Report: Chris Paul says he will not extend with Clippers, Warriors

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Chris Paul is in control of his destiny. He will ultimately decide where he will work in the fall of 2012.

Which is apparently bad news for the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. Those two teams had been considered frontrunners in the CP3 sweepstakes, but both were hesitant to include their biggest guns in an offer because they wanted a commitment from the All-Star point guard that he would sign an extension with them.

But they are not going to get that, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com.

Chris Paul will not commit to signing a contract extension after this season with either the Golden State Warriors or Los Angeles Clippers if he is traded to either team by the New Orleans Hornets, citing the potential financial hit if he were to do that rather than becoming a free agent and signing a new deal with a new team next summer, according to league sources. That has left potential deals with both teams in limbo….

The Clippers, for example, are very reluctant to include the unprotected first-round pick from Minnesota they currently own in any deal with New Orleans — which is understandably holding out for the maximum amount possible in exchange for its franchise player — under the current scenario.

The Warriors reportedly would not consider adding Stephen Curry into a trade until Paul would give his word to sign an extension. This is what happened with the Celtics, where trade talk of Rajon Rondo for Paul died when Paul said he would not sign an extension. (There are rumors the Celtics are trying to find a three-team deal that interests the Hornets, but that does not help get Paul to sign an extension.)

Where will Paul sign an extension? The Knicks for one, but the Hornets do not want to do a trade with them because New York does not have any trade assets that intrigue New Orleans.

Maybe the Lakers, who also show up on the list of Aldridge and just about everyone else following where Paul might sign. But the Hornets would want Andrew Bynum in any deal and the Lakers may be saving him to try and get Dwight Howard if the Orlando center comes on the market. (Bynum’s agent told the OC Register nobody has called him about a deal.  Pau Gasol is in the mix but do the Hornets really want a 31-year-old big man now? There also are the questions of who else is in the deal (Lamar Odom and Emeka Okafor?) Talks between the Lakers and Hornets are reportedly moving slowly.

Dallas and Houston are knocking on the door but seem to be farther back, reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

It may come down to this: What team is willing to trade for Paul and take the risk they can convince him to stay and sign an extension?

Not the Clippers. Not the Warriors. That much we know. So they may be out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes.

Reports: Pelicans to sign Jameer Nelson with Rondo out

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With Rajon Rondo out 4-6 weeks with a sports hernia, the New Orleans Pelicans were looking for a solid backup point guard.

This week, to make room to sign Richard Jefferson, the Denver Nuggets waived veteran Jameer Nelson.

While other teams such as the Rockets were calling, the Pelicans and Nelson have reached a deal, reports both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports added this.

Nelson, in his 14th NBA season, became the top free agent on the market and received interest from contenders such as the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and several other franchises that hoped to add the respected and accomplished veteran. But for Nelson, the Pelicans represent an opportunity to play significant minutes and provide leadership.

The Pelicans had a full roster of 15 players, they could have waited until next Tuesday and gotten a disabled player exception to add a 16th player, but they decided to go with something more permanent.

Jrue Holiday starts at the point for the Pelicans but with Rondo out — he was supposed to start next to Holiday — there is no depth at the position. The Pelicans can have Nelson step in and get minutes from the first time he steps on the court.

Nelson is still a solid pick-and-roll point guard, but what he brings to the table the Pelicans need more is shooting — he shot 38.8 percent from three last season and is a good spot up player. He can penetrate and make plays off handoffs as well, but it’s his shooting on a team that needs it that will be most valued.

The Pelicans have started the season 0-2 with losses to Memphis and Golden State. They take on the Lakers in Los Angeles Sunday night.

DeMarcus Cousins fined $25,000 for cursing at fan

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Near the end of New Orleans’ season-opening loss in Memphis, DeMarcus Cousins started getting into a war of words with a female Grizzlies fan, an exchange where allegedly “F-bombs” were dropped in both directions.

That’s going to cost Cousins.

Saturday the league announced that the Pelicans’ center has been fined $25,000 for “directing inappropriate language towards a fan.”

Cousins got a technical foul during this exchange, and that has been rescinded.

Cousins has averaged 31 points and 10 rebounds a game through two games this season, but it hasn’t been enough as New Orleans has started the season 0-2.

It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway

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Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.

Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.

Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.

Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.