You want to know why more and more I’ve become convinced that NBA games will be lost (and I didn’t want to admit that)?
Simple: You’re not going to get a deal until there is a sense of urgency to get a deal done. Now, read these two paragraphs from Alan Hahn at Newsday and tell me if you feel any sense of urgency:
The sides haven’t met since Aug. 2 in New York and (NBA Commissioner David) Stern accused the union of cancelling a meeting last week. The union responded that executive director Billy Hunter was told Stern would not be available for the next two weeks. A union official told me the word was that Stern was taking vacation, but an NBA spokesman said Stern was in his office on Monday and even if he did have a vacation scheduled, he could easily return for a collective bargaining session.
At this point, the union will host an executive meeting in New York at the end of August. The anticipation is the union and league will sit down again in early September, perhaps before the Labor Day timeline that Stern set.
Labor Day is a false deadline, really. But not all that much later there will be preseason games that need to be cancelled. It’s not until late September or early October that regular season games are threatened. That is the real deadline.
With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.
The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.
And so the search goes on.
The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.
With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.
Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker