It feels a little unfair to cast all New Orleans Hornets rumor in the “what does Chris Paul think?” category. But that is also the reality — keeping Chris Paul has to be a consideration in almost everything the Hornets do. It is Priority No. 1. And it should be Priority No. 2 also.
The Hornets made a move this summer to upgrade the play on the wings, bringing in Trevor Ariza and shooting guard Marco Belinelli.
But they had to ship out backup point guard Darren Collison to do it.
Which may mean they are not done dealing or signing, they still need a backup point guard and a backup center head coach Monty Williams told the Times-Picayune.
“My gut feeling is that we are not done yet, ” Williams said. “[General manager] Dell [Demps] and I share information on both sides. I talk to him about players and he talks to me about things we can do. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together.
More players will be helpful, but Williams needs to get more out of the guys he’s got to help get the Hornets back to the playoffs this year. That starts with Emeka Okafor, who seemed to float through last season a little and not find a comfort zone with this team. He needs to provide more of a balance for these Hornets, some inside to go with Paul and the improved outside.
Which is to say — the answers to some of the Hornets concerns may come from inside, not another move.
But some, like a backup for Paul, do indeed come from the outside.
Derek Fisher is already stumping for his second head-coaching job.
Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.
All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.
Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.
Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:
This is one of my favorite salary-cap quirks, explained in further detail here.
These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.
There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)
Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.
Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game?
New Orleans? Probably.
New York/Brooklyn or Chicago? Maybe.
One more maybe: Las Vegas.
Scott Kusher of The Advocate:
The NBA held All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2007. By all accounts, it was wild.
I’d be surprised if the league returned the event to Las Vegas, but at this point, I’d really be surprised by any option besides New Orleans.
The 76ers hired Bryan Colangelo, and Sam Hinkie bounced.
Now, much of Hinkie’s front-office is also heading out the door.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
that regime — including deposed GM Sam Hinkie’s handpicked analytics crew — will be mostly gone by the end of August, league sources say.
If Colangelo hires his own analytics staff and integrates numbers into his decision-making, this is no big deal.
If Colangelo leaves those positions vacant, Philadelphia will be working from behind.
I’m betting on the former. He isn’t Hinkie, but Colangelo has discussed the importance of analytics. Let Colangelo hire his own staff, and everything might even flow more smoothly.
Mike Krzyzewski hates fun (even more than he admits).
So, the coach wasn’t thrilled after Team USA’s exhibition win over China, which included DeMar DeRozan nearly 360-degree dunking on someone.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
I want to see Team USA make highlight plays. Dunk from the free-throw line. Shoot from halfcourt. Throw behind-the-back passes. Show up weaker competition.
So, it’s hard for me to get behind Coach K’s criticism.
But I also want to see the Americans win gold medals in the Olympics, and I’ll blame Krzyzewski if they’re not adequately focused.
Fair? Not one bit.
Doesn’t change what I want, though.