Report: Chris Paul to Clippers deal submitted to league for approval


This is the power of Blake Griffin. Without him, we are not having this discussion. And it’s pretty crazy we are having this discussion anyway.

The Los Angeles Clippers are close to landing Chris Paul in a trade, the Los Angeles Times and ESPN report.

ESPN reports the deal has been submitted to the league for approval, although the exact players going back to New Orleans are not quite clear.

The Times says the deal sends Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ unprotected first-round pick for this draft (the Clippers have the rights to that pick) to New Orleans. ESPN reports that Eric Gordon, not Bledsoe, is in the deal, which makes way more sense for the Hornets, but that the holdup is that the Hornets wanted Bledsoe as well. Yahoo reports that Gordon is not part of the deal.

If Gordon is not part of this deal, it is a steal for the Clippers. There are reports Los Angeles is refusing to include Gordon. Insert your own “basketball reasons” joke here.

ESPN says Paul agreed to the Clippers’ demand and would pick up his option on his current deal for the 2012-13 season. The Hornets are trading him because he would not pick up that option for them and was to become a free agent.

With the option picked up, he would be a Clipper for two seasons, then could re-sign or become a free agent.

Paul was to be traded to the Lakers in a three-way deal that frankly might have netted more for the Hornets. In that deal they would have landed sixth man of the year Lamar Odom, plus Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a lower first-round pick than the Timberwolves’ pick is likely to be. However, David Stern rejected that deal for “basketball reasons.”

That’s not true. Stern shot it down because other owners freaked out to learn the powerhouse, big-market Lakers were going to land a superstar player after a lockout where small-market owners fought to rein in those big market teams. This was about the Lakers getting better.

The other owners don’t really care if the big-market-but-cheap Clippers get better, so this deal probably will go through. So Clippers owner Donald Sterling — a man who has a terrible history as an owner, a guy who paid out the largest federal housing discrimination lawsuit settlement in history, a guy who has made the Clippers a laughingstock in pro sports — can do what he wants, but Jerry Buss cannot because he’s smart and successful running a team? Nice.

The Clippers’ package would net the Hornets younger players, but not as much quality. The unprotected first-round pick could be big in a deep draft expected next June and Eric Gordon is a star on the rise — but apparently he is not part of the offer, which is crazy the Hornets should be demanding him. It’s hard to see how Eric Bledsoe can really hold up this deal.

Referees misattribute comment to Dwane Casey, incorrectly eject Raptors coach (VIDEO)


Things sort of fell apart at the end of Sunday’s game between the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. It all started with about a minute left in the game when Serge Ibaka tackled Steven Adams.

No, really.

As Paul George finished the second of two free throws, Ibaka and Adams began to battle for the possible rebound. Adams gave Ibaka the slip off the lane line, and as a recovery move Ibaka tackled his former teammate on the baseline.

Via Twitter:

Then, with 30 seconds left and a chance to tie, DeMar DeRozan drove the lane and missed a shot near the rim while being defended by Corey Brewer.

DeRozan felt he was fouled, and quickly let the officials know about it. The Raptors star could be seen going after ref Marc Davis. Shortly thereafter, DeRozan was given a technical foul.

Via Twitter:

But it didn’t stop there.

A few seconds later, as the game wound down, DeRozan went after the referees again. He was given a second technical, and ejected along with teammate Serge Ibaka.

Then came Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

With fans in the Air Canada Centre chanting at referees, and with tensions high, the officiating crew mistakenly attributed a comment made by a fan or someone else on the Toronto bench to Casey. They decided to eject Casey with just eight seconds left, despite the coach not being the person who actually spoke to the referees.

Kyle Lowry couldn’t believe it, and even Brewer had a good laugh about that one.

The NBA is going to have some explaining to do on that one. Officiating is still under fire in the NBA, with New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry being the most recent coach to go off about the grey shirts.

I’m going to set a few alarms for when they release the L2M report Monday morning.

Meanwhile, the Thunder beat the Raptors, 132-125.

Oh, and the referees had to leave the floor in Toronto with a security detail.

Alvin Gentry on refs after controversial James Harden foul: “You can’t guess on plays”

1 Comment

Alvin Gentry was heated after the New Orleans Pelicans lost to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, all thanks to a late foul on James Harden. Oh boy.

Gentry was given a technical foul after speaking with officials with 5:39 to go in the fourth quarter in a tight matchup between the two Western Conference playoff teams. The Pelicans coach was heated about a foul called on Jrue Holiday after Harden swung through the defender’s area to get free throws on a 3-point attempt.

That didn’t sit right with Gentry, who went after referee David Guthrie. After complaining for some time, Gentry got a handle on himself and went back to his seat on the bench. That’s when he was called for a technical foul.

Here’s the play in question, and Gentry’s response after the game:

Gentry does have a general point, and sounds like just about any non-Houston fan you overhear at games or in bars regarding Harden’s wacky inflatable flailing arm tube man style. Nevermind his driving — which consistently gets players to legitimately hack away at his arms — the question on the play in New Orleans is whether the defender has a right to that space, and whether Holiday made a move.

Pelicans broadcaster David Wesley pointed out that if a defender is in his own defensive space and not moving, it shouldn’t be a foul if the offensive player jams his way into the defender’s arms. That’s part of why the idea of verticality works for modern NBA big men defending the rim.

Offensive players are getting more astute at drawing contact, then finding a way to immediately get fouled after the contact. It’s something that will need to be addressed by the NBA in coming seasons, as there are quite a few instances of contact specifically being drawn by an offender by moving into the defender’s space and drawing contact with their arms.

However, on the play in question, if you rewind it enough times you can barely see Holiday’s arm and elbow flex reactively before Harden moves the ball up. Thus, in the purview of instant replay, it was probably a foul.

Here it is in super slo-mo:

Gentry is likely to get a nice big fine as others have this season for criticizing officials. It seems that even after the All-Star Break meeting to sort out some issues between the NBPA and NBRA not everyone is happy.

Expect a bigger overhaul and more announcements regarding NBA refereeing in the offseason.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue sits out second half Saturday with illness

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CHICAGO (AP) Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue remained in the locker room to start the second half of their game against the Chicago Bulls because of an illness.

Lue was on the sideline as the Cavaliers used a strong second quarter to build a 17-point halftime lead. He did not come out for the start of the third Saturday night, and he did not return to the game.

Lue has missed one other game this season due to illness. He is expected back on Monday when the Cavs host the struggling Bucks.

The Cavaliers went on to get the win over the Bulls Saturday, 114-109.

Grizzlies snap 19-game skid with 101-94 win vs Nuggets

Associated Press
1 Comment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 24 points, Tyreke Evans added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a 19-game losing streak with a 101-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.

Wayne Selden scored 16 points for Memphis by hitting 6 of 7 shots, including 4 of 5 from outside the arc. Marc Gasol added 14 points as Memphis won for the first time since Jan. 29.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Jamal Murray finished with 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting. Denver shot just 37 percent overall and 27 percent from 3-point range.

Denver entered the night in ninth place in the Western Conference, a game out of the playoff race. Denver played without leading scorer Gary Harris, who is expected to miss the next few games with a right knee sprain suffered against Detroit on Thursday.

The Nuggets struggled through a miserable first half of shooting, connecting on 22 percent in the first quarter. Memphis stretched its lead to 21 early in the second quarter before Denver cut it to 53-48 at halftime.

Brooks hit four 3-pointers to start the second half and keep Memphis ahead.

For more NBA coverage: