New Orleans Hornets v Phoenix Suns

Report: Eric Gordon contract extension in Stern’s hands

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The Hornets have lost eight straight (in a heartbreaking way on Monday) and it looks like they will be without Eric Gordon for at least three more weeks due to his bruised knee, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo. Gordon had more tests done Monday by a specialist in New York and the report is that his knee is “structurally sound” but needs about in three weeks more rest, then he can resume basketball activities.

But that’s not the most interesting thing Gordon told Yahoo.

The Hornets can extend Gordon’s rookie contract, something that needs to be done by Wednesday to meet the deadline. But the entire situation is out of the hands of Gordon or even the Hornets GM. Here is what Gordon told Yahoo.

Gordon’s agent, Rob Pelinka, has engaged in recent contract talks with the Hornets’ front office, but hasn’t received an official offer. Gordon told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night he was informed by Hornets general manager Dell Demps that Stern must decide whether to extend an offer….

“In terms of my contract extension, Dell Demps indicated that it’s out of his control and NBA commissioner David Stern has the last determination on the contract extension,” said Gordon, who will be a restricted free agent this summer if he doesn’t sign an extension.

Remember that the league owns the Hornets right now as it tries to find a buyer to keep the team in the city. A process that is not exactly moving rapidly. In the mean time David Stern the defacto owner.

The only reason Eric Gordon is a Hornet in the first place is that Stern the owner shot down a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers as part of a three-team deal. (Stern just did that for the welfare of the franchise, don’t think it was because owners complained. No. Not at all. Wouldn’t happen.) Instead he struck a deal with the Clippers that brought Gordon, Chris Kaman,  Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s first-round pick this year to the Hornets.

Stern may decide to let the market set the price for Gordon (let him become a restricted free agent where the Hornets can match any offer). He is not a max player (ala Derrick Rose) but in a few years he may be as good as any shooting guard in the league. The Hornets want to keep him, but there will be demand for him on the market that could make him an expensive proposition for New Orleans. It’s a risk.

It is also possible the two sides could find a sane middle ground, but do you really expect that to happen? Me neither.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.