Dan Gilbert

Whip count: Which owners are good with 50/50 deal?

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We’ve heard for a couple days that the owners remain a divided group — if the players accepted David Stern’s offer (which they did not, but the sides are talking again) the owners vote would be 16-13 in favor of the deal. (There are 29 owners because the league had to buy back the Hornets.) Whatever the case, the ball is in the owners’ court and they will decide if there is a season now.

So which owners are where.

Bill Simmons — he of Grantland and ESPN — tweeted out the list of 13 nos as he heard it (thanks to Eye on Basketball for noticing):

Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Indiana, Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Utah, and Washington.

For you scoring at home, that makes your 16 franchises in support of the deal:

Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas, Golden State, Houston, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey, New York, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio and Toronto.

A few quick thoughts:

• Yes, that means Dan Gilbert and Robert Sarver — the Cleveland and Phoenix owners respectively — have changed from hardliners to guys who want to see some hoops. We’d heard in recent days they might not be the hardliners we all thought, it appears they have seen the light.

• New Orleans, owned by the league, would vote with whatever Stern wants. With the majority.

• These lines are not hard and fast. For example, OKC is listed as a no but Royce Young of Daily Thunder said he has heard the Thunder will “go with the flow” because they are concerned that the lockout is damaging a new, young fanbase in a city known as football country, not basketball country.

• Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty asks a good question: Would the Maloof brothers vote against Stern? These are owners trying to hold on to the team in a very tough spot. As Ziller tweeted:

There is no chance that the Maloofs vote to oppose Stern right now. He is the only friend they have in the league.

Pelicans signing center Jerome Jordan

Marc Gasol, Jerome Jordan
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Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:

Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.

Kevin Love unsure about opening-night return

Kevin Love
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He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.

Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:

“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”

Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.

“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”

At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.