Russell Wilson

Aldridge’s Latest: Hornets, CBA, Seattle, Casspi

The Hornets had several players eligible for free agency in the summer of 2016, and while they lost some players, such as Courtney Lee and Jeremy Lin, they were able to re-sign key pieces like Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams, much to the relief of Kemba Walker.

“I was nervous as hell,” Walker told David Aldridge of “I didn’t want to lose those guys. I knew we couldn’t pay everyone. I wish we could have gotten a lot of the guys back, but unfortunately, the way this business works is it can’t happen all the time. Nic and Marv were high priority … I got a chance to go out to Dallas and be a part of Nic’s meeting. Me and [Michael Kidd-Gilchrist] flew out. It was super cool. We got a chance to sit in the room and say a few words.”

General manager Rich Cho admits the team was worried about potentially losing Batum. As Aldridge details, teams like the Mavericks and Wizards were interested in the veteran forward, but the Hornets didn’t want him to take a meeting with another team — and he didn’t.

Here’s more from Aldridge:

  • Barring any last-minute complications, the NBA and the NBPA will likely reach an official agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement during the week of December 5, reports Aldridge. The league and the union will likely take the week after Thanksgiving to make sure everyone’s up to speed on the new deal before formally announcing it.
  • According to Aldridge, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson approached Chris Hansen and his investment group about getting involved in the Seattle arena project, rather than vice versa. While it may still be years before a new Seattle arena is built, Wilson’s cache and his willingness to invest in the project should only help, Aldridge writes.
  • While there’s no indication that they have interest, Aldridge believes the Wizards should look into trading for Omri Casspi, who has fallen out of favor in Sacramento. Casspi told Matt George of Cowbell Kingdom that he and Kings head coach Dave Joerger haven’t spoken since the preseason.

And-Ones: Rose, Wilson, Childress, Telfair

An appeal has been filed in the civil lawsuit that accused Knicks guard Derrick Rose and two of his friends of sexual assault, according to the Associated Press. A jury ruled against Rose’s ex-girlfriend, who was seeking $21.5MM over the alleged gang rape, the AP story continues. The appeal filed Thursday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals claims that pertinent evidence was excluded and jury instructions were tainted, the AP report adds.

In other developments around the league:

  • Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is joining a group of investors seeking to build an NBA and NHL arena in the city, Sheil Kapadia of reports. Wilson wants to have an ownership stake if the NBA awards a franchise to the city or if a current team moves there, Kapadia adds. “I’ve told you guys I’ve been really authentic about wanting to own a team one day and being a part of something really special and doing that,” Wilson told Kapadia and other media members. “And even though I’m young, I definitely have a business mindset. And I want to be able to help people and give back and help change this community, continue to change this community for the better.”
  • Approximately 30 NBA scouts will be in attendance for this weekend’s National Prep Showcase in New Haven, Conn., Adam Zagoria of writes. Shooting guard Hamidou Diallo, who is eligible for the 2017 draft, is the main attraction, Zagoria adds.
  • Former NBA player Josh Childress has agreed to a contract with San-en NeoPhoenix in the Japanese League, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Childress played in Australia the past two seasons, Carchia adds. The 33-year-old forward made his last NBA appearance in the 2013/14 season, when he played four games for the Pelicans franchise.
  • Ex-NBA guard Sebastian Telfair has signed a one-month deal in China as an injury replacement for another former NBA player, Dwight Buycks, international journalist David Pick tweets. Telfair, 31, made his last NBA appearance in 2014/15, when he saw action in 16 games with the Thunder.

And-Ones: USA Basketball, Seattle, Rumors, NBL

Earlier this month, USA Basketball announced that Jerry Colangelo was stepping down from his position as USA Basketball Chairman, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reporting at the time that retired general Martin Dempsey was on track to replace Colangelo. Dempsey’s election as the new chairman is now official, according to an press release. The vote took place at USA Basketball’s annual Board of Directors meeting.

“I am excited to join USA Basketball and to become part of a legacy of excellence both on and off the court,” Dempsey said in a statement. “Playing for USA Basketball is about commitment, sacrifice, and pride.  It’s about developing young men and women who are exceptional athletes but also exceptional leaders.  It’s about respecting the game and our international competitors. It’s about representing our country with honor, and it’s about winning.  I look forward to working with the USA Basketball staff, coaches, players, and families.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has partnered with Chris Hansen‘s Seattle arena group, as Sheil Kapadia of details. As we heard last month, Hansen’s group is willing to forgo public funding in order to get approval to move forward with a new arena.
  • In a helpful piece for, Seth Rosenthal explains the difference between fake NBA rumors and legit ones, and how to tell the difference between the two.
  • Top recruit Terrance Ferguson ultimately chose to play this season in Australia’s National Basketball League rather than playing college ball at Arizona. A report from the Australian Associated Press (link via explores whether Ferguson’s decision, along with the NBA’s one-and-done rule, could be a boon for the NBL.
  • Chris Patrick, formerly a member of Relativity Sports, has left the agency to start the Sports Law Group, which will represent athletes, coaches, and schools, tweets Jeff Goodman of