Odds & Ends: Expansion, Wizards, Turner

Even though the NBA has 30 franchises, there are still plenty of North American markets that are deserving of teams.  Of course, Seattle is at the top of anyone’s list as the rabid Sonics fan base is starved for a new team.  Kansas City has also made a strong case for an NBA club in years past and they already have a ~19K seat NBA-ready arena in the Sprint Center.  However, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) says that the league is not going to expand under the current labor agreement.  That might change under the new TV deal though, which is currently being worked on.  Here’s more from around the Association..

  • Speaking of expansion, commissioner David Stern told Chris Mannix of NBC Sports Radio (Twitter link) that the NFL will likely have a team in Europe before the NBA because “it’s relatively easy for a team to play eight home games there.”  Stern has said in the past that he is optimistic that there will be a team in Europe in the not-too-distant future.
  • Nene and new Wizards center Marcin Gortat have formed a bond in the front court, writes MIchael Lee of the Washington Post.  “It’s one thing to have two skilled big men in the block. It’s another thing for those big men to play off each other, and that’s big,” forward Martell Webster said. “When you have big guys down there that have a relationship and a chemistry, it makes it a little bit easier to occupy.
  • Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld reflects on the four-team deal that sent Nikola Vucevic to the Magic last year.  At the time, it seemed like the Lakers (Dwight Howard) or the Sixers (Andrew Bynum) would be the big winners, but it turns out that Orlando got the best haul of anyone.
  • The price of winning in the NBA varies, writes Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.  The 7-0 Pacers are doling out less than $853K per victory while the 2-4 Nets are paying $7MM for each win.
  • In today’s mailbag, a reader asks Mary Schmitt-Boyer of the Plain Dealer if the Cavs should give up on the Dion Waiters experiment and trade him.  Even though the guard appears to have taken a step back from last season, Cleveland isn’t as down on him as some fans might be.
  • While many thought that Sixers GM Sam Hinkie would either deal Evan Turner at the trade deadline or allow his $6.7MM salary to come off the cap next summer, the former No. 2 overall pick is making a case to stay, writes Thomas Moore of the Courier Times.  Turner has been a model of consistency, scoring at least 20 points in six of the 4-3 Sixers’ first seven games.  Earlier tonight, Sam Amico of FOX Sports suggested that the Mavericks, Thunder, and T’Wolves could be among the teams with interest if the Sixers decide to shop Turner.
  • If the Knicks continue to lose, there’s no telling how owner James Dolan might react, writes Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.
  • Magic rookie Victor Oladipo is embracing the challenge of handling the basketball, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak doesn’t expect Kobe Bryant to return in the next two weeks, writes Pincus for the Los Angeles Times.  Kupchak also touches on the ill-fated Chris Paul trade and says that he still hasn’t forgiven Stern for the way things played out.

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