Reports indicate that the Hornets understand the rebuilding process

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I’m about to bring up The Veto again. I don’t want to. I think I’m pretty clear on where I stand on the whole thing. (To catch you up if you don’t read regularly or follow on Twitter, Lakers trade for Paul was bad for both the Hornets and Rockets, but especially the Hornets who need to rebuild through draft and tank for good drafting, not get swept from the first round with long-term expensive contracts.) But it’s impossible to get around the whole thing.

The Hornets landed Chris Kaman in the deal and tried to move him, couldn’t. Then they took him off the block, and then put him back on. Basically the market wasn’t there. But there are indications that the Hornets understand what they need to do because they weren’t moving Kaman for anything long-term. Like, oh, say, Detroit’s mistakes. From the Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Pistons had talks with several teams before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, as they attempted to land a big man to pair with second-year center Greg Monroe.

Specifically, they were engaged in talks with the New Orleans Hornets for center Chris Kaman.

The Pistons proposed a deal that would have sent the Hornets one of their big contracts (likely Ben Gordon or Charlie Villanueva) and a protected future first-round pick (not this year’s) for Kaman.

via Pistons were in talks to acquire Chris Kaman before NBA trade deadline | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

 

The Hornets would be taking on bad, long-term veterans which are considered terrible signings, just to try and get better now. How does Ben Gordon fit with Eric Gordon when and if they get him back? Does Villanueva have any place on that roster? So the Hornets aren’t looking to move into veteran territory, which is a smart thing. They need to go young, cheap, and flexible.

The memo has been gotten. Mediocre is not the objective. Good in two to three years is the objective. They’re on their way.

Now, about those talks of extending Kaman….

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

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.