Tag:New Jersey Nets
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:24 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Report: Grizzlies, Nets talked O.J. Mayo trade

Posted by Ben Golliver oj-mayo 

This man lives on the trade block.

Yahoo Sports reports that Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo has had his name come up in recent trade talks with the New Jersey Nets.
Memphis and New Jersey have been engaged in trade talks centered on guard O.J. Mayo, but a deal appears unlikely. Nets-Grizzlies talks included scenarios for Anthony Morrow and a pick for O.J. Mayo, but discussions have lost traction.
Mayo, 24, is a 6-foot-4 guard with a scorer's mentality and solid two-way, energetic play. His statistical production has taken a hit during his four years in Memphis, as he's been shifted to a reserve role behind starting guards Mike Conley and Tony Allen, and he's currently averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.4 minutes per game this seaon. 

Morrow, 26, is more of a one-dimensional player, known for his ability to shoot from distance and score in bunches. So far during 2011-2012, his second season with New Jersey, Morrow is averaging 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 25.4 minutes. He's been used both as a reserve and, most recently, as a starter by Nets coach Avery Johnson.

Mayo is in the final year of his current contract and seems a very, very unlikely long-term fit in Memphis, a team that has already committed major dollars to Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Conley. Has name has repeatedly come up in tralk talks, including proposals involving the Indiana Pacers -- in a failed swap for forward Josh McRoberts, who is now with the Los Angeles Lakers -- and the Golden State Warriors in a rumored swap for guard Monta Ellis. The Grizzlies also have promising second round pick Josh Selby who, despite a recent marijuana bust, seems capable of providing a backcourt scoring pop off the bench at a fraction of Mayo's price.

But, really, Mayo trade talks are not about what he does on the court. During his time in Memphis, he's been suspended for failing a drug test and gotten into a well-publicized fight with Allen on the team plane. He's needed a change of scenery for awhile now.

Is New Jersey, currently 2-9 and in the basement of the Atlantic Division, that place? They can certainly use his talent and would like likely start him alongside All-Star Deron Williams in what would be a fairly dynamic and interchangeable backcourt. He represents an upgrade from Mayo and this talent-deficient bunch can use any upgrade it can find. There's also an urgency at play in the Garden State, as Williams wants to win now and his future is very much up in the air.

One question here: If you're Memphis, do you prefer simply to unload Mayo to a team with cap space so you don't have to receive salary in return? Similarly, do you prefer to let his contract expire at the end of this season to give yourself added flexibility next summer? Given that we're roughly two months from the trade deadline, we'll know soon enough. One thing is for sure: this won't be the last time we'll hear Mayo's name in rumors over the next eight weeks.
Posted on: January 7, 2012 1:11 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 1:15 pm

Fans mock Humphries with giant Kardashians

Posted by Ben Golliverkris-kutout

Opposing crowds have been giving Kris Humphries the business so far this season. But nobody did it bigger than a group of Toronto Raptors fans.

There's been a major backlash against the New Jersey Nets forward for his 72-day marriage with reality television star Kim Kardashian, which abruptly ended in divorce back in October. A rebounding specialist who mostly flew under the radar prior to the relationship, Humphries has been booed by crowds around the league and was even voted the most disliked NBA player in December.

Now in his eighth NBA year, Humphries was a member of the Raptors during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons. The Nets made their first trip to the Air Canada Centre on Friday night, and the Toronto crowd was lying in wait. A group of fans sitting in the lower-level brought giant cardboard cutout pictures of Humphries' ex-wife Kim and her family. The images created an immediate stir, leading fellow fans to snap photos of them, as you can see in the shot to the right. Picture via @JaySatur

The Toronto Sun has a picture of the whole posse plus an interview with one of the sign-holders, who provides their rationale.
Yet the New Jersey Nets power forward couldn’t escape his ex. About 10 minutes into the second quarter, a group of men in the fourth row held up huge signs bearing the faces of the Kardashian women.

“It’s just to rattle him a little,” said one of the sign bearers, who wished to remain anonymous for “obvious reasons.”

The men didn’t get much mileage out of their signs, which were confiscated by ACC staff for being malicious.

Humphries got the last laugh on Friday. The Nets got the road win, 97-85. While shooting just 2-for-8 for six points, he finished with a game-high 16 rebounds.

Hat tip: @Nat77
Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

By Matt Moore

In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, Ken keeps sticking up for the Celtics, we talk about whether the Nets are a disaster, and early surprises. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. You threw the Celtics a life line on Tuesday, saying how their comeback effort against the Heat meant they're not dead yet. Then they turned around and flopped in New Orleans like a corpse. No, I'm sorry, that's too far. A corpse would at least give resistance by being dead weight. How bad is this going to get for the Celtics to be in some real trouble?

Ken Berger: You can't fully evaluate the Celtics until they get Paul Pierce back. Even then, it's going to be a bit of a horror show at times for Boston, with old bodies stressed by the schedule and not enough depth to cover it up. In a shortened season, three- and four-game losing streaks certainly are magnified. But as long as Boston's core remains healthy and gets them through the season, they'll be there at the end.

2. We're two weeks out of training camp and a week into the season. How much leftover anger from the lockout are you hearing from players and agents?

KB: Haven't heard much. I think everyone (including myself) needed to shift gears from lockout mode to basketball mode. I do think at some point there will be a power struggle for leadership of the NBPA, as the agents who wanted Billy Hunter out have not changed their minds.

3. The Nets are off to a pretty horrific start. Is there a point where this becomes a concern for Dwight Howard as he evaluates suitors, and does this only strengthen the likelihood of him ending up in L.A. as you forecasted?

KB: Well, yes and no. It's faulty logic to look at the Nets and shake your head in disbelief that Dwight would want to play for THAT team. That's not the team Dwight would be playing for; he'd be playing for a Nets team with HIM on it. Big difference. The most interesting aspect of the Dwight saga won't be where he does and doesn't want to play, but where the Magic are and aren't willing to trade him. If Otis Smith and Alex Martins decide they want Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, the likelihood that Dwight's a Laker goes through the roof. If that can't or won't happen, can the Nets flip some of their assets for win-now players Orlando would want, i.e., Luis Scola and Kevin Martin from the Rockets, or something similar? Fascinating chess match that Orlando will be playing.

4. The Knicks do not look good right now after being dominated by an L.A. team playing Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy significant minutes. Rank their concerns in order: Injuries (Davis, Jeffries), Mike D'Antoni, overall roster.

KB: I'd say injuries and schedule are the Knicks' biggest problems, and I'd include Iman Shumpert among the injured players they miss the most. Not that Shumpert was necessarily ready, but losing him means Mike Bibby must fill a bigger role off the bench, and this is not good. Tyson Chandler needs to tone it down a notch; with three techs in three games, he's making Knicks fans yearn for Rasheed Wallace to come out of retirement and sign for the mini mid-level. Heading out West to start the season isn't ideal after a long lockout and short training camp, so I'll re-evaluate the Knicks after they play a couple of home games this week and get comfortable on the East Coast. I do like the offense running through Melo and would like to see more Melo-Amar'e pick-and-rolls. Like a lot of contending teams (Dallas, Lakers, Celtics), the Knicks are having to incorporate new players and tweak their schemes with little or no practice time. So it's too early to panic and point the finger at D'Antoni.

5. Two parter. What's the team that's impressed you the most and team that's disappointed you the most so far, early in this season?

KB: Even though I picked them to go to the Finals, I'd have to say the Thunder (4-0) are playing even better than I thought they would. It's a little early for disappointment, but I'd classify it as disappointing to see the Nets lose Brook Lopez and face a long, ugly road to the March 15 trade deadline without their key asset in a potential Dwight Howard trade.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:34 am
Edited on: December 30, 2011 2:50 am

Report Card: Westbrook's redemption

By Matt Moore

The Knicks wilt again out West, the Thunder rise and fire, and the Blazers win the best game of the night. Here's your nightly report card. 

A: Russell Westbrook

One day removed from a horrid shooting performance in a near-loss and after a brief altercation with Kevin Durant that subsequently became the biggest story in the league for a day, Russell Westbrook brought the Thunder back. He made all the plays late starting with a dunk and-one off a steal. He hit big shots when he needed to and grabbed a huge offensive rebound off a Durant miss late. It was a terrific job by a player with a lot of pressure on him, and showed why the Thunder believe he and Durant can be special together.

Westbrook isn't the pure point a lot of people think Durant needs. But in terms of scoring point guards, he's one of the best in the league. His fearlessness and ability to make things happen in key moments should not be overshadowed by a handful of poor shooting nights for the young player. Westbrook is a legitimate star who plays on the same stage, if not level, as Kevin Durant. 

A: Los Angeles Lakers

Ball movement. Help defense. Efficiency. The Lakers won with good basketball. Not superstar power, though Pau Gasol played well. They weren't pretty or fun to watch, they just worked to create open shots and knocked them down. Even when the Lakers were losing earlier this week, they had great effort, just poor execution. Against the Knicks, they really turned the effort into execution and simply played better basketball against what is arguably a more talented team in terms of star power.

B: Houston Rockets

The Spurs didn't have it, but the Rockets also never allowed them to find it Thursday night. The Rockets ran efficient offense over and over, getting contributions from their key guys and really attacked the Spurs inside with Samuel Dalembert. It was a key win after a disappointing opener against the Magic. Kevin Martin stopped being terrible and went back to Kevin-Martin-hood.

B: Portland Trail Blazers

They won against a very good Nuggets team and kept their hot streak alive. They shot 51 perent from the field. They also turned the ball over 25 times and let the Nuggets back in it after a huge initial rush. They lost the free throw battle. In reality, they had a hot night, shooting 51 percent from the field. They also played solid defense, if allowing a number of open looks. These two teams are evenly matched and the Blazers edged them. Room for improvement, but they get a B.

C: Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks got a number of things to go their way in this game, and also played much better. The ball movement was there, Dirk was resurrected from lockout hibernation (29 and 10), JET was firing, and Ian Mahinmi and Brendan Haywood played well inside. But their defense was still several steps off of last year, and for crying out loud, the only guy in the building you have to guard with 1.4 seconds left and you give him a look? Better, Mavericks. Not good.

D: Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk nabbed a technical for complaining about a call in the fourth quarter. Was just a terrible time for that kind of a tech. 

D: New Jersey Nets

Missing Brook Lopez? Sure. But the effort isn't there, from any of the players. How exactly are you going to convince Dwight to come there by getting killed by him?

F: New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony, point forward is not walking through that door. Carmelo Anthony, ball-stopping shooter is. Both Anthony and Stoudemire struggled mightily against a Lakers defense that attacked their dribble whenever they got the ball. The Knicks have no creator, no initiator, no playmaker, just bullets and no gun. Oh, and defensively? Renaldo Balkman spent the most time guarding Kobe Bryant. Whoever had that idea needs to spend some time reconsidering the way he approaches the world.

Incomplete: San Antonio Spurs

Back-to-back, but after two really solid defensive games the Spurs took a giant step backwards Thursday night.

E for Effort: Orlando Magic

It's not hard to beat the Nets. But the Magic are firing on all cylinders right now. Dwight Howard with 24 rebounds, Ryan Anderson 22 points. The Magic are still a good team in the middle of all the turmoil. Again, against the Nets. But still.

Gold Stars:

Dirk Nowitzki. Jason Terry, Serge Ibaka. Steve Blake. Pau Gasol. Josh McRoberts, Luis Scola. Jimmer. Wesley Matthews.
Posted on: December 29, 2011 3:04 pm

NEWS: Dwight Howard and Deron Williams eat dinner

Posted by Royce Young

Dwight Howard needs to get traded soon. Because otherwise, we're all going to have to take note of his eating habits, among other things.

Via the Star Ledger, Howard told reporters that he had dinner in New Jersey with Deron Williams when the Magic came to town to play the Nets. Why is that at all something we should care about? Well, because of that whole thing where Williams wants Howard to come to the Nets and the whole thing about Howard maybe wanting to go to the Nets.

You're telling me Williams and Howard didn't talk about that stuff over some food? They didn't talk about their future plans? That's why this is a story, despite it completely not being a story. If that makes sense.

Howard tried to downplay it though.

"Since he’s been in the league, every time he comes to town, we go eat dinner and just kick it,'' Howard said after the Magic's shootaround. "We’ve been friends since the Olympics, and so we go out to eat, have a bite.

"[Williams] wanted to be silly and joke about it, but I said 'No, this is not the time. Let’s just go eat, and then go have a good game against each other tomorrow.' That’s it," Howard said.

Williams on the other hand wasn't sure how to handle the situation. When asked, he answered, "I don't even know -- I really don't."

Understandable. I could see how you could be unsure of whether or not you had dinner with a 6-11 man with giant shoulders the night before.

If you recall though, there was quite the stink about a supposed meeting the Nets had with Howard right before the end of the lockout. The Magic reportedly were going to file tampering charges, but Howard adamently denied the report, as well as the Nets. Dinner among friends is legal though.

I guess the big question is, what did they have? If it was steaks, that's a Brooklyn thing, right? Seafood would hint towards Orlando, no? We need these details.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:55 pm

Deron Williams wants some help in New Jersey

Posted by Royce Young

This season isn't really about winning for the Nets. Because everyone knows that isn't happening. It's a lame duck season, at least until the trade deadline when New Jersey can potentially make a run at some pieces.

This season is about impressing and convincing Deron Williams that the franchise is worth staying with. He already passed on signing an extension but said that it's a "90 percent chance" he re-signs with the Nets. However, blowouts like the one New Jersey sat through against Atlanta Tuesday night are a very big part of that remaining 10 percent.

So it comes down to the Nets getting Williams some help. He knows it, general manager Billy King knows it and so does everyone on the roster. Via the New York Times, Williams said exactly that:
“We need some more pieces,” he said. “There’s no secret about that. There’s not many starters on our team right now. We have a lot of great role players, a lot of guys who know their job, but in this league you need some top-tier guys so you can get the job done.”
You might wonder if some of Williams' current teammates would feel slighted at their star making that kind of comment. He basically said, "My teammates kind of stink right now, so I need better players." But I don't think anyone on that team is going to disagree. Kris Humphries is a role guy. Same with Damion James. Same with rookie MarShon Brooks. Same with Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, some guy named Dennis Horner and Sundiata Gaines. The roster is terrible. Without Brook Lopez, it's hard ot imagine that team winning more than 10 games at this point. It really is.

We can all look up and down that New Jersey roster and see it for what it is. So can Williams. He's too good for this mess and unless the team can really make him buy into this whole "Brooklyn is the future" thing, then the Nets will have made a major investment for nothing.

Williams is too good for this. He's too good for this lame duck season of maybe getting a star and maybe not. The Nets don't really have any piece outside of Brook Lopez all that enticing because they gave it all away to get Williams. This team isn't going to win anything, not as is. Williams knows it and it's just a question of how long he'll take it.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 1:53 am

Report: Magic don't want to rebuild after Howard

By Matt Moore

There is a fairly established path to rebuilding. When a team is forced to start over, the way back to contention is to trade the biggest star along with a salary dump for as many young players and draft picks as possible. Then you rebuild through the draft using the picks you acquired and your own picks, which are high on account of you being terrible. This is a fairly proven formula, with the Blazers having had success before injuries wrecked them, and the Thunder currently a Finals contender with that model.

Which is why today's report from ESPN.com should be concerning for Magic's fans and is confusing for the rest of us. From ESPN:
Sources familiar with Orlando's thinking say that a picture of what the Magic will ultimately expect in return for their anchor has indeed begun to emerge, telling ESPN.com this week that Orlando would not hold out for youth and draft picks as the league-owned New Orleans Hornets were ordered to do in the Chris Paul sweepstakes. The Magic, sources say, would instead prefer to bring back multiple established veterans who can keep the team competitive.

Reason being: Orlando has moved into a new arena last season and has a 85-year-old owner in Rich De Vos. Sources say De Vos has little interest in starting over/rebuilding, as evidenced by the recent decisions to trade for Glen "Big Baby" Davis and re-sign Jason Richardson even though Howard's future is so murky.
via What will Magic want for Dwight? - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN. So the Magic are looking at that well-established path back to contention... and wanting to do the exact opposite. The problem is that the Magic would not and cannot get anything back that is comparable to Howard, so they'd be looking at either an aging star, or someone overpaid. Which means problems for the Magic in a few years when those contracts get larger and the talent isn't there. It seems like a cash grab for tickets in order to make casual fans go to games instead of really building towards a championship which perennial season ticket holders and long-term fans would want.

There are several repercussions if this report is accurate.

1. It puts the Lakers squarely in the lead for Howard. If you want established All-Star-level players, the Lakers have them. A package of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, which the Lakers insist they will not send for Howard, would fit this bill exactly. Even if they won't trade those two for Howard directly, the best scenario might be to bring Houston back into talks similar to what they were working on in the vetoed Chris Paul trade. That could net the Lakers a suitable replacement for Gasol in terms of firepower, provide Orlando with an All-Star power forward (Gasol) and the Rockets a franchise center of the future. Either way, if it's stars the Magic wants, the Lakers have them.

2. It severely damages the Nets' approach. Already missing their best trade chip in Brook Lopez due to a broken bone in the foot, the Nets have reportedly been dangling as many as five first-round picks for Howard. If the Magic want legitimate players, the Nets don't have any outside of Deron Williams. Their next best chip, Kris Humphries, cannot be traded until March due to his contract. If the Magic are serious about continuing to contend for the playoffs, the Nets can kiss their chances at Howard goodbye. In related news, the Nets were wiped off the map by the Hawks last night.

3. Speaking of the Hawks, ESPN says the Hawks have made offers regarding a possible trade of Joe Johnson and Josh Smith for Howard. This would be a genius move by Atlanta, even if Howard doesn't re-commit to signing there. You make one playoff run, clear Joe Johnson's cap-killing contract, and if Howard decides to leave, you've got cap space to rebuild with behind Jeff Teague and Al Horford. The immediate question mark is if the Magic would be willing to take on Joe Johnson's contract. Remember, if the Hawks want All-Stars, they have to take on big contracts, and Johnson's a multiple-time All-Star, even if his notoriety isn't on part with that accomplishment. Also keep in mind that Otis Smith traded for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu last season. Big bad contracts do not scare the man. Still, the Haws are clearly on the outside of this race.

The Magic should be following the same pattern New Orleans did with the trade it actually pulled off. There's a reason the league vetoed the Chris Paul trade offer form the Lakers, and it wasn't because they all of a sudden hate their most popular team. It's because adding big contracts for lesser stars only compounds your situation and sticks you in NBA purgatory: late playoff seeds leading to first-round exits and no traction. That hurts every facet, competitiveness, ticket sales, enthusiasm, morale eventually. But if this is what the Magic want, they're in a position to wait until the trade deadline to get as much as they can. They don't want to start over, they just want to stay in the conversation.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:58 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 2:02 am

Report Card 12.26.11: Mavs crushed again

By Matt Moore

The first full night of games and it was a doozy. Rookie debuts, buzzer-beaters, and some vomit. The NBA is back in all its glory. Here are your grades for Monday, December 26th, 2011.

A: Denver Nuggets: Yeah, it was against the same team the Heat ran out of the building Sunday, this time on the second night of a back to back. But the Mavericks are still the defending champs and the Nuggets ran them out of their own building. It wasn't just the offense, either, though they were en fuego (49 percent from the field, 56 percent effective field goal percentage). Denver was also dialed in defensively. The best wins are those in which your offense allows you to set your defense to attack, which creates opportunities for your offense and it becomes a vicious cycle for your opponent. The Nuggets were like a race car wheel roaring down the track. They forced 19 turnovers, creating 20 percent more opportunities for themselves, and they took full advantage. Ty Lawson was a speed demon and when the Mavs did get in front, he smoked them from the perimeter (3-6 from the arc, 27 points). Al Harrington not only provided a huge offensive lift off the bench, he was engaged defensively. At one point he created a steal which bounced to Danilo Gallinari, who ran the floor then stopped and shoveled it back to a sprinting Harrington for the dunk. The Nuggets played so wel they could mess around on fast breaks. Dominant performance in their first season opener since 2003 without Carmelo Anthony.

B: San Antono Spurs: A little bit of revenge after the Grizzlies eliminated them from the playoffs last spring. The Spurs, six months removed from a season where they were an offensive juggernaut but couldn't stop anyone, especially down low, got back to their roots. They held the Grizzlies to an 86 offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions),which is elite status. They got back to defending, rebounding, and grinding their opponent to dust. Throw in a surprising performace from Richard Jefferson and an impressive debut for Kawhi Leonard, and all of a sudden, the "past their prime" Spurs look like they might be getting back to what made them great.

C: New Jersey Nets: Well, they were down 21 points at one point to the Washington Wizards who were playing without the fifth pick in the draft, Jan Vesely. The Nets looked lost, inept, ridiculous. And then they turned it on. Outscoring the Wizards 53-39 in the second half, they fought their way back into it and watched Flip Saunders' team self-destruct. Deron Williams was the exerienced All-Star. And Kris Humphries, man of the hour. 21 points and 16 rebounds, cleaning up misses and killing the Wizards down low. This was a game that's hard for either team to feel good about because of the opponent, and being down 21 to the Wizards is madness. But they won, and they'll take it.

D: Kobe Bryant: Here's what is working for the Lakers right now, without Andrew Bynum, and why they fell apart in a loss to the Kings. Ball movement, hustle and intelligent, efficient play. And the Lakers, after a lackadaisical game had them out of reach, fought their way back with that exact kind of play. And once again, Kobe Bryant went hero mode and once again, an opportunity to win was squandered by the Hall of Famer. The entire Lakers get a "D" here for failing to play any on the perimeter. (Seriously, Mike Brown, what's it going to take for Derek Fisher to get yanked? How many times must Tyreke Evans blow past him or block him?) But the Lakers keep getting within range through team play, and then Bryant attempts to take the team on his shoulders like he used to. That Kobe is gone, at least until the wrist heals. 24 field goal attempts for Bryant, who leads the league by a mile in usage percentage (percent of possessions used -- tricky stat that), and two turnovers, including an offensive foul late. A bad month for the Black Mamba gets worse.

F: Dallas Mavericks: You have GOT to be kidding us.

Other notable grades:

Incomplete: Chicago Bulls: Are they as bad as they have looked in the first two games after a loss to the Warriors on the road to open the season? No. But they do look bad. Really bad. But with a 1-1 mark, considering the schedule (two West coast road games to start the season on consecutive nights) and the opponent (a Warriors team with confidence after nearly nailing the Clips, even if they were on their own second game of a back to back). The Bulls fought back in and made it a game late, but if they don't make up their homework to the teacher, bad grades are coming.

E for Effort: Minnesota Timberwolves. Open the season with a narrow loss to the Thunder? Rubio looks great. Derrick Williams looks promising. Kevin Love is an All-Star. The effort was there for the Wolves, and they're only going to get better.

Gold stars: Eric Gordon (CLUTCH). Alonzo Gee. Ed Davis. Danilo Gallinari. Sean Williams. Roy Hibbert. Manu Ginobili. Marcus Thornton. Stephen Curry. Tristan Thompson. Tyreke Evans. LaMarcus Aldridge.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com