Tag: Ben Gordon

Solomon Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Ben Gordon

Report: Magic decline option on Ben Gordon for next season


When the Magic signed Ben Gordon to a two-year, $9 million deal last summer, it was mostly to be a veteran presence off the bench and to use as a possible trade chip, especially with the second year fully un-guaranteed. He hasn’t been a truly relevant NBA player since he left the Bulls in 2009. So it’s no surprise that Orlando has decided to save $4.5 million next year rather than keep him, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Orlando Magic are declining the $4.5 million team option for 2015-’16 on guard Ben Gordon’s contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Gordon will become an unrestricted free agent.

Passing on Gordon’s option will give the Magic $14.5 million in salary cap space for free agency. Gordon, 32, averaged 6.2 points a game for the Magic last season.

Gordon isn’t really an impact player anymore, but he shot a perfectly respectable 36.1 percent from three-point range last season, an improvement over his disastrous previous season in Charlotte, when things got so bad that the then-Bobcats purposely waited to cut him until after the deadline for eligibility to sign with a playoff team. He’s not going to be a difference-maker anywhere, but after a better year in Orlando, a team could do a lot worse than signing him as an end-of-the-bench guy.

Kobe Bryant wanted to be traded from Lakers to Bulls in 2007

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant requested a trade from the Lakers in 2007, and he really wanted out:

Asked if he had any preference for a trade destination, he said “At this point I’ll go play on Pluto.”

That wasn’t quite true, though.

The Lakers agreed to trade Kobe to the Pistons, but he used his no-trade clause to veto the deal, something he confirmed on The Grantland Basketball Hour.


I said, “I gave you a list of teams I’m comfortable being traded to. That wasn’t one of them. So, no.”

Chicago was my No. 1 choice.

The Bulls and Lakers tried to negotiate a trade with Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon and Joakim Noah coming up as key pieces who could go to Los Angeles. But Kobe was wary of Chicago surrendering Deng and weakening his new team, and a deal never happened.

Kobe wasn’t traded to the Mavericks, another team that negotiated for him, either. He stayed with the Lakers and won a couple more championships.

But, wow, this is one heck of a “What if?”

Kobe would have put himself even further into Michael Jordan’s shadow, though that’s never something he feared, even once wanting to sign with Jordan’s Wizards. The Lakers would probably have two fewer championships. The Bulls, depending what they gave up, could have another. Derrick Rose would probably be somewhere else. The gap between the Western Conference and Eastern Conference might not be so pronounced.

If Kobe had gotten his wish, the entire NBA landscape would have changed. He’s that powerful.

Report: Magic close to firing Jacque Vaughn

Orlando Magic v Denver Nuggets

Jacque Vaughn was already on the hot seat.

The Magic’s 15-point loss to the Bucks last night, Orlando’s 13th defeat in its last 15 games, might bring things to a head.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Orlando Magic are close to firing coach Jacque Vaughn and a change could come soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

As embarrassing losses accumulate, Vaughn is rapidly running out of time to show the progress needed to make it through the next several days –never mind the fourth and final year of his contract in 2015-16, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“It isn’t a matter of ‘if,’ anymore, but ‘when,’ ” a source close to the decision-making process told Yahoo Sports about Vaughn’s fading job security.

In fact, the lack of a natural candidate to promote to interim head coach from a young, inexperienced staff of assistants has played a part in Orlando management’s hesitancy to have already made a change, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Vaughn has gone 20-62, 23-59 and 15-33 in three seasons with young post-Dwight Howard teams in Orlando.

Under his watch, Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris have become players worthy of All-Star discussion. Victor Oladipo has developed well. Evan Fournier has made strides, and so have Elfrid Payton and Kyle O’Quinn.

But, by signing Channing Frye to a four-year, $32 million contract and Ben Gordon to a two-year, $9 million contract this offseason, management was clearly eying more immediate returns. By failing to deliver those and burying Maurice Harkless on the bench – a reported source of disagreement between the coaching staff and management – Vaughn opened the door for his ouster.

The growth of players who might have developed with or without him probably won’t be enough to save him.

If the Magic fire him, whoever follows Vaughn as permanent head coach – who would follow an interim stint by James Borrego, Wes Unseld Jr. or Brett Gunning – will be walking into a better situation than Vaughn faced. This is a young and talented team, one likely to rise in coming years.

I’m not sure Vaughn could have done more in Orlando, but I’m also sure he didn’t do enough to prove his coaching chops. Whatever role he played in setting the table, it seems someone else is going to enjoy the meal.

Stephen Curry makes 1,000 3-pointers quicker than anyone else. Much quicker

Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard

Stephen Curry could have stopped shooting 3-pointers for more than a full season and still made 1,000 career 3-pointers in fewer games than anyone in NBA history.

Of course, Curry wouldn’t do that.

The Warriors guard became the 74th player to make 1,000 3-pointers, draining four triples in the Warriors win over the Pacers last night. He needed just 369 games to achieve the mark – 88 fewer than second-place Dennis Scott.

Here’s how long it took everyone in the 1,000 3-pointer club:


And despite his early injury troubles, Curry was also the youngest to 1,000 3-pointers:


Player 3s Games to 1,000 3s Age at 1,000 3s
Stephen Curry 1003 369 26-299
Dennis Scott 1214 457 29-076
Ray Allen 2973 473 27-167
Gilbert Arenas 1079 476 28-323
Peja Stojakovic 1760 488 28-145
Mike Miller 1553 527 27-319
Nick Van Exel 1528 534 29-025
Jason Richardson 1577 551 28-001
J.R. Smith 1344 561 27-097
Michael Redd 1045 570 31-218
Ben Gordon 1162 585 29-005
Kyle Korver 1607 585 30-001
Jason Williams 1238 587 31-100
Baron Davis 1332 589 28-334
Jamal Crawford 1765 591 28-360
Wesley Person 1150 595 31-267
Chauncey Billups 1830 598 29-182
Brent Barry 1395 600 32-317
Jason Terry 2009 602 29-121
Tim Hardaway 1542 605 31-213
Glen Rice 1559 606 29-265
Kevin Martin 1043 608 31-043
Paul Pierce 1981 611 29-029
Antoine Walker 1386 615 28-092
Eddie Jones 1546 615 32-025
Rashard Lewis 1787 626 28-098
Reggie Miller 2560 627 29-207
Quentin Richardson 1167 633 29-277
John Starks 1222 642 33-184
Vernon Maxwell 1256 652 31-153
Cuttino Mobley 1085 654 31-218
Mookie Blaylock 1283 654 31-012
Manu Ginobili 1231 657 34-253
Joe Johnson 1645 660 28-196
Stephen Jackson 1252 661 31-338
Vince Carter 1847 670 31-025
Allan Houston 1305 682 30-354
Damon Stoudamire 1236 691 31-151
Kirk Hinrich 1123 693 32-103
Dan Majerle 1360 698 32-170
Morris Peterson 1009 701 32-217
Mitch Richmond 1326 702 32-162
Mike Bibby 1517 706 29-306
Steve Nash 1685 734 32-334
Dana Barros 1090 736 32-312
Nick Anderson 1055 745 32-040
Steve Smith 1148 746 32-330
Dirk Nowitzki 1513 746 29-269
Hersey Hawkins 1226 747 31-062
LeBron James 1184 749 28-068
Tracy McGrady 1081 766 29-203
Mike Dunleavy 1165 769 33-070
Chuck Person 1220 775 31-261
Lindsey Hunter 1075 781 34-119
Michael Finley 1454 783 32-352
Hedo Turkoglu 1200 784 31-286
Dale Ellis 1719 784 33-225
Shane Battier 1250 794 33-154
Jason Kidd 1988 803 32-259
Latrell Sprewell 1104 810 33-172
Allen Iverson 1059 815 32-286
Kobe Bryant 1688 820 29-143
David Wesley 1123 834 34-138
James Posey 1035 834 33-329
Metta World Peace 1119 844 33-019
Dell Curry 1245 860 34-251
Antawn Jamison 1163 935 35-223
Derek Fisher 1248 996 35-178
Terry Porter 1297 1001 35-005
Rasheed Wallace 1086 1018 35-055
Danny Ainge 1002 1037 36-020
Clifford Robinson 1253 1109 36-340
Gary Payton 1132 1121 36-128
Derek Harper 1070 1125 36-121

Yes, I too was surprised J.R. Smith previously held the record for youngest player to make 1,000 3-pointers. (Smith has surprised me quite a bit lately.)

In no uncertain terms: Curry blew the competition out of the water.

I’ve long believed Curry will retire as the greatest 3-point shooter of all-time, and obviously him breaking these records reinforces that belief. But he has strong competition sooner than I ever imagined.

Damian Lillard (red) has made 500 3-pointers in 199 games, putting him ahead of Curry (blue) at the same point:


Even by age, despite Curry entering the league younger, Lillard has passed the Warriors guard:


Lillard (2.5 3-pointers per game in his career) trails Curry’s overall pace (2.7), and Curry deserves credit for improving even after his fast start. But it’s also possible Lillard makes similar improvements.

Of course, volume isn’t the only factor in determining the best 3-point shooter. Curry has a healthy lead in career percentage (43.5 to 38.3), and that’s a big reason I remain confident in my Curry prediction.

Still, if we’re going to discuss how Curry smoked the field in games to 1,000 pointers, it’s worth noting Lillard could get there even more quickly.

Rodney Stuckey says Pistons’ downward spiral began with Chauncey Billups trade

Chauncey Billups

Seemingly overnight in the late 2000s, the Detroit Pistons went from perennial title contender to…well, what they are now. There were plenty of factors that led to this, including the disastrous signings of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in 2009 and the recently-waived Josh Smith in 2013. But former Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, now with the Pacers, says the biggest factor in the franchise’s decline was trading 2004 Finals MVP Chauncey Billups to Denver for Allen Iverson in 2008.

From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“I wish they wouldn’t have traded away Chauncey, to be honest with you,” Stuckey said. “I wish they would’ve took the San Antonio Spurs philosophy of keeping all their vets and get younger guys around their vets and doing it that way. You see how successful they are.”

“After Chauncey left, that’s when everything went downhill. Chauncey was the glue that held everything together and held everyone accountable,” Stuckey said. “When you trade away that you see what happens. Everything was just a domino effect after that. If I’d say one thing that would be my thing.”

The Billups/Iverson trade was a disaster from the start. Iverson checked out as soon as he got to Detroit. He bristled at coming off the bench behind Rip Hamilton and had his worst statistical season to that point. Billups, meanwhile, led the Nuggets to that year’s Western Conference Finals, their deepest playoff run of the Carmelo Anthony era.

That trade took place during Stuckey’s second year in the league, when he was still developing and looked up to Billups as a mentor at the point guard position. There are few better people to learn from as a young guard than Billups, so it’s no surprise that Stuckey was shaken up by the trade.

There were a lot of terrible moves made by former Pistons GM Joe Dumars. That trade was near the top of the list.