their interests for how many years, and especially how many months now, in a way magnificently adversarial to the players?), then is he acting in a way that is in the best interests of the New Orleans Hornets? Of course he's not a fiduciary of Chris Paul -- but he is a fiduciary of the Hornets, and their interests are (IMHO) plainly adverse to those of Dan Gilbert (and I mean to use him as a proxy for the interests of those owners whom, collectively, I believe Stern has decided represent the overall views of the owners -- not a full consensus, perhaps, but the overall majority).

If a case ever got filed -- and again, I readily concede that the plaintiff in that case would be hard to envision -- you would have representatives of the Hornets presumably giving depositions in which they would say clearly that they believe these trades would be in the best interests of the Hornets, present and future. That can easily be portrayed as the views of people whose views of the Hornets' interest are untainted by the need to cater to the interests of the other NBA owners. People who are paid to have ONLY the Hornets' interests at heart. That would be powerful stuff, deeply adverse to Stern's interest.

That is why, I think, the league is hustling to get this done now -- they see the vulnerability. That is also why, I suspect (if reports are to believed) Demps has been taken out of the loop, and Stern's people put in charge of all negotiations. The last thing they want is for Demps to reach yet another deal which he will testify would have been in the Hornets' interest, which Stern then vetoes, which will be yet more grist for the conflict-of-interest mill.

Maybe they face only a 25% vulnerability here. Do you have any idea how catastrophic it would be for the NBA to face a judgment that its Commissioner acted in collusion, in a conflict of interest while supposedly having an obligation to see to the best interests of a franchise that is basically in receivership? Even if they think they have only small exposure, they have to avoid it. They need to get Paul traded, and if I'm the Clippers, I sit tight and let the pressure build.
   1006. bobm Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:35 AM (#4014748)
If David Stern is acting in the best interests of Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban, because he is acting primarily in his role as NBA Commissioner... then is he acting in a way that is in the best interests of the New Orleans Hornets? Of course he's not a fiduciary of Chris Paul -- but he is a fiduciary of the Hornets

The Hornets franchise is property bought and paid for by the NBA, right? Who are the beneficiaries of / shareholders of / lenders to the Hornets for whom the NBA/Stern is a mere fiduciary? (Collusive behavior is a separate issue.)

to see to the best interests of a franchise that is basically in receivership?

Is the franchise actually in "receivership" or merely property owned by the league, which it intends to re-sell eventually?
   1007. Squash Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:38 AM (#4014750)
Would Paul have any basis to say the league (i.e. the other owners) is colluding to keep him on a certain team? Beyond ordinary circumstances, if that makes any difference? They are going to end up costing him a ton of money - he has no right to be traded, but if his team wants to trade him, and reaches what it judges to be fair offer, then it is vetoed by the league to protect other teams financially at his financial expense, that would seem to be "wrong". Provable and punishable, I don't know.
   1008. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#4014755)
Squash, I asked that question on the last page. I don't think he can say he's been financially damaged until he signs with a team as a free agent, rather than being traded and extended, or doing a sign + trade.

OTOH, if he knee falls off before then... But doesn't he have to wait until the end of his contract to max himself out anyway?
   1009. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:53 AM (#4014760)
The commissioner is not a fiduciary of the Hornets. He is a fiduciary to the owner of Hornets equity - which is the league. Which Stern owes a duty to, arguably, anyways. I still don't see a conflict.

I also don't see the collusion argument, though admittedly I'm much less confident in my analysis there than with regard to the fiduciary analysis. You can't collude with yourself. Who is the NBA colluding with that is not the NBA? If, hypothetically, the 29 other owners each had equal voting power w/r/t the Hornets, does that mean any transaction between the Hornets and one of the other 29 teams is inherently collusive? If a steel company has a wholly owned, but otherwise independently operated sub, and the sub and parent plan together the amount they will pay employees, that's not collusive, no? Collusion requires concerted action among independent parties, I would think.
   1010. madvillain Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:54 AM (#4014761)
I feel for Demps. Guy was put in an impossible situation and spent countless hours working out a deal, another deal, and then the NBA just decides it would be better if he wasn't actually in charge. He has every right to be bitter and I hope at some point he goes off on Stern and the League for how they have handled this entire process.
   1011. madvillain Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:45 AM (#4014776)
Thought I'd take a minute to talk about the Xavier/Cincy fight. One of the kids from Xavier, Holloway, said afterwards "[we] have a bunch of gangstas [on the team] and where we grew up [the Ghetto] this is how it is".

I'm surprised this hasn't gotten bigger play. He said yesterday he used the wrong words and just meant they had a bunch of tough guys, but I think it was a rare moment of candor for an inner city kid now placed outside his environment. This is part of the beauty of college athletics, that it takes kids that otherwise wouldn't know anything but hard scrabble concrete and matures them to other, more productive parts of society. But in this case some kids from "The Street" forgot to forget where they are from.

I believe him when he says they have a bunch of gangstas on the team, that's the nature of basketball talent, it doesn't come from the gold paved streets of Long Island or Grosse Point. For a lot of kids, college is the first time they have experienced anything other than the Hobbesian world of America's underclass ghettos.

That said, while it's understandable, it has no place in competitive athletics, high school, college or pro. I think the 6 game suspension to the sucker punch kid, Yates, was pure horse $hit. That kid should be gone for the year. I don't know how you throw that punch in the NBA and not be suspended 20 odd games, let alone in "amateur athletics".

The NCAA has once again proven it has its head up its ass in anything except making profits and keeping the status quo filled with $100,000 and up admin positions in its organization.
   1012. steagles Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:59 AM (#4014783)
[Mike Fisher] Mike Fisher: Hold The Wisecracks (And The Hot Sauce And The Spongebob): #Mavs Sign Delonte As Backup PG http://bit.ly/rSyGuC about 24 minutes ago

[Royce Young] Royce Young: Steve Kerr says his Kurt Thomas trade to Seattle was "one of the worst trades in NBA history." http://deadspin.com/586742… 1 hour ago

Al Iannazzone: "@BrianMorgan45: Whats going on with Outlaw? Why is he still on the Nets' roster?" They need to get a small forward first. about 5 minutes ago

[Aron Phillips] Aron Phillips: Andrei Kirilenko's agent just told me that "no decision has been made yet" whether AK-47 will stay in Russia or come back to the NBA. about 2 hours ago


how has that not happened yet?
   1013. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:08 AM (#4014787)
If you haven't picked up on this thread previously, I'm a huge Xavier fan. There's some interesting dynamics going on here:

1. The asymmetry of the fight. Xavier made one act of aggression -- a shove by Dez Wells to get Ge'lawn Guyn out of Tu Holloway's face. That was a mistake, no question. UC players turned a scuffle into a brawl -- Yancy Gates connecting on a sucker punch, Cheikh Mbodj stomping a guy who was down, and Octavius Ellis coming off the bench to turn a previous war of words with a Xavier player into a war of fists.

The national media is missing two points: One is that UC's suspensions are far too light (as you pointed out) and two, XU's suspensions were so "light" because of the asymmetry of the fight between the two parties. UC players were trying to commit acts of violence against XU players. There's a huge difference between a shove and a haymaker or a stomp.

Edit: I thought the XU suspensions for Holloway and Lyons were too harsh. OTOH, there were rumblings about the amount of trash talking they did, and whether that represented the XU program they way the school wanted. I think Chris Mack is sick about giving them that much of a leash earlier in the season, and have this be the unfortunate outcome of that.

2. The XU administration (AD Mike Bobinski, Head Coach Chris Mack) made a huge mistake by letting Holloway and Lyons speak after the fight, while still filled with emotion. What we saw was a glimpse into urban basketball player slang. Holloway tried to walk the "gangsta" word back as soon as he said it, but, well, once that word got out it was never coming back. Holloway as a leader models his team after the Boston Celtics. They don't take *($# from anyone _while on the court_. The exception being, David Stern would never let Kevin Garnett use the word "gangsta" to describe his team's unity and toughness. Holloway learned that lesson the hard way. White people of America: welcome to slang terminology.

All that said, I think you're pretty spot on. XU is one of those schools that takes athletes that would probably drop out of other schools, and gives them a place to play and graduates them with a meaningful degree. If you're not on course to graduate, you're not on the team. And the school creates the support system players need to make that happen. There have been several players I can think of who have said "If I weren't at XU, I'd be on the streets somewhere." Instead, they walk out with degrees.

Edit: As demonstration of the rottenness of the NCAA, the NCAA did not weigh in other than the mandatory 1-game suspensions of Wells, Gates and Mbodj. The rest of the suspensions were handed out by the schools in coordination with their respective conseqences. The NCAA is too busy giving Festus Ezeli of Vanderbilt a 6 game suspension for letting someone buy him a hotel room. Disgusting.
   1014. Squash Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:46 AM (#4014800)
I also don't see the collusion argument, though admittedly I'm much less confident in my analysis there than with regard to the fiduciary analysis. You can't collude with yourself. Who is the NBA colluding with that is not the NBA? If, hypothetically, the 29 other owners each had equal voting power w/r/t the Hornets, does that mean any transaction between the Hornets and one of the other 29 teams is inherently collusive? If a steel company has a wholly owned, but otherwise independently operated sub, and the sub and parent plan together the amount they will pay employees, that's not collusive, no? Collusion requires concerted action among independent parties, I would think.

We've been going round and round over whether it's actually provable, but I think the idea is that since no one "owns" the NBA, and more that it's individual franchises who have agreements to play each other, would be that the other teams in the NBA were colluding against Chris Paul to limit which teams he can be traded to, regardless of which team he's on, which will have financial repercussions for him - i.e. enriching other teams (it's better for them if Chris Paul is on the Hornets, rather than the Lakers) at his personal expense. I have no idea if that's provable or not, or punishable, but it is what's happening. Do they get off because the other owners own 1/29 of the Hornets? But then supposedly it wasn't done in the interests of the other owners, it was done by the NBA for "best interests". So then the question becomes whether the NBA has player movement rights above and beyond those negotiated in the CBA (i.e. you can't become a free agent for 7 years is okay because it's negotiated - what's going on with Chris Paul isn't the CBA). Basically it's a mess. It's one of those funny legal situations where everyone knows what's going on, yet it very possibly can't be proven, and very possibly isn't even illegal, just really unscrupulous.
   1015. OPS+ Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#4014902)
I still don't completely understand the Odom trade. To move him in a trade like that you have to be pretty sure that you use that exception and cap space to acquire a top player but it sure seems like there is a solid chance that the Lakers are unable to do so.
   1016. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#4014925)

That said, while it's understandable, it has no place in competitive athletics, high school, college or pro. I think the 6 game suspension to the sucker punch kid, Yates, was pure horse $hit. That kid should be gone for the year. I don't know how you throw that punch in the NBA and not be suspended 20 odd games, let alone in "amateur athletics".


20 games is 25% of an NBA season. 6 games is 19.4% of Cincinnati's 31-game schedule. Not as great a disparity as it appears.
   1017. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#4014936)
Thought I'd take a minute to talk about the Xavier/Cincy fight. One of the kids from Xavier, Holloway, said afterwards "[we] have a bunch of gangstas [on the team] and where we grew up [the Ghetto] this is how it is".

When Holloway said "we zipped them up," did he mean just that they shut them up ... or did he mean body bags?

All that said, I think you're pretty spot on. XU is one of those schools that takes athletes that would probably drop out of other schools, and gives them a place to play and graduates them with a meaningful degree. If you're not on course to graduate, you're not on the team. And the school creates the support system players need to make that happen. There have been several players I can think of who have said "If I weren't at XU, I'd be on the streets somewhere." Instead, they walk out with degrees.

It would be nice if by a college student's senior year in college, he could communicate his thoughts and emotions in a patois other than gangsta. The college experience and education is supposed to educate you.
   1018. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#4014952)
I still don't completely understand the Odom trade.


This appears to be a pretty universal sentiment, shared by everyone from John Hollinger to Kobe Bryant.

There is a player who makes some sense as Odom's replacement, provided that the Lakers and Cavs are on speaking terms: Anderson Varejao. Varejao was given an excessive deal during the James years and it has four years to run. He is scheduled to make 7.7 this year so he would fit under the Odom TPE. He might be an amnesty candidate for Cleveland if they don't use it on Baron Davis due to contract length; that could stop it. Varejao is 29.

On the floor, he is a high-energy, low-usage guy, who can slot in at the 4 or 5, and with Odom gone and the new system, Bynum will be getting more shots. Fans in LA would probably take to Varejao as new-generation, somewhat better version of Rambis from the Showtime years
--easy to picture dorks in the stands in goofy Varejao wigs.

Varejao is also a Mike Brown guy: Brown even mentioned him in passing a couple of days ago when talking to the media.

Not saying it will happen and haven't heard anything, but it would seem that Cleveland would like to get out of Varejao's contract and he fits the Lakers' self-created need for a 4/5 to play behind Gasol and Bynum.
   1019. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#4015011)
That's a great idea, robin. Gilbert can give Varejao to the Lakers and then complain about how the system is broken because he's forced to give away useful, but overpaid players to the LAKERS. Win/win for him.
   1020. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#4015050)
KBergCBS: Kwame Brown has agreed to a one-year, $7M deal with Golden State, source confirms to @CBSSports.


Whoa.
   1021. Jimmy P Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#4015058)
Who is the NBA colluding with that is not the NBA? If, hypothetically, the 29 other owners each had equal voting power w/r/t the Hornets, does that mean any transaction between the Hornets and one of the other 29 teams is inherently collusive? If a steel company has a wholly owned, but otherwise independently operated sub, and the sub and parent plan together the amount they will pay employees, that's not collusive, no? Collusion requires concerted action among independent parties, I would think.

Well, this is a sticky legal point. Is the league one large entity, or 30 independent ones working together? If it's the latter, then a team like the Lakers can easily say that the other teams are all colluding against them getting Paul. If it's the former, then Paul may have a case, but the Lakers don't. I don't know what the current interpretation of the law is, this was all tossed up during the NFL debacle last summer.
   1022. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#4015075)
KBergCBS: Kwame Brown has agreed to a one-year, $7M deal with Golden State, source confirms to @CBSSports.

The league needs to contract the Warriors. Warrior fans don't deserve this. I'm pretty convinced now that because the Warriors draw so well no matter how big a turd the team is the NBA couldn't give two ##### if they ever have a decent team. Of course, if Warrior fans wised up and stop buying tickets, Stern would have the team relocated to Amarillo or Topeka and blame it on the fans for not caring enough.
   1023. Jimmy P Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#4015095)
KBergCBS: Kwame Brown has agreed to a one-year, $7M deal with Golden State, source confirms to @CBSSports.

It is just a year. Sure, he sucks, but it's not like they gave him a 5 year Kahn deal.
   1024. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#4015103)
It is just a year. Sure, he sucks, but it's not like they gave him a 5 year Kahn deal.

He'll get the 5 year deal after a 3 game stretch of reaching 10 rebounds a game even though the Warriors will have lost all 3 of those games, and then, of course, he'll go back to being Kwame Brown. I don't even want to think what the combined salaries of Lee, Biedrins and Brown are. A franchise so ####, its shittiness extends through multiple ownership groups.
   1025. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#4015142)
David Kahn has literally never signed anyone to a five year contract.
   1026. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4015157)
That's a great idea, robin.


Heh.

The Gilbert factor may be an issue, but I wasn't kidding--I think it is a reasonable idea. Jamison's deal runs out after this year; Baron's after next. If they sent Varejao for the TPE and then maybe used Baron's expiring later on or amnestied him, they would have no crappy contracts.

OTOH, Varejao may be the kind of guy you keep around to help meet the salary floor.

Mo Williams also fits in the Odom TPE and is a Mike Brown guy as well, but I can't see the Clippers doing that.

As to the Warriors, Hollinger really killed them for the Reggie Williams amnesty decision, the DeAndre Jordan offer sheet, and for NOT amsestying Biedrins. I would apply the same thing to them that I applied to the Clippers WRT Paul, although in fairness they might have figured they couldn't get Chandler and therefore could not keep Paul.

Someone alluded to this earlier, but according to what I have read, Dell Demps isn't even at the table. If you want to talk about Paul, you talk to Stu Jackson and Joel Litvin, who report directly to Stern. Leaving aside the arguments about Stern's legal standing, that situation bugs me.
   1027. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#4015168)
Kwame Brown is actually a pretty good low-post defender and is not as bad as a lot of people say he is. Jordan's calling him a pu$$y and Kobe's using him as a punchline once a week (he did it AGAIN yesterday) hasn't helped his rep, but 1 year/7 mil is fine for Kwame if you need some beef around the rim.

FWIW, on Laker blogs, I have seen a few people (3 or 4) share anecdotes about seeing Brown at casinos or clubs or whatever, and telling him, "I'm a Laker fan" and Brown's saying something like, "Should I have worn my bullet-proof vest?" and being very pleasant and accessible in dealing with them.
   1028. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#4015221)
David Kahn has literally never signed anyone to a five year contract.


Yeah, but Darko years are sort of like NBA dog years. ;-
   1029. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#4015245)
There are only four teams that Howard would sign a long-term contract with, according to a source close to the situation -- the Magic, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.

That severely limits the trade possibilities for Orlando, which has said it will not rule out trading Howard to any of the league's 29 other teams. Without a long-term commitment from Howard, no club is likely to put an enticing offer on the table.

Howard's stance essentially relegates the Magic, whose ideal scenario is to re-sign Howard, to talking trades with only the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers.

There has been speculation that Chicago Bulls might be a possible destination for Howard since the Bulls offer a big city environment, a superstar in Derrick Rose, and plenty of talent to send back to Orlando. But Howard's refusal to sign there ends that possibility
   1030. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#4015248)
Yeah, but Darko years are sort of like NBA dog years. ;-


Heh, each one feels like 5 years because he moves so slow.
   1031. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#4015297)
@WindhorstESPN: Eddy Curry did not make it thru 2nd practice with Heat, has now sat out 3rd & 4th. This experiment could be short lived.


There's a shocker.
   1032. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4015312)
it doesn't come from the gold paved streets of Long Island or Grosse Point


Somewhat amusingly, Tu Holloway is from Hempstead, NY, on Long Island.
   1033. Maxwn Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#4015344)
The report on Marc Gasol is that his deal is for 4 years/~$58m. A bit pricy, but they really didn't have much of a choice. It's basically the same sort of deal they gave Rudy, above the outside max with the hometown raises, but below a true max.

Also, the local paper reported that any potential O.J. Mayo deal is dead and he has been informed that he will not be traded. Apparently this decision was made around the same time that we learned Xavier Henry is out for at least a month with some sort of ankle injury.

They still need another big man. McRoberts is actually unrestricted, so they could try to just sign him. I think he may be too expensive though. Chris Herrington of the Memphis Flyer thinks they are about $3-4m below the tax line. I would be pretty surprised if they go into the tax.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to give Michael Heisley some credit. Obviously he and the Grizz FO have made some mistakes(cough, Thabeet) and any of these contracts he's signed may turn out poorly in the long run, but you can't say he's not trying any more. He got a team he thinks could go somewhere and he's paid up to keep them together. There are a lot of people, here in Memphis and elsewhere, who would not have believed that 4 years ago. This may crash and burn, but at least he's giving it a go.
   1034. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#4015357)
Stein says Minny is after Crawford to complete the Rubio-Barea-Crawford guard rotation/bizarre cross-cultural experiment. Is anyone in the market for a Luke Ridnour or a Michael Beasley? We have them in stock, and they're priced to move!
   1035. smileyy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#4015372)
I was never clear on the rush to move O.J. Mayo.
   1036. Maxwn Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#4015403)
I was never clear on the rush to move O.J. Mayo.

It's not really clear that they were actually in a rush to move him, at least not this offseason. The report that came out the other day was never really confirmed on the Grizzlies end. In fact Heisley told the Commericial Appeal yesterday that they weren't in any active negotiations to move him. It may have just been something the Pacers floated.
   1037. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#4015415)
Some buzz out there that McRoberts is close to a deal with the Lakers (realgm, couple of other places)
   1038. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#4015420)
I would keep Mayo if I ran the Grizzlies.

Dallas has added West, Odom, and Carter.

I think Cuban's plan is to go after Williams in FA next year.
   1039. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#4015487)
Kwame Brown is actually a pretty good low-post defender and is not as bad as a lot of people say he is. Jordan's calling him a pu$$y and Kobe's using him as a punchline once a week (he did it AGAIN yesterday) hasn't helped his rep, but 1 year/7 mil is fine for Kwame if you need some beef around the rim.

Zach Lowe has a good take on this
   1040. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#4015508)
From MN Wolves-land, I keep hearing through local outlets how impressive Rubio is, specifically how impressed Adelman is with Ricky!

I really hope this is true.

Also does the rumor that Adelman was behind the Barrea signing reduce the scorn that exists for the signing? If it was RA and not a Khan signing, does that make it automatically better? (I would say it probably does, but as I type that it feels off).
   1041. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#4015520)
Kobe remembers Kwame Brown

The reaction of the audience at the mention of Brown's name is fantastic. I'm sure Kobe is rubbing his chin and is happy the Warriors have such a good post defender on their team. Things are finally looking up for the Warriors.
   1042. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#4015532)
marc spears/y! reporting josh mcroberts signed for mini-mid level(2.5M) for 2 yrs. (Lakers)


As an add to Moses' link: I recommend that those interested in the NBA-type stuff that we discuss here read Zach Lowe: solid, thoughtful, even-handed writer.

The Warriors have made some puzzling moves the last few days--as have the Lakers and the NBA.

Supposedly McRoberts could have gotten more $ elsewhere but with Odom gone likes the role he would have. All of that is as yet unconfirmed--signing and his thoughts. First Duke and then the Lakers. Haters gonna hate.
   1043. jmurph Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#4015540)
That's a good signing for them- he seems like a perfectly solid big man rotation piece.
   1044. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#4015544)
Hollinger on Kwame Brown to the Warriors. That first paragraph really stings. With Cohan gone I really thought I could embrace the team again and it looks like nothing has changed. Why oh why did they keep Larry Riley as the gm? Why not clean house and start over?

Kwame Brown to Warriors, for one year, $7 million: Thumbs down

I'm so sorry, Warriors fans. You thought everything would get better once Chris Cohan sold the team, and then stuff like this starts happening.

While Brown wasn't that bad in Charlotte last season, he wasn't good either. He's a serviceable backup center since he's big and fairly mobile, but that's it. He won't score or block shots because he is slow off the ground, has hands of stone and is a poor foul shooter.

Also, everybody seems to be glossing over just how injury-prone he's been. Over the past five years he's played 41, 38, 58, 48 and 66 games; a few of those were DNP-CDs in Detroit, but mostly it was because he kept getting injured. I realize it's a one-year deal so it takes risk out of the equation, but the Warriors basically signed a very expensive backup center under the mistaken impression that he'd be a decent starter.

I question even whether this was a primary need. Golden State had four bigs on the roster already with Ekpe Udoh, David Lee, Andris Biedrins and Louis Amundson. While Brown can defend big post players better than any of them, there are more pressing issues here, like the fact that the only backup perimeter players are rookies Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins.

Golden State already forfeited both its amnesty provision and the rights to both Reggie Williams and Jeremy Lin in their bizarre quest to overpay DeAndre Jordan; now the Warriors have also forfeited most of their cap space. They'd have been better off living to fight another day and using their cap space via trade or targeting less expensive players.

It's tempting, for instance, to think that there were no centers available, but that isn't true. Even if you say Golden State had to get a big, burly post defender, several players of that type who are only marginally worse than Brown could be had much less expensively.

For instance, Kyrylo Fesenko is a better defender than Brown and will end up costing about a quarter the price. Reggie Evans is out there too, for perhaps a third the cost. Shelden Williams, Aaron Gray and Jason Collins signed for the minimum; Darnell Jackson is still hanging out in Europe waiting to get the minimum. Alternatively, Mehmet Okur is eminently acquirable in a trade; I'd imagine Ian Mahinmi is too.

In other words, Kwame Brown and Sam Dalembert were the "only" centers left only if you constrained your thinking to 2010-11 starters who were unrestricted free agents. Golden State reacted to a perceived scarcity that didn't actually exist, and as a result traded Reggie Williams for Kwame Brown while losing both its cap space and its amnesty.
   1045. Into the Void Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4015550)
I'm not sure if Udoh will pan out at center (seems more likely to be a PF), but the Brown signing mostly annoys me because it will take minutes away from Udoh, who looked really effective at times last year.

Much worse than signing Kwame is using the amnesty on a guy who is only making $4 million! Biedrins is making $9 million each year for the next three years. Why they didn't hold onto it to wait and see if Biedrins returns to form is completely beyond me. A terrible decision.
   1046. robinred Posted: December 13, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4015551)
Like Hollinger and Lowe explained, the problem isn't Kwame so much but the dumb stuff they did to get here. I really thought that Simmons was right a few days ago and GS would go for it--get Paul and Chandler.

My guess is the Clippers still come out with Paul and keep their Minnesota pick due to the NBA/Hornet situation. Gordon goes in the deal to keep some of the heat off of the league, and the Clippers rotate Paul, Billups, and Mo Willams as a three-man backcourt.
   1047. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#4015634)
To follow up on yesterday posts about Rudy where robin got mine and Jimmy's hopes up and then dashed them, while blaming the miscommunication on one of his "sources":

ESPNSteinLine: HoopsHype's own @BarriHoopsHype confirms Rudy's Denver-bound. Mavs known to still have high hopes for Brewer but Denver in hunt for him, too


Not sure if Dallas is getting anything significant back (picks), since yesterday it was implied they were just trying to cut the contracts after adding VC and Delonte West. I assume Denver is still under the cap (neither Nene or Afflalo have signed anywhere, and the rest of their FAs are in China), so it would work (and they need the bodies since half their team is in China).

---

BTW, does anyone know if Richard Jefferson was amnestied or not?
   1048. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM (#4015695)
Man, I spent my commute home pondering all the stupid crap the Warriors have done since I started following them as a kid, around 1979-1980. I really need a drink now. This Kwame Brown thing, at the end of the day, is really inconsequential. He's a crap player coming off his superficially best season ever the Warriors paid over the odds for and they won't get any use out if his expiring contract at the trade deadline because they never do that. It's just in the club's DNA to not do smart things. It's just SUCH a Warrior thing to do that it's depressing. A new ownership group comes in after the horrendous stupidity of the Cohan years and they talk a good game and the fanbase is DESPERATE for them to be smart, but they keep the same gm and their first big offseason all they accomplish is the signing of Kwame ####### Brown, the laughingstock of the NBA. Whether Brown deserves that label or not, it's just so symbolic that he would be the new group's first "big" signing. OK. Rant over. I just had to get it out of my system.
   1049. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:40 PM (#4015706)
The 50 ugliest haircuts in NBA history (warning: picture gallery, also humor).
   1050. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:52 PM (#4015721)
The 50 ugliest haircuts in NBA history (warning: picture gallery, also humor).

Despite the black guys having lived through the fade craze of the late 80's and the afrotastic 70's and being saddled with Rodman and Artest, the white guys dominate that list, justifiably. No way Olowakandi should be beating out Bogut or Schintzius for #1. That's a travesty!
   1051. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#4015765)
I'm not sure if Udoh will pan out at center (seems more likely to be a PF), but the Brown signing mostly annoys me because it will take minutes away from Udoh, who looked really effective at times last year.

Not defending the Kwame Brown signing, but Udoh's going to turn 25 this season. I think there will be a brief window where he understands and limits his weaknesses while still holding onto his strengths but he's no sort of long-term prospect except as a rotation player.
   1052. King Mekong Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#4015772)
Jefferson is still a spur afaik. He's practicing with them.
   1053. smileyy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#4015773)
The "male pattern baldness afro + chinstrap beard" guys were the decided winners for me. Guys in the NBA used to look old. I can't think of anyone who looks that old who plays today, though I'm probably blanking on some.
   1054. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#4015812)
Simmons on Paul:

I also thought the Clippers' offer of Kaman, Aminu, Bledsoe and Minnesota's pick5 was a totally fair offer, especially after every other suitor had dropped out of the chase.6 Why should they have to give up Eric Gordon? You only trade for Paul if you want to contend; giving up the league's best under-30 shooting guard (Gordon) defeats the purpose of acquiring Paul in the first place.



http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7348176/the-eighth-day-nba-christmas
   1055. ray james Posted: December 14, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#4015820)
Some buzz out there that McRoberts is close to a deal with the Lakers (realgm, couple of other places)


Another reason to hate the Lakers.
   1056. Fourth True Outcome Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#4015851)
Some pretty blunt talk from the Celtics' big three about the compressed training camp schedule, including a dizzying metaphor from Kevin Garnett about chemistry.
   1057. steagles Posted: December 14, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#4015860)
Jerry Zgoda: Wolves will get conditional second-round pick for Lazar: If OKC pick is 46th overall or higher in 2012, Wolves then would get 2013 2nd too about 15 minutes ago



that's probably a really good deal for minnesota. hayward is versatile, but he had to be 8th on their depth chart at forward, and he just wasn't gonna get meaningful minutes on that team when he was buried behind so many similar players.

as for OKC, hayward hasn't really played in the NBA, and most of his minutes in college came at PF, so i've really got no idea what they'll get out of this.
   1058. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:16 AM (#4015882)
@sportsguy33: Has anyone predicted the 2011-12 Lakers will be a lottery team yet? If not, I'd like to call dibs.
17 minutes ago
   1059. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:17 AM (#4015883)
Chris_Broussard Chris Broussard
Jamal Crawford has limited his choices to Portland, Sacramento and NYK, source says
   1060. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#4015916)
ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
ESPN sources: Lakers continue to express serious interest in Paul, w/package built around Pau, but search for third team on to supply youth


Screw the third team. Gasol, McRoberts, Darius Morris and the pick they got from Dallas.

(Yes, I am kidding).

If this is true, BussChak must be 100% convinced that if Paul were a Laker, Howard would immediately march into Otis Smith's office and demand to be traded here. If I were running the Lakers and were still after Paul, I would try to see what I could get from the NBA negotiating team by taking Okafor back in the deal, and then let Howard go to another team.

Hollinger did a "thumbs up" write up on the McRoberts deal--but I don't think it is official yet.

Clippers supposedly exploring extension with Gordon.

If Sacto wants JCraw, they must be thinking about some big follow-up trade.

Season starts in 11 days.
   1061. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:19 AM (#4015956)
Mitch Lawrence with this take in the Daily News, saying that Paul is moving closer to suing the league, with this theory:

A source told the Daily News Tuesday that Paul could file a lawsuit "in the next couple of days” charging the NBA, which owns and runs the Hornets, with collusion and violating the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The NBA’s labor deal has an anti-collusion clause that prohibits teams from conspiring with the league to influence contracts, signings or transactions.

If he proceeds, Paul would likely seek doubled monetary damages, along with injunctive relief, meaning he would ask the court to stop the collusion immediately and allow a trade to go through to the Lakers or Clippers.


The article goes on to suggest that his collusion case would be weak, but a tortious interference claim could be strong enough to give him leverage to force the league's hand and allow a trade, because they don't want to litigate this on top of the avalanche of bad publicity they've gotten. Interesting -- massively speculative, but interesting.
   1062. King Mekong Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:26 AM (#4015963)
Da'Sean Butler waived by the spurs. Would have been a nice story if he turned out to be a rotation player. I wonder if he gets picked up or floats to D-League or to Europe...
   1063. King Mekong Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:27 AM (#4015964)
"Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don't just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y'all know what I'm talking about. If y'all can't cook, this doesn't concern you." - Garnett on Chemistry. H/T [1056]

I guess I can't cook
   1064. tshipman Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:43 AM (#4015975)
The NBA’s labor deal has an anti-collusion clause that prohibits teams from conspiring with the league to influence contracts, signings or transactions.


Isn't this a problem for Stern, Sam M.? Stern's the one who made the call to not let the trade go through after hearing from owners who didn't want the trade to go through.

Stern can claim that he denied the trades for "basketball reasons," but that's going to be really hard to justify after a discovery phase (I would think).
   1065. Norcan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:43 AM (#4015977)
I get what Garnett is saying but putting anything in a tortilla, with the right sauces, comes out okay.

Sam Mitchell works for NBATV now and after McHale was interviewed, he had a story about something McHale said to Garnett during his rookie season. Before game time, Garnett had a fever in the 100s and when McHale asked if he could go, Garnett said he wasn't sure. McHale replied to Mitchell, "I don't know, but it smells like we have a girl here." My guess that he was a bit more explicit. Nothing unexpected coming from a sports culture but I wonder how Garnett felt about that. I'm sure he can take a ribbing but he's been the one dishing it out for years now. It's odd to think that once upon a time he was a really young rookie who had to stew and bite his tongue to grizzled NBA old-timers.
   1066. GregD Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:48 AM (#4015982)
"Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don't just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y'all know what I'm talking about. If y'all can't cook, this doesn't concern you." - Garnett on Chemistry. H/T [1056]
Kevin Garnett can cook? I guess being banned by all the pizza delivery places but inspire all kinds of unexpected skills.
   1067. steagles Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#4015983)
so, sixers beat writer kate fagan left her job at the daily news to work at ESPN. the guy they promoted to replace her is a fairly awful writer, and his knowledge of the game appears to be on the level of an average blogger at bleacher report.



that's gonna take a little fun out of the season.




also, i think nene resigned in denver.
   1068. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:53 AM (#4015985)
Isn't this a problem for Stern, Sam M.? Stern's the one who made the call to not let the trade go through after hearing from owners who didn't want the trade to go through.


Others upthread have made some very good arguments that there is a fundamental problem with the collusion claim in this instance, because the league owns the team involved. Since the owners of the Hornets are the league itself, and its team owners collectively, they have a pretty decent argument that they really can't collude with themselves. In barring league/team collusion, the CBA seems to contemplate teams that are owned separately from the league itself, and it bars those independent teams from conspiring with the league. I'm sure the league will argue it is therefore inapplicable in this special case. Paul will argue otherwise -- and the judge may well declare it a complete nightmare, throw up his or her hands and tell the parties to settle the whole damn mess and get it the hell off his or her docket.
   1069. tshipman Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:08 AM (#4015999)
Others upthread have made some very good arguments that there is a fundamental problem with the collusion claim in this instance, because the league owns the team involved. Since the owners of the Hornets are the league itself, and its team owners collectively, they have a pretty decent argument that they really can't collude with themselves. In barring league/team collusion, the CBA seems to contemplate teams that are owned separately from the league itself, and it bars those independent teams from conspiring with the league. I'm sure the league will argue it is therefore inapplicable in this special case. Paul will argue otherwise -- and the judge may well declare it a complete nightmare, throw up his or her hands and tell the parties to settle the whole damn mess and get it the hell off his or her docket.


Huh. Interesting. It seems to me that a group of owners colluding to prevent a player from receiving a fair value contract is a losing case for the league.

Admittedly, IANAL, but I don't see how it holds up for the NBA that they can claim that Chris Paul wasn't harmed monetarily. Ty for the analysis, Sam--it seems like it's most likely that the NBA caves and allows the Clippers' trade to go through (Lakers trade is DOA obviously).
   1070. smileyy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:14 AM (#4016001)
How do you figure that he's been harmed monetarily at this point? What financial possibilities would he have had he been traded by this point, that he doesn't already have? Could he already have signed an extension for more than he could if he goes to free agency?
   1071. Norcan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:26 AM (#4016007)
How do you figure that he's been harmed monetarily at this point? What financial possibilities would he have had he been traded by this point, that he doesn't already have? Could he already have signed an extension for more than he could if he goes to free agency?


Yeah, I don't understand the monetary harmed angle either, unless it's something like future endorsements but I don't think that can be argued in court for his NBA earnings. He isn't owed both the max money he could get AND the team he desires. All he has to do to not be harmed financially is just re-sign with the Hornets.

How has Demps not resigned already by now? The guy isn't even acting as the GM anymore, pushed aside by team building experts such as Stern and Stu Jackson. Issue a statement like, "With all the free time on my hands, I've decided to look for another job" and leave with your dignity. Tough break for him that he finally got to be a GM and it ended up being this mess.
   1072. smileyy Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:31 AM (#4016012)
He isn't owed both the max money he could get AND the team he desires. All he has to do to not be harmed financially is just re-sign with the Hornets.


Well, maybe. The precedent has been that every superstar FA has been moved in a sign-and-trade, so if that doesn't end up happening, I could see the possibility of a case.
   1073. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:38 AM (#4016014)
As to current monetary harm, there is none (at least not that I can see; I hope he has lawyers more creative and expert than me thinking about this to make sure there aren't better arguments on that point). But he can argue that not being traded -- if that indeed is a violation of the CBA -- does have serious future monetary implications. At least as I understand the CBA they just negotiated, Paul is much better off resigning with whatever team he is currently playing for whenever his contract expires than changing teams. He is therefore penalized if he is forced by the NBA's collusion (again, assuming that collusion is illegal) to use free agency to leave the Hornets, than if he is traded to a team he would resign with for a max contract. (Someone can correct me if I'm wrong about that.)

If I were Paul, I would argue that I should not be harmed by the fact that I am on the one team in the entire league in which the team's strong incentive to trade me rather than lose me for nothing in free agency (THE big post-LeBron lesson, right?) is nullified because the league can circumvent the anti-collusion rules in the CBA. Indeed, I would argue that the CBA simply shouldn't be interpreted in so arbitrary a fashion so that it sets up a different rule for about a dozen members of the bargaining unit.

It might not win, but it might get a judge's attention.
   1074. Norcan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:44 AM (#4016017)
Well, maybe. The precedent has been that every superstar FA has been moved in a sign-and-trade, so if that doesn't end up happening, I could see the possibility of a case.


No way. Amare Stoudemire wasn't signed and traded. There is no way you can contest in court that you had the right to be traded in order to earn the max with another team. It makes no sense. Paul could allege collusion but monetary damage that hasn't even arisen yet? C'mon.

In other news, I've taken the signings of Glen Davis and Jason Richardson by Orlando as indications that they're going to go through the motions of trading Howard but ultimately keep him, for this season anyway. It seems like they signed those two to appease Howard and show him that they are in fact willing to listen to his personnel suggestions. I can't fathom why they would hand out such long deals if Howard was going to leave. They'd be like the New York Knicks under Isiah, with a fat payroll built on role players. On the other hand, it is Otis Smith. I'm not sure he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
   1075. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:50 AM (#4016021)
Paul could allege collusion but monetary damage that hasn't even arisen yet? C'mon.


You're getting too hung up on damages. Even if the damages are zero, IF Paul could prove collusion (which I have been convinced is a very dicey proposition), he doesn't even care about damages. He cares about getting an injunction to force the NBA to get the hell out of the way and allow Demps to execute a trade. At that point, he gets traded to a team and he signs a max contract and is not faced with the Hobson's Choice of either signing a max contract with the Hornets (and thus playing where he doesn't want to play), or leaving via free agency and costing himself money.

And, by the way, courts give prospective damages all the time.
   1076. steagles Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:52 AM (#4016022)

No way. Amare Stoudemire wasn't signed and traded. There is no way you can contest in court that you had the right to be traded in order to earn the max with another team.
here's the thing. if there was no already agreed upon trade, if the NBA had said from the outset that chris paul would not be traded, that might hold some weight.


but he was traded. and because the trade was vetoed (which is where the claim of collusion began), he will lose out on the maximum salary he would otherwise have been due.
   1077. Norcan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:53 AM (#4016023)
Sam M. isn't the NBA shielded by the fact that the disparity of FA agent contracts versus Re-upped contracts was negotiated into the CBA? Don't courts allow all kinds of egregiously collusive behavior if it was negotiated? I think it comes down to that Paul has no standing to demand a trade. No one is stopping him from earning max money by re-signing with the Hornets.

I don't think the Hornets are the one team that, because they are owned by the League, can afford to let him leave as a FA without getting anything in return. One could theorize that that could hurt the team's sale value.
   1078. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:03 AM (#4016026)
Sam M. isn't the NBA shielded by the fact that the disparity of FA agent contracts versus Re-upped contracts was negotiated into the CBA? Don't courts allow all kinds of egregiously collusive behavior if it was negotiated? I think it comes down to that Paul has no standing to demand a trade. No one is stopping him from earning max money by re-signing with the Hornets.


That disparity certainly gives teams leverage in the game of "Trade me or I'll leave and you'll get nothing" chicken. But the fact is that teams still seem to be applying the LeBron Rule -- both the Hornets and Magic seem unwilling to risk losing their stars to free agency and be left with nothing, even knowing that both would have to sacrifice a lot of money to leave if they did so via free agency. So they (well, the Hornets to the extent their independent GM was acting for them before Stern stepped in) are basically willing to facilitate their stars leaving in a trade, so they can get something.

Collusive behavior was, however, NOT negotiated into the CBA -- collusive behavior between the league and teams is expressly prohibited. The question of how to interpret that clause will be critical, and I still tend to think that Paul will lose that claim in the specific case of the Hornets and the league because of the special circumstances. If it were Dwight Howard and the Magic? He'd win in a heartbeat -- even though he has no more "right" or standing to demand a trade, and no one is stopping him from earning the max salary with the Magic. If Stern stepped in and colluded with teams to whom the Magic tried to trade Howard to stop them from doing so (let's say he somehow pressured Prokhorov not to make a deal), Howard would absolutely win, because he has a right. It's not the right you describe; it's the right under the CBA to be free from league/team collusion.

So the disparity of FA/re-upped contracts thing isn't what hurts Paul. It's the special status of the Hornets which may -- MAY -- permit Stern to act in ways he couldn't otherwise.
   1079. Norcan Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:21 AM (#4016031)
So the disparity of FA/re-upped contracts thing isn't what hurts Paul. It's the special status of the Hornets which may -- MAY -- permit Stern to act in ways he couldn't otherwise.


What I mean is that Paul can't argue that he was harmed financially by contract limits because those were negotiated into the CBA. His only legal argument would seem to be collusion and it seems like the league office covered itself on that one.
   1080. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 14, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#4016113)
Guys in the NBA used to look old. I can't think of anyone who looks that old who plays today, though I'm probably blanking on some.


Greg Oden has looked to be in his fifties from the moment he stepped on a court in the NBA.
   1081. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#4016228)
The 50 ugliest haircuts in NBA history


Whither Fred Roberts?
   1082. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#4016240)
Amare Stoudemire wasn't signed and traded.

Actually, he was. Same for Bosh and LeBron in Miami. Because the old CBA allowed more money for resigning, that still happened in almost all of the FA cases (I'm pretty sure Boozer was a S&T also).

---

Some crazy rumors about a 3 way deal with Portland, NJ and Orl with Howard going to NJ (with Turk and Duhon's contracts), Wallace going to Orl, and picks to Por. Not sure that's a great return for Orl, but since they've signed JRich and Davis maybe they feel they need to try and make the playoffs instead of totally rebuilding.

---

Jamal Crawford either seems to have overrated the market for himself or he waited too long to sign, because he's not going to get a good deal. Supposedly both the Kings and Blazers are offering him 2yr/$10mil (same thing the Bulls gave Rip) and the Knicks 1 or 2 yr, $2.5mil. He turned down Indiana's 2yr/$10mil (with an out after year 1), so I think for him to consider the Kings (and WTF are they interested in him) they'd have to offer more money.
   1083. JJ1986 Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#4016243)
Some crazy rumors about a 3 way deal with Portland, NJ and Orl with Howard going to NJ (with Turk and Duhon's contracts), Wallace going to Orl, and picks to Por. Not sure that's a great return for Orl, but since they've signed JRich and Davis maybe they feel they need to try and make the playoffs instead of totally rebuilding.


Who gets Lopez in this scenario?
   1084. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#4016254)
Re: Chris Paul damages

I'm not entirely clear on this, but...does it matter at all that he needs to be with a new team by Jan. 1 or he's going to lose a lot of money when he (potentially) re-signs with whatever his new team will be? (I think I'm remembering this rule right, but I could be off).
   1085. Jimmy P Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4016263)
@sportsguy33: Has anyone predicted the 2011-12 Lakers will be a lottery team yet? If not, I'd like to call dibs.


This is amazingly dumb, even for someone as biased as Simmons. How many other teams in history with 2 of the top 25 or so players in the league have been lottery teams?


What I mean is that Paul can't argue that he was harmed financially by contract limits because those were negotiated into the CBA. His only legal argument would seem to be collusion and it seems like the league office covered itself on that one.


Maybe. I think he should go for a breach of contract type suit. If there's no written rule that allows the commish to veto trades - and seemingly fair trades at that - he may be able to say that the commisioner is acting unfairly and vindictively.

At this point, the filing of the lawsuit will result in such bad PR that the NBA will have to do something. They look horrible already, adding in a labor lawsuit after a totally pointless and lengthy lockout will look really dumb.
   1086. JC in DC Posted: December 14, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4016266)
If that proposed deal for Howard is right, why wouldn't the Lakers jump in and try to steal him? If I'm Orlando, wouldn't I rather have Gasol than Wallace and Lopez? I don't like that deal at all for Orlando.
   1087. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4016272)
Interesting. It seems to me that a group of owners colluding to prevent a player from receiving a fair value contract is a losing case for the league.

But whatever collusion there is doesn't prevent CP3 from getting a Bird rights max contract; it prevents him from getting a Bird rights max contract from the team he's traded to.

He's, really, suffering no significant damages. We can quibble a bit about endorsement income in LA vs. NOLA (**), but he has a lot of legal obstacles to overcome. I'd throw the mandatory arbitration clause the CBA almost certainly contains into the obstacle pile as well.

Tough case on "collusion," no significant damages, (likely the) wrong forum -- not the greatest legal hand.

(**) And, we can suppose, he'd be entitled to damages for the CBA violation(s) itself, but that's not what he's looking for, and the NBA would be right in not seeing that as a significant threat.

EDIT: The embedded assumption here is that NOLA is going to offer CP3 a Bird rights max contract at season's end. If they don't, he should take the league to court and would have 25 million reasons to do so.
   1088. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#4016286)
Who gets Lopez in this scenario?

Orlando.

If that proposed deal for Howard is right, why wouldn't the Lakers jump in and try to steal him? If I'm Orlando, wouldn't I rather have Gasol than Wallace and Lopez? I don't like that deal at all for Orlando.

Probably not if their goal is to still compete for a playoff spot this season*, and definitely not if the goal is to save money. The offers really are Bynum or Gasol** and ? vs Lopez, Wallace, and saving Duhon and Turk's contracts (that probably gets them out of the tax; the Lakers can't absorb Turk's deal but probably could take Duhon's in the Odom trade exception***). I'm assuming there some picks in there for Orlando too, which may or may not be better than any of the Lakers picks.

*Is Nelson/JRich/Wallace/Davis/Lopez a playoff team? Might be good enough for an 8 seed.
**Would it be Gasol or Bynum? Pau can play the 4, not sure either of Howard or Bynum can.
***And as Hollinger asked yesterday, are the Lakers in a cost cutting mode - do they even want to take on bad deals?
   1089. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:21 PM (#4016297)
If I'm Orlando, wouldn't I rather have Gasol than Wallace and Lopez?


Pau is 31 and makes a lot of money. But yeah, the rumored deal is not a great return. It is, again, pretty much impossible to "win" a deal for a superstat in pro basketball.

Respecting Sam's deep knowledge, I still don't see a clear legal case here for Paul. What bugs me about this as a Laker fan is Dan Gilbert's sending an email to Stern talking about how the Lakers shouldn't have a chance to make deals that might make them superdupergood, and Mark Cuban, while busily setting himself up for a run at DWill and possibly Howard, making public statements about small markets and the CBA and how the trade needed to be stopped. Stern can say he wasn't influenced by that, but given the context of the lockout, the SuperFriends, etc. I simply don't believe him. And even if I'm wrong, it still looks lousy--if not illegal.
   1090. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#4016301)
This is amazingly dumb, even for someone as biased as Simmons. How many other teams in history with 2 of the top 25 or so players in the league have been lottery teams?

I think he's assuming they deal Gasol, which would mean they're a Bynum injury away from...well they would still have Kobe (though he is old) and Paul(though his knees are iffy)/Howard. Yeah, I'm no longer as sure about defending him.

There's been so much movement and rumor that I don't even feel comfortable ranking teams yet.
   1091. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#4016305)
There's been so much movement and rumor that I don't even feel comfortable ranking teams yet.

This. I guess once the Bulls make the Rip signing official today, I can start writing the preview for them. But the number of teams in significant limbo still - NO, Orl, LAL, LAC, NJ - make it hard to try and start making predictions for the league.
   1092. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#4016307)
***And as Hollinger asked yesterday, are the Lakers in a cost cutting mode - do they even want to take on bad deals?


If they can actually get Howard and/or Paul, I think they take on the bad deals. As I have said, I think Jim Buss thought and may think even this minute that if he got Paul, that would make Howard want to come here. All reports say Buss has Gasol back on the block--again, for the third time--for Paul, even though everyone says the Clippers are in driver's seat on the deal. I think that is the governing concept behind what the Nets are doing, except with Williams instead of Paul; behind everything Cuban is doing and also what motivated Ainge to go back to the well on Paul even after Paul he would not extend in Boston and after Rondo got pissed off about it. Garnett, JO, Allen, and Bass all come off the books in Boston at the end of the season.

I have said from the beginning of this that I think Howard wants to play with Paul or Williams, and I still think so.

Now, if Howard stays in ORL or goes to the Nets, and Paul goes to the Clippers, which is where my money is right now, then I can see the Lakers in cost-cutting mode.

Simmons' lottery thing was typical Simmons. If it happens, he's a genius. If the Lakers have a nice, solid 41-25 season, he can just say he was kidding and was tweaking Lakers fans. But it is not that hard to see where he is coming from. Odom was the Bynum security blanket, and maybe Kobe will finally break down. And there are a lot of young legs and decent teams in the West.
   1093. Manny Coon Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#4016309)
I also thought the Clippers' offer of Kaman, Aminu, Bledsoe and Minnesota's pick5 was a totally fair offer, especially after every other suitor had dropped out of the chase.6 Why should they have to give up Eric Gordon? You only trade for Paul if you want to contend; giving up the league's best under-30 shooting guard (Gordon) defeats the purpose of acquiring Paul in the first place.


Simmons is wrong, if the Clippers get Paul they are still a legit team without Gordon. Jordan/Griffin/Butler/Billups/Paul is a very good lineup and they would still have some guys like Gomes, Williams and Foye on the bench. Yes the Gordon, Minnesota the pick and some scrubs is a lot of give up, but quantity for quality trades almost always work out best for the team getting the star player. Simmons himself often refers to them as "three quarters for a dollar trades", which is exactly what this trade would be even with Gordon; not including Gordon is just them playing chicken with the league to see if they can get Paul for two quarters instead of the three and it will likely fail and Paul will go elsewhere and the Clippers will waste several years of Griffin's rookie contract waiting for draft picks or scrubby players like Bledsoe and Aminu to develop, which may or may not ever happen. Teams like the Clippers need to be aggressive and take risks if they want to compete and as usual they are refusing to so and banking on the promise of future potential, which has never worked for them on the court (although it is profitable for Sterling).
   1094. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#4016311)
make it hard to try and start making predictions for the league.


True, but three teams stand out: Miami, Oklahoma City, and Chicago. If I had to lay money today, I would bet on Miami beating OKC in the Finals.

I would guess that James may be enjoying the relative lack of attention.
   1095. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#4016316)
Agree with Manny, as I said pages and pages ago. Eric Gordon is a heck of a player, but IMO this is something the Clippers need to pull the trigger on. Paul and Griffin together with the Lakers in decline? That moment may never come again.
   1096. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#4016318)
At least one notable NBA commentator decided to call Gilbert out for his petulance. Here's what former Suns GM and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr had to say on San Francisco sports leader KNBR (via Deadspin):

"Every one of them is wrong and I don't know how many there are either but I've been angry all day long about this whole thing because I think it was a great basketball trade. There are so many trades made these days that are lousy trades that are made for financial purposes. I mean I made one of the worst trades in NBA history. I traded Kurt Thomas and two first round picks to Seattle for nothing, to save 16 million dollars for our organization. Where was the NBA then to veto that trade for basketball reasons? That had nothing to do with basketball reasons. I understand what they're saying is they own the Hornets and ultimately they have the right to veto any move. Okay so from a legal standpoint I guess they're okay, but the problem I have is that this was a great trade for the Hornets. There's no way they can duplicate that. [...]

"The Lakers make more than any team in the league so [Gilbert] would have gotten all that tax money that he wanted or whatever. It's such a crock that he would even mention that. That guy is a billionaire, they have been way over the cap while they had LeBron, way over the tax. He's still upset that he lost LeBron and he needs to get over it. LeBron gave that franchise the best seven years they have ever had. He was a free agent and he decided to leave. Nobody likes the way LeBron left, even he apologized for it the other night on TV but the fact is there is a thing called free agency and if a superstar player wants to leave when they are agents, they can leave. That's their right."


http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Steve-Kerr-tells-Dan-Gilbert-to-get-over-it-c?urn=nba-wp11757
   1097. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#4016319)
True, but three teams stand out: Miami, Oklahoma City, and Chicago. If I had to lay money today, I would bet on Miami beating OKC in the Finals.

I agree with all of this. I guess I was more concerned with what comes after those 3. It just occurred to me that Memphis could potentially be a HCA team in the West.
   1098. robinred Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#4016325)
It just occurred to me that Memphis could potentially be a HCA team in the West.


Like I said earlier, I am going to follow them closely this year. This year is a big moment for them as well. OKC is in a great position, but they are not quite there yet, IMO, and may need more tweaks/time. SA and DAL are still tough, but old in key spots and beatable. The Lakers have roster, management and cap problems. A lot of the other teams have some guys who can hurt you, but many holes, and while the Clippers may get Paul,I don't think he is taking them straight from the lottery to the NBA Finals.

Memphis' key guys are young/prime, but as tough as it is to make the Finals without a Top-5 guy, and with ZBo at 30, I think they probably have a two-year window. This year is a big opportunity for that franchise.
   1099. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 14, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#4016333)
The only legal claim that seems remotely plausible for Paul would be something like a suit for a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that accompanies his playing contract. Paul could argue that the league, in its capacity as the NOH owner, is in breach of Paul's contract by using it has a means to affect the league's balance of power or to placate certain owners. He would further argue that such conduct deprives him of his right to play for a team that uses his services for "basketball reasons" and not to settle, or otherwise influence, league business. A right to which he is legally entitled under the implied covenant. If he prevailed on that argument, depending on jurisdiction, he might be able to get relief from his obligations under the contract. In essence, making him a free agent.

Perhaps (just guessing here) he could get a TRO preventing non-hornets related personnel from dictating to whom he will be traded. In short, he might get the Court to tell the NBA offices to get out of the way if he could show that the league was using his contract for improper purposes.

Whether or not the CBA (or labor law generally in this context) allows for such a claim, I have no idea. And even if it did, it seems like a real long shot. But if he files any type of action, and goes looking for immediate relief, I would think the league would want to pull the trigger and make the situation go away. Of course, I thought this could never have lasted until this week so my estimations as to what the league will do next aren't worth much.
   1100. andrewberg Posted: December 14, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4016343)
On the other hand, it is Otis Smith. I'm not sure he deserves the benefit of the doubt.


It wouldn't surprise me if he went all Detroit Pistons and rebuilt the team with worse and worse versions of what made it successful, then just languished in capped out lottery land for 5 years.

IF Paul could prove collusion


The thing that we don't know- and the thing that would matter a lot in this case- is precisely what the NBA's arrangement with the Hornets was. Did they get an agreement from the players on how the team would be run? Did they establish a practice of non-intervention that would hold up in all cases? It's hard to say without having all of the internal information, and that could be a huge part of determining the case one way or the other.

I would guess that James may be enjoying the relative lack of attention.


He has said as much. Even though they are even worse at C than they were last year, adding Battier gives them a legitimate bench guy and allows them even more freedom to ignore playing a crappy PG. It would be hard to think of them as anything other than the team to beat.
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