New Orleans Hornets v Phoenix Suns

Eric Gordon says he wants to be a Sun. Hornets don’t care, will match offer.


Eric Gordon wants to play his basketball in Phoenix next year and made that clear again Thursday.

Tough…um, cookies. He will be a Hornet next season playing in New Orleans. His wishes are irrelevant — he is a restricted free agent and New Orleans has said it will match any offer he gets.

And that will be a max offer — four years (player option on the final yar), $58 million — from the Suns.

But this wasn’t just about the money for Gordon, who is in Las Vegas for USA Basketball camp as he tries to make the Olympic team. He told ESPN that he wants to stay with the Suns.

“Phoenix just showed a lot more interest, overall, and definitely in how they negotiated,” Gordon said. “I don’t know what New Orleans’ plans are for me. There are no negotiations right now…

“They drafted another shooting guard (Austin Rivers), a combo guard like me, which tells me they have another plan,” Gordon said.

No, drafting Rivers means only that they thought h was the best player on the board at No. 10. As for not showing more interest, they let you do all the leg work then they sit around and just match it.

Gordon says if the Hornets keep him he will leave after three years ala Chris Paul. Which is fine to say but a lot can change in three years. With Gordon and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis (and Rivers), the Hornets are building something. He is part of their core. In three years, the Hornets could be a prime destination.

Gordon will be a Hornet next season is all that matters. It doesn’t matter what he wants.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.