The future of the New Orleans Hornets could not be cloudier right now. Might as well consult Ms. Cleo or Nostradamus’ quatrains for an answer as to where they will be in a couple years because their visions of the future are probably as clear as David Stern’s right now.
Chris Paul could use this as the opportunity to push for his way out of town, but he is not choosing that path. He emphasized it again to Marc Stein of ESPN.
“That’s a bridge I’ll cross when I’ll get to it,” Paul told ESPN.com on Wednesday night. “But right now I’m here, you know what I mean? I’m one of those guys that I’m too close to my teammates and with this city — and my family’s the same way — to ever even think about being somewhere else.
“Everything right now is about how we can get our team to win a championship; I can’t distance myself from that. ‘Cause I feel like if I take my mind to another place to be with another team, then I have to distance myself. I can’t do that. I’ve never been that person.
“This hasn’t impacted [my future],” Paul continued. “I think it’s about the now. That’s all I’m worried about. I don’t think about [the future] too much. I really don’t.”
In the short term, Paul is not going anywhere anyway. To get the best price for the Hornets — and David Stern has said he wants to turn a profit on this transaction — you need the team’s best asset to be in place. The Hornets are worth less without Paul, the league is not going to move him.
Next year, in the final year of his deal, he could be in the Carmelo Anthony situation — an extension on the table and some leverage to force a move. But that is then. This is now, and CP3 is living in the now.
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.
Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.
Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.
Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.
When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.
Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.
It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.
Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.
Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.
Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.