As the rest of the NBA moves to Nike uniforms, the Michael Jordan-owned Hornets are making a slightly different change.
Charlotte will wear Jordan Brand uniforms, as shown today:
These are pretty similar to the Hornets’ previous uniforms, but the iconic Jumpman logo makes them much cooler.
The news on the Carmelo Anthony trade front is there is no new news on the Carmelo Anthony trade front. Regardless of what unsubstantiated rumors fly out of Houston fans’ Twitter account.
The Knicks and Rockets remain at a stalemate, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post — just as Anthony is about to do a number of public appearances.
Tuesday night, Anthony will be in a place he cherishes. Not Houston, but Baltimore, where he will host The Basketball Tournament — a month-long event that is down to its final four…
A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.
The Knicks’ management tandem of Steve Mills-Scott Perry claim it won’t trade Anthony to Houston unless it cobbles together a solid deal that makes sense for the Knicks’ future. Nothing has materialized.
Anthony is likely to speak to the media at one of these events. Maybe. Even if he does, the man is polished and will not say anything particularly inflammatory.
The Knicks need leverage in these negotiations, and their one threat is they will bring Anthony into training camp and start the season with him. They may not want to, but they must have that threat to force Houston to work harder to find a third team (or fourth, someone to take on Ryan Anderson‘s contract), or to get Anthony to accept a trade to another team where a deal could get done. If Houston thinks Mills/Perry and the Knicks will eventually cave, they can wait out the summer. And that’s where we stand. Which is why the Knicks made a recent move:
In fact, a source told The Post the signing of veteran point guard Ramon Sessions partly was due to him connecting better with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than did Derrick Rose, who left for Cleveland via free agency.
The Knicks still want to make this trade, but they are wise not to do a deal just to get it done. They can and should be patient.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson threw out the first pitch at tonight’s San Francisco Giants-Oakland Athletics game.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area:
This is where I remind you Klay Thompson’s brother, Trayce Thompson, is a professional baseball player.
Adam Silver called expansion “inevitable”
The NBA commissioner didn’t give a timetable, but current owners are already thinking about the potential windfall.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
A third NBA owner said the $2 billion price for the Clippers should be “the starting point” for any expansion team’s entrance fee, whether in Seattle or the handful of other cities considered potential candidates for expansion — Las Vegas, Mexico City, Louisville, Kansas City or even Vancouver, which lost the Grizzlies to Memphis in 2001.
“It may sound like a crazy high number now, but so did the Dodgers (who sold for $2 billion in 2012), Clippers and other team sales prices,” the third owner said. “If you can revitalize part of a city or create a world-class arena that draws a new level of cultural events or anchors downtown, then the economics for the real estate dwarf what happens with the team. For someone who has the wealth and wants to leave his or her imprint on a city and state, an NBA team makes perfect sense.”
Does the owner mean the NBA’s opening asking price in a negotiation? Or does he mean the opening, minimum-acceptable bid?
The latter might be a bit optimistic.
The $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid for the Clippers was seen as an overpay by a wealthy buyer who really wanted to own an NBA team. Though the record price doesn’t look ridiculous now, it still might be closer to a high-water mark than the new normal.
Forbes has valued just six franchises at $2 billion or more: Knicks, Lakers, Warriors, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers. But New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston aren’t Seattle, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Louisville, Kansas City or Vancouver. The available markets appear far less lucrative than Los Angeles, where Ballmer’s Clippers play (even if they’re second-fiddle to the Lakers).
The Rockets are for sale, and that should provide another reference point. But Houston is also a fairly large market, not necessarily similar enough to the places an expansion team would land.
It’s fine for current owners to seek $2 billion, but that amount might not be coming.
Chris Paul said joining the Rockets was about winning in the present.
But with Paul on an expiring contract, his future in Houston is a major question.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:
“We’ve had high-level discussions [with Paul about his future],” Morey told The Crossover, noting that Harden’s recent $228 million extension provides a “signaling aspect” to other stars that Houston caters to its marquee players. “[Paul] hopes to continue with Houston. He likes the team, the organization and the city. In terms of him actually signing long-term, that’s something that won’t be decided until next year.”
Paul opted into a $24,599,495 salary – well below the $34,682,550 max he could’ve received in free agency – to facilitate his trade from the Clippers to the Rockets.
Of course, he hopes to continue with Houston – on a lucrative long-term deal. I’d be shocked if and Morey didn’t discuss parameters before the trade.
But there’s a season to play out first, so both sides are taking a risk.
As Morey said, James Harden‘s historic contract extension shows the Rockets take care of their stars. Morey furthered that image by continuing his campaign for Harden to win 2015 and 2017 MVPs. But Leslie Alexander is selling the team, creating tremendous uncertainty about its commitment to spending under new ownership.
From the other side, Paul will evaluate how he plays with Harden. It’s a tricky fit for two players so used to dominating the ball.
Everyone surely hopes it goes well – Paul stays healthy, meshes seamless with Harden, and Houston wins a lot. At that point, re-signing Paul to a big contract would be a no-brainer for both sides.
But if it doesn’t go well, Paul or Houston has an out after this season.
It’s good that they’ve already talked about the future, but this is a high-stakes unknown.