Can you feel it? The offseason is almost over and the NBA season is almost (finally) here again. As a result, Hornets general manager Richard Cho spoke to the media on Thursday as a part of his pre-training camp availability on Thursday. Here are some highlights:
- How much does a Hornet weigh? Well, if you're talking about Gary Neal, about 22 pounds less than when you last saw him. Unless you saw him last week at the grocery store, then he probably looks the same. It's not a bad idea for a veteran to make sure he's in the best shape of his career heading into a contract year, either.
- Cho revealed that the Hornets have begun contract extension talks with Kemba Walker as he heads into the final year of his deal. This has been a big summer for point guards and/or guards from Jodie Meeks to Eric Bledsoe, and Walker will undoubtedly look to be paid accordingly. Probably not Bledsoe money, but it may be a good idea to keep an eye on Ricky Rubio's situation in Minnesota since that could have an effect on Walker's negotiations. You don't want to dramatically overpay, but you don't want a messy RFA experience like what the Phoenix Suns experienced with Bledsoe.
- As promised, the Hornets are auditioning big men. And yesterday they announced they signed former Detroit Piston and Orlando Magic forward Jason Maxiell to an unguaranteed deal going into training camp. I mean, you'd hope that the Hornets could make do with Jefferson-Zeller-Biyombo at center and rotate one of those guys at power forward behind Marvin Williams, but realistically the Hornets will need another power forward. Too much shouldn't be expected of anyone they bring in. In fact, I would expect their instructions to be, "The number for the restaurant is on the fridge if you need us while we're gone. Oh, and don't burn the house down." Come back, Noah Vonleh!
That's about it for now. Kemba Walker's contract situation is probably the most worthwhile talking point from all of this, unless you really want to dissect Maxiell's game.