Random Thoughts, Including Paul Not Being Frosty Towards the Hornets

Published: August 26, 2009

I’m back from vacation, have finished reading the hundreds of emails that had built up at work, and am once again ready to provide you with inane chatter.  I’ve had a few general NBA thoughts I’d figure I’d start with in order to get back in the swing of things.

Oh, and before we start, submit a Paul Haiku and win a signed Paul jersey!  Like this:

The Lane He Enters
Like a Lightsaber He Cleaves
A Defense in Twain

Okay, maybe not like that, because that was pretty stupid.  On to the post:

Ben Wallace

Early in the off-season, there was a lot of nattering about how the Suns were going to trade Ben Wallace to the Hornets for Chandler, and then the Hornets were going to buy Ben out.  I think every fan in New Orleans vastly prefer the way things actually did end up – with Ben taking a buyout from the Suns, and the Hornets trading for Okafor and using Rasual Butler’s contract for salary dumping.

There is one really odd thing here, that no one else I’ve seen has brought up:  Ben Wallace allowed Phoenix to buy him out of his contract for about $4 million less than he was slated to make.  He then went to Detroit and signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of about $1.3 million.

So, in essence, he gave up almost $3 million . . . to get out of Phoenix and go to . . . Detroit?  Wallace’s always been a counter-culture kind of guy, but wow.  I can’t figure out if that’s an indictment of Phoenix or not – but still, Detroit isn’t going anywhere this year.  Who gives up that kind of dough to leave a possible playoff team to play for an almost sure loser?

Remaining Free Agent Bigs

A couple months ago I listed a group of Free Agent bigs I thought the Hornets could possibly get for a minimum salary.  The Hornets grabbed one of them, Ike Diogu, and will probably still need to grab another.  I’d been hoping Bower would sign Joe Smith as a fifth big, but he’s been snapped up by Atlanta, leaving us with just a few options. 

I have some fondness for Sean Marks.  Once he stopped taking the 20-foot jumper and missing it, he showed enough talent to be an okay end of rotation guy.  However, I think he should only be a final option sort of signing.  Maybe bring him in to training camp with one of the solid D-League centers – Richard Hendrix or Courtney Sims – and see if they can show enough to beat out Marks for that fifth spot.

Happily, Sims is definitely on Bower’s radar, having gotten a training camp invite last year, and a summer league spot this year.  It would not be surprising to see him in camp again this year.

Paul Ain’t Frosty

I ranted earlier in the summer about misleading headlines casting standard Chris Paul comments in a sinister light, and today I’ve run across another irritating example of it. 

I was going to let it slide, but then I realized the headline is on ESPN.com and an insider article that you have to pay to access.  For those of you who aren’t insiders, you shouldn’t be forced to worry as the result of a lame tagline.

Rumor Thread Tagline at ESPN.com:

Rumors: CP3/NOH relationship a little frosty

The thread quotes Paul in an interview he gave to Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune:

Chris Paul said the trade of Rasual Butler to the Los Angeles Clippers affected him because he and Butler shared a unique relationship.

“Oh, man, to tell you the truth, that hurt me,” Paul told The Times-Picayune. “Rasual is my guy, somebody I’m really close to. Him and David West were the only two guys who’ve been on my team every year since I’ve been a rookie. But that kind of caught me off guard and hit close to home. He was my guy.”

You’ll notice Paul didn’t mention the Hornets.  He didn’t mention being mad at the Hornets.  You’ll also notice, if you follow Chris Paul, that this is the exact same stuff he says when ANYONE leaves the Hornets.  He said it about Tyson.  He said it about Bobby Jackson.  He said it about Speedy Claxton.  He even said it about freaking Marc Jackson.

So no, don’t worry about it.


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