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.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.

Report: Other small-market teams championing Pacers’ tampering allegation against Lakers

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The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR

In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”

Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.

The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.

I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

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The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.