Stephen Jackson traded to…the Bobcats?

So much for Jackson’s wish to be traded to a contender. He’s headed to Charlotte as part of a four-player trade.

In a deal that NBA front-office sources said came together quickly Sunday night and received the needed league approval Monday morning, Golden State sent Jackson and guard Acie Law to the Bobcats in exchange for veteran swingmen Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.

Let’s see — Jackson has three years left at the tune of $28 million. Radmanovic has one year left for $6.9 million and the other two players (Bell and Law) are free agents after this season. So the Warriors are going to save about $21 million with this move, assuming they don’t re-sign either of the incoming players.

Radmanovic isn’t a bad fit for the Warriors in that he can shoot from long range and can’t play any defense. Bell is known as a hard-nosed defender but his best years are behind him.

Jackson has a reputation for being something of a malcontent, and he asked to be traded to a contender (only he goes to a bottom-feeding Charlotte franchise). If you’re running the Bobcats, why do you make this deal? What are the odds that this works out?

The Bobcats do get a versatile scorer. Charlotte is last in the league in scoring (82.4 ppg) and shooting percentage (39.4%), so he’ll help in the short term, but I don’t see how this improves the franchise in the long term. Jackson turns 32 this season, so he’ll be 35 when his contract expires, and his deal will drastically reduce the team’s cap space in the summers of 2011 and 2012.

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Hornets fire Byron Scott

The New Orleans Hornets started the season a disappointing 3-6, and decided to make a change at head coach, firing Byron Scott.

Scott will be replaced by general manager Jeff Bower, with Tim Floyd as his top assistant, the team said. Floyd formerly coached the Hornets and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA and most recently at USC.

Team owner George Shinn thanked Scott for his service, but said Bower “knows this team better than anyone” and gives the Hornets “our best opportunity to reach our goals this season.”

Scott won NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2008 after he and franchise point guard Chris Paul led the Hornets to a 56-26 record and the Southwest Division title. The Hornets then defeated Dallas in the first round of the playoffs and were within one win of the West finals before losing Game 7 at home to the San Antonio Spurs.

Scott hung on to his job after the early exit but couldn’t survive New Orleans’ poor start, even though the many holes on the Hornets’ roster — with no consistent scorer at the wing positions and little depth — appeared to be beyond his control. A number of league observers considered a coaching change inevitable if the Hornets struggled this season.

The team’s biggest problem isn’t Scott — it’s a lack of talent on the wings. Peja Stojakovic was supposed to be the Hornets’ top perimeter scorer, but he has struggled with a bad back and is getting older. The quickest way for the team to inject some scoring into its lineup would be to trade for Stephen Jackson or Rip Hamilton, two sharpshooting wings that are readily available. But that would require a long-term commitment to one of those players as part of the team’s core.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Stephen Jackson trade rumors

From Chris Broussard on TrueHoop…

I’m told that Golden State is mulling several offers, and one person told me he expects something to happen within the next few days. I don’t know the particulars of any supposed offers, but I’m told Cleveland, Denver, San Antonio, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Clippers are all interested in Jackson.

Best fit? New Orleans. The Hornets are really hurting on the wing and need players who can knock down shots. But they don’t have the expiring contract(s) that would allow Golden State to get out from underneath the four years remaining on Jackson’s deal. They’d need to give up a prospect (Julian Wright?) or a draft pick to get the Warriors to bite.

Great Quotes: Stephen Jackson

“I’m not a fan of Kobe. I’m not somebody who looks up to him. I’m a grown man myself. So when I go out there and play the game, I play the game. I feel like I’m just as good as him. I might not get the publicity or notoriety he gets, but I feel like I can play with anybody in the NBA any given night. I think everybody should feel like that. Everybody should be a competitor and I don’t back down from anybody.”

— Stephen Jackson, via Fanhouse

NBA News & Rumors: KG, Westbrook, Jackson, Bynum/Odom, Miller and Millsap

Garnett’s knee is just fine. It has been a concern in camp, but apparently KG has his explosion back. In a recent practice, he caught an alley-oop and slammed it home. The Celtics’ fortunes depend heavily on the health of Garnett’s knee. Without him at full strength, they’ll have a tough time competing with the Cavs and Magic. As an NBA fan, a healthy KG is good for the league.

Is Russell Westbrook turning into a dependable point guard? The Oklahoman reports that is A/T ratio in the preseason is 5.4. Last season it was 1.6, which is quite bad. It’s a small sample size, but if Westbrook can get his A/T ratio above 3.0, it will reap dividends for the Thunder. From a fantasy perspective, if he were to cut his turnovers in half and have the same number of assists (which would result in a A/T ratio of about 3.0), then he’d be the 15th most efficient point guard (just below Mo Williams) instead of the 21st most efficient.

Stephen Jackson will play for the Warriors, but he’s not happy about it. There’s a good chance the Warriors will acquiesce and try to fulfill Jackson’s wishes to be traded, but the 31 year-old has three more years remaining on his contract at the tune of $9.3 per season, so there’s no guarantee that a playoff team would be willing to make a move for him. Miami could move Michael Beasley, but Jackson’s contract would ruin the Heat’s financial flexibility next summer. The Suns could use Jackson to replace an aging Grant Hill, but they’re in financial trouble. The Hornets probably make the most sense, but are they willing to spend?

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