Your morning links roundup. Happy Saint Nicholas Day.
- Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated in Southern and Eastern Europe. Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) puts little presents in children's shoes. Perhaps one of David Stern's children will find an NBA franchise in their shoes this morning.
- Basic information on the transaction from the Wall Street Journal and the Times-Picayune. Audio of the NBA's conference call is here, and Hornets Report has the transcript of the call.
- The sale to the NBA set off tons of speculation on the future of Chris Paul, ranging from Sam Amick at Fanhouse, who thinks that Dell Demps will be shopping Chris on the trade market, while SBNation's Tom Ziller and the Orlando Sentinel both think that Chris Paul is going to stay in New Orleans for the remainder of his contract.
- Many expect that the Hornets will be relocated to Seattle. I'll link perhaps the most interesting of these largely baseless rumors: the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, is a huge supporter of the NBA in Seattle and is looking to bring a team to fill Seattle's spot. And he recently sold $1.4 billion in Microsoft stock, which is enough to pay for the Hornets 4 times over and still have enough cash to buy a fleet of Lear jets. Obviously, all of these rumors sidestep the problem of the lack of a suitable arena in the city. SBNation Seattle says they want a team, but not this way.
- Have Chris Paul, will travel: more circumspect writers are simply detailing the locations to which the Hornets might relocate. Matt Moore at CBS Sports comes up with: Kansas City, St. Louis, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Chicago. Ian Thomsen at SI creates the same list, but adds San Jose for good measure.
- Talking about actual basketball players for a moment: Art Garcia at NBA.com reports on how the players are reacting to the uncertain future of the franchise. Money quote from David West: "In all honesty, it's a mess." Hornets247 posts another edition of their ever-entertaining power rankings of Hornets players (spoiler alert: Chris Paul is number one).