It feels a little unfair to cast all New Orleans Hornets rumor in the “what does Chris Paul think?” category. But that is also the reality — keeping Chris Paul has to be a consideration in almost everything the Hornets do. It is Priority No. 1. And it should be Priority No. 2 also.
The Hornets made a move this summer to upgrade the play on the wings, bringing in Trevor Ariza and shooting guard Marco Belinelli. But they had to ship out backup point guard Darren Collison to do it.
Which may mean they are not done dealing or signing, they still need a backup point guard and a backup center head coach Monty Williams told the Times-Picayune.
“My gut feeling is that we are not done yet, ” Williams said. “[General manager] Dell [Demps] and I share information on both sides. I talk to him about players and he talks to me about things we can do. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we work so well together.
More players will be helpful, but Williams needs to get more out of the guys he’s got to help get the Hornets back to the playoffs this year. That starts with Emeka Okafor, who seemed to float through last season a little and not find a comfort zone with this team. He needs to provide more of a balance for these Hornets, some inside to go with Paul and the improved outside.
Which is to say — the answers to some of the Hornets concerns may come from inside, not another move.
But some, like a backup for Paul, do indeed come from the outside.
One last look back: Best dunks of All-Star Weekend (VIDEO)
“The recruiting process is really going alright. It’s going alright. I’m trying,” Beal said. “This is new for me. I’m definitely getting some ears and seeing what guys are looking for.”
Beal was too smart to name names — that would have brought a fine from the league — but he said some guys asked if he was happy where he was, while other guys he talked to about the possibilities in Washington.
The problem is while the Wizards will have some cap space after trading Otto Porter and Markieff Morris (and assuming they don’t pick up the option on Jabari Parker) but they will be nowhere near the max cap space needed to land the elite free agents at the All-Star Game (Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, etc.). Even the second-tier All-Star free agents such as Khris Middleton will get max offers. Same with players who just missed the game, such as Tobias Harris.
If the Wizards renounce free agents they can get to $9 million in cap space, stretch and waive Ian Mahinmi and they can get to $18 million. That’s the top end. Meaning the Wizards will have room to make moves for good rotation players, but with John Wall‘s supermax extension kicking in at $38 million next season flexibility is limited. Genuine upgrades will be hard to come by.
Predicting what Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld will do next summer is a fool’s errand, but Beal is doing his part to try and bring more talent into Washington.
Kevin Garnett says 2000 Olympic team had $1 million bounty to dunk on Yao Ming
Team USA earned a Gold Medal in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, led by Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, and Alonzo Mourning. Lithuania made the Americans work that year, losing by just nine in pool play then by two points in the semi-finals.
That’s not what anyone remembers from those Olympics, they remember Vince Carter doing this to 7-footer Fredric Weiss of France.
Everything just paused. First of all, people didn’t know, we had a bounty out on Yao Ming. The whole USA team had a bet. We had a million dollar bet on who was going to be the first person to dunk on Yao Ming. None of us did. We all tried to dunk on Yao, but he would block it or we would miss. So, the first thing I thought of when I saw Vince dunk over Frederic was oh s***, you won the million dollars. But then I realized it obviously wasn’t Yao. I pushed Vince, and if you look at the clip, he almost punches me in the face by accident. But my first thought was, oh s***, you won, you got the million.
KG has the best stories.
MSG denies rumor James Dolan looking to sell Knicks
“The story is 100% false. There has been nothing. No discussions. No plans to have discussions – nothing.”
That’s pretty unequivocal.
While Dolan may entertain the idea on some level of selling the Knicks, until he takes concrete steps to do so — not rumors, but actual, documented moves — I’m not buying it. He’s sitting on a gold mine that keeps going up in value, despite how he manages it, so why sell now? Knicks fans that buy this rumor will likely end up like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.