Hornets closing in on Eric Gordon extension?

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When the Hornets traded Chris Paul for multiple players including Eric Gordon, there was a concern that due to their rebuilding process, Gordon may not be willing to spend his years in the Big Easy wasting away through a lottery reconstruction. Gordon is entering restricted free agency, after all, and a signing of the qualifying offer and exit in free agency the following year would allow him to pick where he wanted to go.

But there’s a problem.

The money is so important coming off that first rookie contract.

It’s the first contract that gets you real money, that sets you up for future raises and puts you into veteran dough. To be sure, the millions structured in the rookie scale aren’t a pittance. But that money, the security, especially for a player with Gordon’s injury issues, is vital. He can get it done now, and have it. If the Hornets are willing to make the call. And if Gordon decides that’s what he wants. And the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that’s exactly what’s happening.

“I’m very open to a long-term extension,” said Gordon, the seventh pick in the 2008 draft. “It’s all about having enough security to where I’m able to be here.”

Gordon said his agent, Rob Pelinka, has had ongoing dialog with the Hornets about an extension, and that the Hornets have expressed an interest.

“You know they’ve told me they want me here, they want an extension,” Gordon said. “But it’s all about what they think is the worth in me. They see that I’m capable of helping this team win, capable of playing hard every night offensively and defensively. Now it’s all about dealing with what I’m worth.”

via Eric Gordon says he is open to an extended stay with New Orleans Hornets, who must decide if he fits into their plans | NOLA.com.

In short, with Gordon dealing with another injury issue, the Hornets want to see if they can get him at a discount. And based off Gordon’s desire for that security, they might be able to. But Gordon could also be using public statements to put pressure on the Hornets to give him the max. If they don’t, he’s able to say “I wanted to stay, they didn’t come through.”

But if the statements have any truth to them, the Hornets are going to have their star player for the foreseeable future. And that’s some good news to come out of a bad year for the Hornets.

 

Draymond Green addresses argument with Kevin Durant: ‘I’m not going to change who I am’

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Warriors forward Draymond Green knows the perceived significance of his argument with teammate Kevin Durant.

“I’ve read a lot about how, is this the end of the run? Or is it over? Or did I ruin it? Or did I force Kevin to leave?” Green said.

But don’t expect Green to bend amid those high stakes.

“I’m not going to change who I am,” Green said.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Green is correct: His emotional, stubborn, feisty style has led to more good than bad both for himself and Golden State. Reigning that in could have adverse effects.

But there’s still room for personal growth. Green can handle some situations, including this one, better without losing his edge. Every level of the organization agreed.

Blake Griffin calls out Raptors president Masai Ujiri while praising Dwane Casey

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Dwane Casey reportedly holds a grudge toward Raptors president Masai Ujiri for firing him.

Casey got revenge last night, coaching the Pistons to a win at Toronto. Casey called two quality plays in the final seconds, the latter producing Reggie Bullock‘s game-winner.

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

A Toronto reporter asked Blake Griffin if it gives Pistons players a degree of confidence in their coach when he gives them those tools to win games.

“We know that. This isn’t like we just discovered this for the first time today,” he said. “We’ve put in plays like that all the time in practice. He demands execution and we executed. Maybe to Toronto fans – or certainly their GM, maybe – it was a surprise. But not to us.”

The win had to be gratifying for Casey. Having his star player take up his greater cause must even more satisfying.

Jazz have one of worst offensive showings ever, score 68 in 50-point loss to Mavericks

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NBA scoring is exploding. Defenses are getting less leeway for physicality. Offenses are more efficient than ever. Pace is at its highest mark in decades.

Except for the Jazz last night.

Utah scored just 68 points in a 50-point loss to the Mavericks. And even that undersells the Jazz’s offensive woes. They played reasonably fast, getting 101 possessions. Their offensive rating – 67.3 – shows just how inept they truly were.

In all, Utah shot 42% on 2-pointers, 17% on 3-pointers and 63% on free throws and committed 22 turnovers.

The Jazz set several milestones for offensive futility:

  • Fewest points in a game (68) in nearly two years (68 by Hawks vs. Jazz on Nov. 25, 2016)
  • Lowest Basketball-Reference estimated offensive rating in a game (68.8) in more than three years (68.2 by Grizzlies vs. Warriors on Nov. 2, 2015)
  • Fewest points in a second half (22) in nearly five years (19 by Rockets vs. Thunder on Jan. 16, 2014)

Comparing across eras can be difficult, but here’s one measure: The Jazz scored 68 points in a season teams are averaging 110.4 points per game.

That output relative to average – -42.4 – is one of the lowest of all-time:

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Kevin Durant’s brother posts: ‘just follow along before the greatness is done rubbing off on you and people see you for what you really are’

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Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are feuding, the possibility of Durant leaving the Warriors in free agency next summer hanging over everything.

Now comes Durant’s brother, Tony – intentionally or not – throwing gasoline on the fire. Again.

Tony posted and deleted these comments on Instagram, via Bleacher Report:

Read too much into vague social-media content at your own peril.

But, man, that sure looks like Tony advising Green just to enjoy Durant masking Green’s problems until Durant leaves the Warriors and leaves Green exposed.