If you had to name the top five general managers in the game a year ago, Jeff Bower and Kevin Pritchard would have been on the list.
Today, both are looking for a new job.
Bower and the New Orleans Hornets have parted ways, which Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman had first and has been confirmed by multiple sources since.
Officially the Hornets and Bower “mutually agreed to part ways.” That is about as true as the last time you mutually agreed to leave a job.
Rumors are that the recent trade offers that have come flowing in for Chris Paul, and the fact Bower listened to them, was at the core of the problem.
The Hornets are caught betwixt and between ownerships — George Shinn is supposed to be selling to oil man Gary Chouest. There are questions if it happens at all. Shinn is notoriously looking to cut corners everywhere, including on the roster, and Chouest has said he wants to spend and build a team around CP3.
Bower clearly was thinking about getting out, having interviewed with the New Jersey Nets before pulling his name out of consideration.
There are a number of other openings that may have interest in someone as well respected by his peers as Bower, including in Phoenix.
As for the Hornets next move, Hornets president Hugh Weber said he would not take over the role and they would look to fill the job quickly. They’d be smart to get someone like Oklahoma City Assistant GM Rich Cho, but don’t bet on it.
But until the ownership situation is cleared up, what kind of freedom, what kind of mandate would any GM have? Does a really good GM candidate want to walk into a job where the parameters and mission could change dramatically in the next six months?
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Stephen Curry resumed full practice with contact and could play for the defending champion Golden State Warriors as soon as Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Saturday night against New Orleans.
Curry looked strong as he practiced Thursday wearing a protective brace over his sprained left knee, which has sidelined him since the injury March 23 – the same day he returned from a six-game absence because of a hurt right ankle.
Coach Steve Kerr is calling Curry questionable for Saturday. That could change if the two-time NBA MVP still feels fine Friday and is fine after one more day of full practice before the Pelicans visit Oracle Arena to begin the best-of-seven series.
“Steph practiced at 100 percent, he did everything, he looked good,” Kerr said. “What we have to do is see how his body responds the rest of the day, put him through another practice tomorrow. I think he needs to string together two good days but it was very positive today. … I think it’s been coming along pretty well. When we were in San Antonio and I was asked a question about how he was doing, I think I was able to give an answer, `He’s doing great but we haven’t ramped him up yet.’ I think today was an important day because it’s the first time he’s actually gone live action and he was allowed to go through practice. And he appears fine.”
Curry went through his usual shooting work with Kevin Durant from various spots after practice, cutting and exhibiting his fancy footwork and dribbling skills. The Warriors have played well without their floor leader, eliminating the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the first-round series with a 99-91 win Tuesday night.
The Pelicans will present a different, faster pace for the Warriors, so getting Curry back to push the ball and direct the offense would be important. Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, started in the first round in his place while Quinn Cook handled point guard duties late in the regular season with Curry out.
“We’re excited. I know he’s very eager to play,” said Klay Thompson. “He’s a competitor, so sitting out I know kills him. We can’t wait for him to get back whenever that is.”
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and the New Orleans Pelicans were the surprise of the first round of the NBA playoffs. We knew they were good, but they looked dominant on both ends sweeping the three-seed Portland Trail Blazers right out of the postseason (and into a somber period of reflection).
New Orleans looked like the best team in the West in the first round and now they take all that momentum to Golden State where… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
In this PBT Extra I discuss how the Pelicans have found an identity, but the matchups against Warriors are dramatically more challenging than what they saw in Portland. And that’s before Stephen Curry returns to the fold.
The Pelicans are a great story, but the pecking order in the West is real for good reason.
DENVER — Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee underwent surgery to fix a core-muscle injury.
The team said Plumlee had the procedure performed Thursday morning by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.
Plumlee is expected to return to basketball activities this summer and be ready for training camp in the fall. He averaged 7.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists for a Nuggets team that narrowly missed out on the postseason.
The 28-year-old Plumlee was acquired by Denver as part of a deal in February 2017 that sent center Jusuf Nurkic to Portland. Plumlee signed a three-year, $41 million deal with the Nuggets last September.
San Antonio has a lot of roster questions heading into this summer. When Danny Green opts out at $10 million a year, how much do they offer to bring back a key wing defender? What about Tony Parker, an unrestricted free agent? Will Manu Ginobili come back at age
78 41 for another season?
But at the top of the list: Can the Spurs relationship with Kawhi Leonard be repaired?
If so, do they trust his health enough to offer him the $219 million designated veteran max extension?
If not, do they test the trade market (likely we will know the answer to that around the draft, well before July 1)?
I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.