While the Kings were scrimmaging inside the practice facility before the Marcus Thornton press conference Friday afternoon, you couldn't walk two steps without one of the media types bringing up the NBA's rejection (at least for now) of Chris Paul's trade to the Lakers. Several league sources are telling me the deal will be tweaked and eventually approved. Looking at the trade as originally configured, my first thought was that the Hornets were giving up one of the league's premier young point guards .... and getting old fast. Kevin Martin (28), Luis Scola (31), Lamar Odom (32), who were major pieces in the three-team deal that would send Pau Gasol to Houston, would be nice veteran pieces on a team with a talented young nucleus.
So, I don't disagree at all with the basketball types who advised David Stern that his league-owned Hornets needed a difference combination of players and assets for Paul - including a few draft picks. Regardless, the notion of a Commissioner making personnel decisions is beyond awkward. The bizarre situation only further demonstrates how desperately the NBA needs to find a buyer for the Hornets. What happened Friday completely fails the smell test - it reeks, and for appearances sakes, it looks even worse.
Can't buy health
Brandon Roy's decision to retire because of chronic knee injuries is reminiscent of two other immensely talented NBA stars who quit prematurely because of similar knee problems: Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie, a co-Rookie of the Year (with Dave Cowens) and a two-time All-Star, retired at 28, and in only his sixth season. The other major talent who jumps out at me is former Indiana Pacers forward Clark Kellogg, the current college analyst. The former Ohio State star was emerging as one of the best young frontcourt players of the early 1980s - a skilled, physical power forward - when his knees forced him to retire at the ridiculously young age of 25. Roy is only 27.
The Blazers can't seem to catch a break. The day he retires, the team announces that Greg Oden experienced a setback in his recovery from microfracture surgery and that LaMarcus Aldridge will undergo a heart procedure and be out indefinitely.
Can't hide at 7-feet, either
So, if Dwight Howard met with officials of the New Jersey Nets, as the Orlando Magic are wondering, someone had to notice. The All-Star center is almost 7-feet tall with the physique of a Greek god. What did he do? Hide under a conference table or underneath a booth? Someone saw something. Or didn't.