The NBA notebook …
LOS ANGELES — With Chris Paul’s future in limbo, Blake Griffin weighed in enthusiastically on the possibility of the Los Angeles Clippers landing the All-Star guard.
“We’d love to have him,” he said Tuesday, “but if it doesn’t work out, everybody on this team knows that we’re ready to roll with this team.”
The Clippers on Monday called off a proposed deal with the New Orleans Hornets to land Paul, with general manager Neil Olshey saying they would have had to give up too much.
Asked Tuesday if the team was still interested, Olshey said, “If you pick up the phone you’re going to have to listen to what somebody has to say. We are not actively making phone calls trying to acquire any new players at this point.”
CHARLOTTE— The Charlotte Bobcats are gearing up for some small ball.
Starting center Kwame Brown agreed to a one-year contract worth $7 million with Golden State on Tuesday, leaving the Bobcats with one of the shortest starting lineups in the NBA.
The Bobcats planned to run quite a bit anyway, but now it will be imperative to play an up-tempo game.
“When you’re so small you don’t want to play half court with guys,” said point guard D.J. Augustin. “You want to run and play transition and get some easy points off fast breaks.”
Coach Paul Silas said he expects 6-foot-8 Boris Diaw to start at center for the rebuilding Bobcats.
Diaw averaged 8.8 points per game last season, but only 2.8 rebounds.
“We definitely don’t have the height right now, so we’ll definitely have to use our speed and quickness,” Diaw said.
DALLAS — Lamar Odom knows what it takes to repeat as an NBA champion.
Vince Carter wants to know what it feels like to become an NBA champion.
The Dallas Mavericks are hoping a little of both — Odom’s experience and Carter’s hunger — can go a long way to help their title defense.
The two newcomers were the stars of Mavs media day on Tuesday because of what they represent. They’re the proof that team owner Mark Cuban is serious about winning it all again, which is something fans were questioning just a few days ago when the billionaire was letting the core of last year’s team dissolve with the departure of free agents Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and J.J. Barea.
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz officials met Tuesday with free agent Josh Howard in North Carolina as they look to upgrade at small forward.
ESPN first reported the Jazz were meeting with the 6-7 Howard, who is entering his ninth season after starring at Wake Forest.
Many teams want to see Howard work out because he is coming back from a serious knee injury. San Antonio, Washington, Denver, New Jersey and New Orleans also have expressed interest.
Howard was a key player for Dallas from 2003-10 and helped the Mavs in their run to the NBA Finals in 2006. He averaged a career-high 19.9 points in 2007-08.
Howard was traded to Washington in February 2010 but tore his anterior cruciate ligament the following month. He only appeared in 18 games for Washington last season and averaged 8.4 points.
DENVER — The Denver Nuggets acquired versatile swingman Rudy Fernandez and forward Corey Brewer from the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday for a future second-round pick.
NEW ORLEANS — Restricted free agent Marco Belinelli has accepted the Hornets’ $3.3 million qualifying offer and will return to the team’s lineup this season.
By Brad Senkiw Scripps Howard News Service Hanging out a birthday party last Saturday, I kept wandering over to the... read more