Sacramento Kings and the NBA—After the Lockout

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This is a post-lockout post covering the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

Want to revisit the “good-ole” lockout days and the Kings?  OK, go here.

When the season starts I (may) start an in-season post.

I will attempt to keep this post  organized in blocks covering

  • Free Agents and Rookies
  • The Arena rumblings
  • Other teams goings-on

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Free Agents & Rookie Signings

December 3rd:

The Kings are the frontrunner to sign Houston free-agent F Chuck Hayes, originally from Modesto California.

Not a player I would be interested in, but for a short-term front-line defense….I dunno??  More at the link above.

December 3rd:

Rumor is that Thornton is sought by “4 or 5 teams” including New Orleans.  I’m sure he is.  With a high average in less than half a season in Sacramento will boost his view to execs at (almost) just the right time.  He is a Restricted FA this season, so unless the Kings want him to leave he is staying in Sacramento.

So the questions become:

  • are there teams that just want to make an offer sheet & see the Kings match it?
  • are there teams that will make an offer and have a sign-an-trade in mind?

He will get a lot of looks, as he should.  He may be more valuable to other teams than to the Kings.  Thornton fit right in after Evans’ injury.  Now Evans is healthy and Jimmer is in town.  Minutes available to Thornton will probably go down.

Read the article here.

December 5th:

The Bee reports the Kings are ready to make offers to Dalembert and Thornton.

The Kings contacted the agents for guard Marcus Thornton and center Samuel Dalembert last week and will look to reach agreements with both this week in time for training camp Friday.

Thornton and Dalembert have drawn a lot of interest, but the Kings have an advantage in retaining both.

Dalembert is an unrestricted free agent, and the Kings have about $25 million under the salary cap to use in offering him a contract that would be worth more than contenders over the salary cap could offer.

Thornton is a restricted free agent. If a team signs Thornton to an offer sheet, the Kings will have three days to match it and retain him.” Read more at the link.

December 6th:

Read this article about Rumors, Free Agents and Deals that can help the Kings return to the playoffs this year, which would be their first playoff appearance since 2006.

The Kings will host the Lakers in the opener.

The Lakers won’t look quite the same during this visit. Coach Phil Jackson  retired, former Cleveland coach Mike Brown took his place, and center Andrew Bynum will be serving a five-game suspension for  body-slamming Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the playoffs. But Kobe Bryant returns for what figures to be another memorable  performance, and ex-Kings forward Ron Artest makes his first Sacramento appearance as Metta  World Peace. ” More at the link.

December 7th:

On Pearl Harbor Day, thank you to all of our WW II Veterans and their families for your service.

The Kings are considering how to spend the money they have under the cap to bring on some veterans in addition to their own FAs and rookies.

The team has plenty of cap space just to get up to the new minimum teams are required to spend.

The article states The Kings need to spend about $17 million in salary this season to reach the  minimum salary floor, and are approximately $25 million under the $58 million salary cap.

Now, I understand teams are not always completely upfront about money and their intentions, but saying they are some “25 to 58 million” below the cap is amusing.  It’s like me saying I made an error in my checkbook somewhere between $280 to $5,080….it’s that last missing 30 mill that will kill ya guys.

Here is a nice article with Six Moves the Kings Should Make.

Read the details at the link above,  but the basics are:  Find a PG (no shit?), move some SG’s (ditto), who is the starting SF?, don’t spend all your money on just one, keep Thornton, and add veterans.

I think Dalembert will be gone.  Without the lockout maybe they would have had a chance, but teams have had a lot of time to think and lottery teams that did not draft or trade for a “C’ will have renewed interest in Dalembert because he played well when the team won some games late last season.  Always helps your bottom line to play well when your team wins.

Which means the Kings need another center and since getting Nene or even Gasol are about nil,  Chandler would be great, I don’t see it happening.  And this article mentions Guard JJ Barrea as a possible pick-up, that would be nice but I’m sure Dallas will try hard to hold onto their players.  Sure, we will sign Hayes it seems, but how much Center do you really get?  He plays defense and plays bigger, but still he is 6’6″.  That is often a liability.

But the bigger issues are the need for the coach to get it in his head that players need a settled rotation.  People need to know what their role is.  What do I give to the team?  They need some stability in their minutes and their role in the team’s rotation.

I don’t care if it is Dalembert or Nene…the issue is the same.  Is  coach listening??

December 8th:

Updates:  Jersey numbers

JJ Hickson will wear #31 for the Kings, and

John Salmons will wear #5 in his second go round as a Sacramento King.

Chuck Hayes may not make it to a  spot with the Kings as the Minnesota Timberwolves are in hot pursuit and according to Hayes the Kings & Wolves are “neck to neck”.

NBA League business opens tomorrow (December 9th), and with the shortened time for trades, signings, FAs, team staffing and for the Kings to get up at least to the league minimum on team salaries–we could have a whirlwind month!!!

And checkout the new Back in Black jerseys for the Kings HERE.  Sweet!!!

December 9th:

A Sacramento Bee article today lays out an argument about the value of Dalembert to the Kings.  I usually don’t agree with the chick that wrote the piece but I do agree that an offer of $7 to $8 million per year for Dalembert is his fair value in this league.  He is not Chandler.  He is not Nene.  I would not cry if there is a sign-and-trade.

Concerns about Dalembert’s physical state are legitimate. In a belated  attempt to get in shape before his first season with the Kings, he strained an inner thigh muscle and missed all of training camp. More troublesome is the trickle-down effect: Dalembert was never fully healthy, bothered much of the  season by a swollen knee and sore hips.”

The Kings offer Thornton a $40 million for 5 years which is a fair offer for the young guard.  This offer broke in Sports Illustrated so it’s not just a local Kings rumor.  Late last season Thornton was a surprise offering pure offense after Evans was injured.  He does need defensive improvement but most young players do.

Update:  Thornton signs a deal!  Reports are a 4 year deal for $33 million.

The Kings renounced their rights to Samuel Dalembert (center) and Pooh Jeter (guard), Marquis Daniels (forward/guard) and Darnell Jackson (forward), according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.  ropping Dalembert was a surprise, I really expected a sign-and-trade, especially with the salary gap the Kings already have.  The team could still sign him in theory, but I think the odds of Dalembert coming back to the Kings are about nil.  More at the link above.

Why did the Kings release the rights to Samuel Dalembert??

Maybe because they were so close on Chuck Hayes?  Nah, that doesn’t make sense, Dalembert offers more—yeh, more contract but…plus there is always sign-and-trade.  He does have value out there, at least according to all the Twitterings.

By renouncing his rights the Kings give up Dalembert’s Larry Bird rights, a complicated bit of chicanery that results in Dalembert being unable to sign a five-year deal anywwhere in the NBA.  Folks say that must really tweak the player and his agent.  But why do that?  And why do it today?  Sure he had a big “hold” on the cap, but they released three other players that would have cleared the space needed to sign Hayes and Thornton.

Do they have (or hope to have) another FA signing and really needed big Cap room cleared?  That would make sense.  But if so, who?  That part doesn’t make much sense.  Clearing $19 million in Cap room opens up a lot of dollar space.

We shall see…

—–> I guess the question in today’s Sacramento Bee Sports section got answered.  Dalembert was only worth the cap room space to the Kings.

The Kings sign former Houston Center, Free Agent Chuck Hayes  Hayes filled in when Yao Ming was injured and helps fill behind the loss of Dalembert for the Kings.  I still have this picture in my head of the 6’6″ Hayes at “Center” standing at sidecourt next to Yao Ming.  It always made me laugh.

A 4 year deal worth $21 million.

Hayes is a good defensive player, always was going back to his Kentucky days.

Check out Jerry’s take on both Thornton and (more important) Hayes.

Dalembert may have a home in Texas.

So, first day of NBA business for this season and the Kings have been busy.  And productive.

They don’t have to fret about what to do with Dalembert, he is gone…probably.

They let three others go and free up cap space.

With that, they sign their own FA Thornton and a center (No, a PF) Hayes.

You Kings fans say you want defense?  Say hello to your new PF, Mr Chuck Hayes!  here he goes to work against KG…

And Amare Stoudamire let’s see the Chuck Wagon:

And Hayes stuffs Blake Griffin, Nowitzki and others.  I think we will enjoy this fireplug.

Not a great day but definitely not a bad one.

Around the league on Day 1 lots of trade rumors, some deals (in addition to the Kings) made for a busy day.

Here is a wrap-up.

Jimmer Fredette signed his Kings deal today.  Twitter him at @jimmerfredette and welcome him to the NBA!

The Kings also signed Rookies Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas.

I’m not going to comment on all the Napear crap today except I hope he is right and the Kings are about to lock up a good player who can fit the team and move the Kings forward as we work on a new Arena.

Napear is a jerk for saying as much as he did.

I just wrote and deleted 3 more paragraphs about the Napear bizness.  Nuff said.

December 10th:

Mixed views on Thornton & Hayes.  Of course.  They are not BAD deals.  Maybe you could have saved a few bucks maybe not.  And run the risk of having an unhappy player in Thornton.  Now, as the Bee article says, Thornton feels “loved” in Sacramento and hopefully will contribute for some years to come.

Training camp opens this afternoon.  Check the little videos from Hayes & Thornton.  They are happy to be Kings, I tell ya it’s so important to have players that want to be here and appreciate their contracts.

Now the Kings apparently CAN sign-and-trade Dalembert, according to the Royal Pain blog…..to a massive one year contract to the Mavs.  Of course the Kings have wanted them some JJ Barea, but it is said they are hard after Tyson Chandler.  nice!!!

Chandler just went to the Knicks so we will see who the Mavs give up.

From SacTown Royalty “Mavs’ first swipe, I’m told, will be trying to do S-and-T w/Sacramento for Dalembert by using big trade exception from Tyson Chandler deal.

Today there are still a lot of postings about the “Mystery” player from last nights radio discussions.  Lots of rumors and “wanna” thoughts, nothing even close to solid.

The Kings signed Free Agents Lawrence Hill and Adrien Oliver to contracts today.  Hill is a Forward and played at Standford and then with Texas in the D-League while Oliver is a Guard from San Jose State (transfer from Washington) and played in Greece most recently.  We’ll see if either player lasts past training camp but after releasing four players yesterday they needed to fill out the roster.

Jason Jones from the Bee quotes Coach Westphal as saying the Kings don’t need to add any other players.  He likes the roster just as it is.  Well, Coach…really?  I like some players but if I was Coach I think I would want to get a proven PG and a veteran (not 6’6″) Center.  Even a veteran PF would be nice and thinning out the SFs would be a blessing.  Course, I guess that is why I am just a fan??

More from Coach vis Jason Jones “Westphal said he’d be surprised if his starting 5 wasn’t Evans, Thornton, Salmons, Hayes and Cousins.”

December 11th:

Good things coming out of the first day of camp!!

Cousins Looks Like A New Man

Check him out in some of the youTube videos online but Cousins does look much more mature physically.  It reminds you how young he was last season.

He is leaner. He is lighter. He is quicker. Really, his new body has to be seen  to be believed…

…Moving forward, Westphal wants Cousins to get into even better shape, cut down  his turnovers and control his emotions, reducing the number of times he stands  and pouts when he gets fouled, misses a shot or doesn’t get the ball.”  More at the link above.

Kings’ Evans says he’s feeling good as camp opens

Last summer Evans took some time off after his Rookie of the Year season.  This summer he worked out and although camp is very late, Evans feels and looks much better.  His injuries seem healed and during charity games this summer he played like an All-Star.

“”I wanted to be ready,” Evans said. “Especially if I didn’t play, I didn’t think  there was a reason to take a long time off. I thought it would be good to get in  the gym and keep working on my game….

…”I thought Tyreke and DeMarcus did a pretty good job of keeping their weight  down and being in shape,” Westphal said.

Westphal said the rookies did a good job of staying in shape, too.”

Read the rest of the Bee article at the link above.

Today’s Bee also reminds us that the Kings are interested in unrestricted FA Andrei  Kirilenko.  He’s not the player he once was after ten seasons with the Jazz, but Kirilenko would be a good veteran forward with very good defensive skills.  The Kings do still have quite a number of SFs.

He will be damn expensive.  Kirilenko made some $17.8 million last season.  His price will have to drop this year—-a lot.  But he will still be a big number.

But what could Kirilenko do for the Kings if they were to acquire him??

SacTown Royalty says they guess at the current team cap space to be around $13 million, so the Kings are still one of the few teams that could afford this FA.  They also argue Kirilenko is a better PF than SF, but that could be what he WAS vs what he IS now.  My guess would be SF.

Fans still think of AK as an All-Star (that was 2004) or at least All-Defense (last was 2006).  But he does still play good defense at 30 years old and would bring a veteran’s mindset and would be an improvement over Salmons who is better off the bench.  I keep hoping Donte Greene can get his head together but it just seems to be such a stretch for him.

To me, Kirilenko seems like a real upgrade at small forward, and I wouldn’t blink if the Kings offered him four years, $35 million (roughly what remains on Salmons’ contract). For perspective’s sake, the mid-level exception is worth $21.3 million over four years.

With Kirilenko as a starting small forward and Hayes at power forward, this could turn into a pretty decent defensive club almost immediately. A lot would depend on how Evans and Cousins develop at that end, but the potential for a good defensive team would be there.”  Read the rest at the link above.

December 12th:

Although the Coach says “Leave my team alone”, the Kings are mulling more personnel moves.

The Bee reminds us that the team and the fans anticipated some big moves this off-season.  We remember that big strides in improvement in that good old Win-Loss area are needed in order to convince folks in the greater Sacramento area that there would be positive benefit to building a new Arena.

You cannot convince the casual fan of that positive benefit if people don’t see the team trying to make strides toward improving the team—adding name quality players.

With the room we still have, there’s tremendous flexibility for trades, with  players and salaries and whatnot,” Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said. “Where we’re going to go with that, I really can’t tell. I really don’t know, so I really can’t tell you.”

The article talks about players already discussed here the last few days:  Kirilenko, JJ Barea and Dalembert.  Those folks could add to the team but they are not necessarily going to provide that name recognition that would help get the public interested in funding an Arena.

Chuck Hayes may be undersized for Center.  I certainly thought so.  But he us big enough for Forward even PF.  And since I have been watching him work his legs will win some games and will absolutely punish opponents.  Every single game Hayes just does what he can to help his team win.

It’s a four-quarter game,” Hayes said. “My opponent is going to get the best of  me sometimes, but if I outlast them for four quarters, eventually I’m going to  help my team win.”

December 14th:

JJ Hickson has a hard work ethic.  Everyone agrees on this back to his school days as well as his short tiem in college.  The Kings are hoping his willingness to work extra hard and learn will translate to improvement on defense.

Everyone expects that Hickson will rebound and his offense around the rim will improve.  He did seem to fall in love with the jump shot, a problem many big men face when they first hit the NBA and meet up with a lot of bigger and stronger guys.  Suddenly that jumper looks pretty nice.

So if JJ works hard, listens to the coaches and sees those things make positive improvements in his game he could become a very important King.

Today’s Bee says the Kings made an offer to Guard Jamal Crawford.  A nice veteran Guard who last played for the Hawks.  If it is not Crawford and/or Kirilenko the Kings will pick up someone as they still have to spend money to meet the league minimum.

And they still need to spend money to improve their team.  They still need improvement or backup at the PG spot at the very least, IMHO.

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Training Camp

Of course, training camp has been shortened this season due to the owners locking the players out and the league cutting the number of games but still wanting to get a long season in.

So with a 66 game season and no extension at the end of the year the compression hits training camp.  Which means players who failed to work hard this summer will pay a heavy price in camp and during the season.  And working too hard can put you in line for injuries like muscle pulls etc which can cause significant inuries that put a player out for a period of time or lingering injuries that can last all season.

I won’t give you notes every day of camp.  Mostly it would be the sdame ol’ blah blah.

Day 2 notes, December 11th:  the link will take you to the Cowbell Kingdom’s coverage today.  John Salmons says he has been impressed seeing the young guys on the team (damn near everybody is young) passing the ball and being very unselfish.  If that continues it can only create good things on the court.

When you watch a scrimmage, the fewer times you scream “give the ball up!” the better things are going for sure.

December 14th:

Cousins & Evans both leave practice early today with injuries.  At 5:15 pm there is no additional information on either player or their status for practice tomorrow.  They are now listed as day-to-day.

December 15th:

The Kings Annual ScrimmageCheck the gallery of 30 pics at the link.

Notes from the Scrimmages are here.

I am not certain what the team is thinking this year and next as far as growth.  Free Agents next year?  The draft again this year?  Just keep muddling along and hope everyone reaches their peak together>  Some heavy duty kagic??

My concern is that as a fan I want to hear rumblings out there that Sacramento is talking about Dwight Howard.  Or the Kings are talking to Chris Paul.

I understand Petrie keeps secrets and we are not in line to get those players.  But I want to hear people TALKING about the Kings.  Maybe if people think the Kings came close on Paul, maybe then the Kings DO come close on Dwight Howard.

Ya feel me??

December 21st

We have a game against the Golden State Warriors–and the Kings win!  Nice win since I had basically given up on the season not long ago.

Nice game for Tyle Honeycutt due to injuries and Jimmer Fidette.  Of course some starrters led including Thornton and JJ Hickson.

Coach was happy for Honeycutt.

Forward Travis Outlaw had his debut for the Kings, tender hand and all, swatting a pass away.

Coming our way

for the 2011/2012 Season

Live Game Coverage

and

Live Chat 

thru the Sacramento Bee and SacBee.com

This Sunday (Christmas Day) the Bee will feature full coverage, ready for the Kings league opener against the Lakers here in Sacramento, in a special section.

“To tell the team’s story this season, The Bee and sacbee.com will present coverage that provides in-depth looks at the team and its players along with expanded up-to-the-minute coverage on the Kings blog and juiced-up game-day coverage featuring live chats for all 33 home games.”

Read it all at the Bee link above.

Decmber 24th:

Looking at predictions for 2011/2012 most folks seem to be lining up around 25 wins during this lockout shortened season.

25 this year translates to 32 over an 82 game season, so not bad.

The BleacherReport says we can go 7-3 in our first 10 games.  That is a possibility as we have quite a few home games.

Four  of the first five Kings games are in Sacramento. As a media side note, only one game all year will be on TNT and eight games will air on NBA TV.

  • Monday, December 26th – Win against Lakers, 101-97
  • Tuesday, December 27th – Win at Portland 90-83
  • Thursday, December 29th – Loss to Chicago, 100-86
  • Saturday, December 31st – Win against New York, 95-89
  • Sunday, January 1st – Win against New Orleans, 101-94
  • Tuesday, January 3rd – Loss at Memphis – 91-87
  • Wednesday, January 4th – Win at Denver 106-100
  • Thursday, January 5th – Win over Milwaukee – 96-91
  • Sunday, January 8th – Loss to Orlando – 90-82
  • Tuesday, January 10th – Win at Philadelphia 95-89″

7 wins would be a great start.  I see 5, but I will be praying for more.

HoopsWorld has a much more even report on the Kings upcoming season.

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December 16th:

You have heard that Doctors are testing Chuck Hayes for a heart abnormality.  It is too early to say what impact a possible abnormality may have on our new PF’s career.  We just wish him well.

December 21st past 6 pm

  Here is the article covering the lastest of the heart problems with Chuck Hayes.

December 22nd:

A Bay Area article talks about the challenges the Kings face.

It has been a strange Dalembert goings-on kinda day!

First we hear from Dalembert’s agent that he has siged some kind of contract (??) with the Kings.

Then we hear Hayes’ had another medical test (in Cleveland) and came up clean.  Ready to report to Sacramento (??)  Except…

Didn’t we cancel his contract?  And cut him lose as soon as possible??  (understandible, just asking)

Well, the end call is that Dalembert signed with the Rockets and will not be back

Chuck Hayes is reportedly clean to play RoundBall again.

December 23rd:

Charlie Hayes returns to the Kings.  It made for a strange period, but the Kings say “welcome home Charlie.”

Coach Westphal says Hayes will return to Sacramento on Saturday, December 24th and start on Monday, December 26th.

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Arena Rumblings

December 6th:

The Arena sponsor, Power Balance, may be leaving.  Power Balance is going thru some legal difficulties including an apparent auctioning off as part of a court settlement for bankruptcy.

Read all about it at the link above.  Hard to say if this is good or bad.  The Kings lose some money today but they then have an opening that they could also attach to the new Arena.

And here are some interesting possibilities for Arena names based on some of our well-known local businesses!

December 9th:

Magic Johnson is once again suggesting he will put money in Sacramento.  During the summer there was the possibility Magic may jump in as a part-owner  if the Maloofs sell, now he said something when he was in Sacramento last night indicating he will put big money into a new Arena for the Sacramento Kings.

Read about it at the Cowbell Kingdom and comment here if you want.

And Sacramento releases the details of Arena funding.

The city of Sacramento, the National Basketball Association, the Sacramento Kings and the development team will need to collectively pony up $387 million to build a new entertainment and sports complex downtown, according to a report that will be unveiled at Tuesday’s (December 13th) City Council meeting.”

Much more at the link above.

December 11th:

Today’s Editorial from the Bee—City should take next step on arena

Read the entire editorial at the link above.

There is more than enough reason for City Council members to take the next  step toward a proposed long-term lease of city-owned parking to help pay for a  new downtown Sacramento arena.

Agreeing Tuesday to issue a “request for qualifications” would be like you  putting your house on the market. It lets everyone know you’re interested in  selling for the right price, but you’re not committing to anything.

Still, the vote is essential to find out whether a parking deal can provide  most of the city’s share of the $387 million-plus arena – and whether this  complicated, risky transaction makes sense for the city.”

Jason Jones from the Bee tells us that Petrie says “Kings are about $1 million under minimum salary figure. Dalembert has not been ruled out entirely.  Adding a veteran PG or another big are options for the Kings with Evans backed up by two rookies.”

December 14th:

Last night the City Council voted to approve the next step on the Arena and move things forward.  Details on the action are found at the link.

The primary issue for the Council wa to enure that Sacramento doe not get stuck with the full cost.  This is the issue for everyone—the city, the county, the owners, the suburbs, the public.  So if everyone is able to agree on a piece of the cost maybe this thing can actually happen.

The Vote was 7-2

Alright, it was still pretty boring, but Tuesday’s meeting had everything you could ask for in a five-hour local government showdown, including human PowerPoint presentations, #Occupy protestors, some normal people, the villain city council member, people whose sole purpose in life is to show up at every city council meeting and speak on every issue, people that sang during their two minutes to speak, the transvestite with a keen business acumen, and of course, the mayor that dunked on Hakeem Olajuwon like he was Timofey Mozgov.”

Read the article at the link above.

Another good thing in the Bee today:  it is not strictly basketball but it is sports—and PRO sports in Sacramento.

We may get a professional soccer team to be located in Elk Grove which is a bedroom community in the South Sacramento County.  Sacramento has a ton of soccer fas and sports fans support each other.  They understand the needs.

Read all about soccer in Sacramento at the link.  This is exciting!!

December 16th:

For the first time, the Maloofs signal that the March 1st deadline for “A new Arena…or else” may not be drawn in cement after all and may have some flexibility.

Small Market, Big Heart      Documentary Film

Where:    Crest Theater, downtown Sacramento

When:     Grand Opening Monday January 9th: at 7 pm

Small Market, Big Heart, the full-length documentary designed to share the compelling story of the people of Sacramento and their battle to acquire and preserve a professional sports franchise over the last 26 years, will premiere at the Crest Theatre on Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m”  Read more about the film at the link above.

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Other Team Goings-On

December 8th:

Late in the night I, like you, heard that the NBA (Stern) had vetoed the Chris Paul trade from the Hornets to the Lakers with a stop to drop off Pau Gasol in Houston.  Yes, it would have put the Lakers at the top of the heap (again) but it wouldn’t guarantee them a championship.  In fact, it would be nice to see them get their player but not win…kind of like some years with the Yankees for you baseball fans.

I don’t know what to think about it.  I hated the trade because the Kings never get trades like that.  But I hated Sterns meddling even more.  Especially since peeps (knowledgeable peeps) are saying Mark Cuban was the primary complaining owner.  The last guy in the world I would listen to.  And, of course Cuban would whine.  When does he not whine?

The Lakers will find another way to sign big stars that the Kings and Hornets cannot sign.  It is Los Angeles.  It used to be every player wanted to go to New York, now for basketball players it is Los Angeles.  I get it.

So the Lakers will get big-name stars and the Kings will get leftovers and disgruntled players and good rookies some of which decide to stay…if we win.

Revisit the Kings & Lakers rivalry in a great photo history here.

I enjoyed this!!

December 9th:

OK, so the things that confuse me about the now nixed Paul trade are that:

1)  the Hornets are (for now) OWNED by the NBA.  So everytime you hear the words “New Orleans Hornets” replace them with “the NBA” or even with “the David Stern”.

It is beyond strange that the NBA would decide to trade Paul and then the NBA would prevent the trade from going thru.  Stern is now fighting with himself??

2)  How could the NBA even propose this trade and think fans would see it as even near to being fair?  The Hornets (the NBA or the David Stern) would have received NOBODY in return.  Nobody.  Yes, Odom & 3 stiffs (we remember Kevin Martin) and a draft pick.  For Chris Paul to the Lakers?  Like they had no one worthwhile to trade back?  They have been trying to dump Odom for many years.  He could have been a very good player now he is what he is.  Not a bad NBA player just not worthy of Chris Paul.

So, let’s just GIVE the Lakers the best young Point Guard in the league?  During this new post the 2011 CBA which made small-market teams the equals of the Lakers?

This deal which the owners fought so hard for, resulting in loss of games, loss of fans, loss of prestige—was supposed to have prevented things like this from happening.  As soon as ink is on the paper what kind of trade happens?  And what team is involved in conspiracy with the league?

How does the NBA/Stern offer a lopsided trade to make the Lakers the kings of the NBA again??  If someone other than the NBA owned the Hornets it is a wierd trade.  Since the NBA purchased the Hornets (remember?) it is now more than wierd.  And now the NBA steps in to say “Oh, you bad owner of the Hornets trying to make this trade!”, when the NBA IS the bad owner of the Hornets?  Too funny.  Too funny.

Big names and big cities—abound today.

Accusations of tampering/Dwight Howard/Nets, and supposedly trade talks for Chris Paul resume with…

And, of course…NBA owners DENY that they were the ones who stopped the Chris Paul Trade.

Let’s see:  the NBA now owns the Hornets, the NBA/Stern made the Paul trade and the NBA/Stern pulled the trade  back after it was made and then the NBA/Stern blamed the pull-back on the other team owners especially Mark Cuban.  Yet the owners deny even complaining about the trade.

So, now will it go through?

Paul could have been in Los Angeles on Friday, ready to pair up with Kobe Bryant as the next star in Hollywood. That fell apart Thursday when the league, which owns the Hornets, rejected a three-team trade the club had agreed to for “basketball reasons,” denying the decision came about because of pressure on Stern from irate owners.

And instead of the immediate boost the league craved coming out the lockout with free agency and training camps opening, it found itself with another public relations disaster.”

Criticism of the NBA squashing Paul trade is pouring in“.  From the web sites I have seen people are complaining about the leagues role in all of it, not just the “squashing”.

People complainined about the trade, and then complained the trade got stopped.

They are unhappy with the NBA.  Period.

The above article, and others, make it seem inevitable that the NBA will force Paul’s move to the Lakers in another trade.  And they think peeps will think that is fair??

Dwight Howard formally requested that the Orlando Magic trade him.

The Magic granted permission to three teams to talk to Howard’s agent about a possible trade.

No, Sacramento did not receive permission.  But New Jersey did, even in the midst of some very serious tampering charges.  The other teams are the Dallas Mavericks and the…..Los Angeles Lakers.

Why did the owners want that lockout again?  What was the purpose of nearly blowing the NBA up??  Oh yeh, so that the best players on the planet could all go to just one or two teams.  Right!

December 12th:

So, with his formal trade request the Lakers are after Howard.

By making the trade with the Mavs, moving Lamar Odom for a #1 pick and a “trade exception” the Lakers position themselves to play for Dwight Howard rather than Chris Paul (for the moment).

The Lakers are expected to offer Bynum and Dallas draft pick for Howard and try to fit him under the exception, worth some $8.9 million.

Kobe went public saying he did not like the whole thing and was ushered into Mitch Kupchak’s office to talk about it, but Odom was gone by then.

Where does Paul go?  The Clippers are still on his original list of three teams…did he or will he add some more acceptable partners?  And did Howard give up on New York/New Jersey just because peeps are in trouble for perhaps talking to Howard when they were not able to?  Will Howard fit into the amount of salary the Lakers can now pay?  Will Orlando allow his agent to talk to any additional teams if the Laker deal cannot be worked out?

What a couple of high-profile messes these have turned out to be after all of the summer lockout drama which was specifically supposed to even the field out and ensure the small market teams can compete with LA and NY for big-name players and league titles.

It’s early, but none of this builds confidence.

Other activity:

Mike Bibby will play back-up PG for the NY Knicks.

PF David West has signed with the Indiana Pacers for 2 years at $20 million.

The Warriors used their Amnesty Waiver to let guard Charlie Bell go and save some of his salary.  Plus, since Bell showed up drunk at his DUI hearing maybe he didn’t even notice he was cut loose.

The Warriors then offered young Center DeAndre Jordan a 4 year contract.  The Clippers have 3 days to match the offer for their restricted FA Jordan.  I don’t think they will take that long.

PF Grant Hill re-signed with the Phoenix Suns for one more year.

A busy day around the league but those big names are still out there tantalizing people.

December 12th:

Clippers submit offer to league for CP3.  It is a big offer ut the NBA wants PG Bledsoe as well.  Clippers are unsure.  Now the league is also asking for a 2nd pick because the NBA does not want Paul moved out of New Orleans.

Everything fell apart today:

Chris Paul trade to Clippers is dead–the demands of the NBA were “too steep” as the league kept up with “give us just one more” until the Clips said “no”.

Dwight Howard decided he will stay in Orlando “if things change”.

Grizzlies trade Guard OJ Mayo to Pacers.  Details on all of these changes are at the Mayo link.

Jason Jones asks:  “Is David Stern going to coach the Hornets?”

That is the best damn Tweet I have read in two years.  Thanks @mr_jasonjones

From Ken Berger at CBS Sports Executives are trying to revive the “Chris Paul to the Clippers” trade talks.

Plenty of teams want in on the Chauncy Billups talks.  Dwight Howard says he would stay in Orlando if Billups signs with them.

Chris Bosh wants Billups to sign in Miami.

Split the difference and have just one Florida team??  “Billups has threatened to retire if a team he doesn’t want to play for claims him… such as a team with Deron Williams already at the point guard like the Nets. The reason the Nets put in a bid is to keep him away from the Magic — they want to trade for Dwight Howard, they don’t want him to suddenly start to be happy in Orlando.”

December 14th:

Wednesday morning one-liners.

Chris Paul trade is approved—to the Los Angeles—Clippers

Marc Stein at @ESPNSteinLine reports  “ESPN sources say NBA approval to be issued by night’s end to seal CP3 and 2 future 2nd-rounders to Clips for Gordon/Kaman/Aminu/Sota first (round pick)

That is a very big price to pay.  You get a great player in Paul, but Gordon and a 1st round pick, that’s a lot.

Trade talks for Dwight Howard are called off by the Magic.

Consider this the Magic throwing cold water on the process they thought was getting overheated.”

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