Here is the latest news.
So far, two guys are getting amnestied: Gilbert Arenas and Chauncey Billups. Richard Jefferson was expected to be a third, but he showed up at Spurs training camp and participated. Vince Carter was bought out, as was Richard Hamilton, and Brandon Roy was told to retire.
Also, Mark Cuban revealed that he was one of the five owners who voted against the new labor deal. He also came out in support of David Stern for vetoing the Chris Paul trade, which put him in the distinct minority.
The Dwight Howard situation remained fluid, complicated and strange; but at least he showed up for the first day of camp. He could end up in New Jersey or Los Angeles in the next hour, the next day or the next week, or he could remain with the Magic through the trade deadline, which will be March 15 this season.
The Paul fiasco was fluid, too, with the three teams who tried to make a trade Thursday re-engaging and trying to come up with an alternate deal that will pass muster with Hugo Chavez, I mean David Stern.
My ex-colleague John Hollinger of ESPN summed it all up best in a tweet: The NBA has officially changed its name to Venezuela.
From Brett Martel of The Associated Press: “New Orleans general manager Dell Demps says he has been given autonomy to make another trade for All-Star guard Chris Paul. Demps said Friday that since a three-team deal that would have sent Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers did not go through, the Hornets are going to “keep plugging away.” Demps says they are “resuming talks” and that “everything is open.” … The 26-year-old Paul was seen walking in the training facility Friday wearing a black Hornets practice jersey, and he appeared to be in good spirits. Demps says the Hornets “love Chris”’ and would like to keep him, but he has told them that he is not prepared to sign an extension.”
I am setting the over/under on the next CP3-to-Lakers deal at 5 p.m. EST Saturday. Wager amongst yourselves. There are reports out there that the union has given the league until Monday to approve a Paul trade, or there will be litigation.
I discussed the Paul situation and the re-opened NBA’s craziness on 850 KPOA radio in Denver with ex-Nuggets beat writer Dave Krieger. Click here to listen to the interview, in which I referenced Albert Pujols. (Once upon a time, a was a baseball writer).
Amid reports that Howard and his representatives met with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King last night in Miami, SI.com is reporting that Orlando is considering filing tampering charges against the Nets, and there were conflicting reports over whether Howard had fired his agent, Dan Fegan.
Nets general manager Billy King issued a statement denying the team had met with Howard.
From SI.com’s Sam Amick: “With indications growing that Howard would ask for a trade to the Nets this week, sources said the Magic were told that their franchise centerpiece met with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov in Miami on Thursday. A source close to the situation said early Friday that Orlando was also considering filing tampering charges against Houston, but that a Rockets claim will not be pursued due to lack of information. The Rockets, according to a source, were informed that there wouldn’t be tampering charges brought against them and were told that they weren’t considered.
From John Denton of Magic.com: CEO Alex Martins … did say that the Magic planned to investigate ESPN reports that multiple NBA teams met with Howard Thursday night in Miami about his future with the Magic. At this time, Martins said there is no concrete evidence to prove that tampering occurred. If a team is determined to have tampered with a player under contract they would be at the mercy of NBA Commissioner David Stern. Stern has taken such matters in the past very seriously and he would likely impose serious penalties. Such punishment could include fines, loss of draft picks or denying the team the right to sign the player in the future. … Martins reiterated his desire to keep Howard in Orlando long term. “Everything that we’ve heard from Dwight this week wouldn’t indicate (that he wants to leave). He’s told us that he loves Orlando and that he wants to be here,’’ Martins said. “Those conversations continue. We’re not going to talk about the specifics and all of the exchanges, but everything we’ve heard is that he loves it here and wants to be here. We’ll take him at his word.’’
New Jersey, meanwhile, was prepared to offer Nene a four-year contract worth $60-65 million if Howard is unobtainable.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: “Nene has been engaged in negotiations with Denver and Indiana for several days, but the Nets had been waiting to assess the market. Once free-agent center Tyson Chandler found a deal with the New York Knicks, the Nets decided to become more aggressive in their pursuit of Nene. … Howard had a meeting scheduled with Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins mid-week, but canceled it at the last minute, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. Orlando was trying to smooth over a bizarre phone incident involving retired CEO Bob Vander Weide, who was reportedly trying to gauge where Howard stood on his future intentions with the Magic. Howard had privately told people for several weeks that his two preferred destinations were the Los Angeles Lakers and Nets, sources said. “He’s been waffling back and forth, even this week,” one source said. If found to have had the meeting with Howard, the Nets could face stiff fines, a loss of draft picks and perhaps even lose the right to sign him as a free agent next summer or trade for him.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported via Twitter that NBA teams gave been told the following:
Window to amnesty players is Dec. 9 (today) thru Dec. 16. Trade deadline is March 15. … One more note for when games actually start: From Dec. 25-Feb. 6, NBA teams allowed to dress/play 13 guys per game, one more than usual 12.
“A source directly involved in those talks said Friday morning that the Hornets were not planning to appeal the nixing of the deal, as ESPN reported Friday. Rather, the Hornets will try to see if sweetening the current deal in some way would make it more acceptable to the league, which currently owns the Hornets while it seeks a permanent owner who will keep the team in New Orleans. The Hornets also have several other possible deals on the table for Paul, and could go forward with one of those if teams involved in those deals make enhancements to their offers, the source said. New Orleans’ management, the source said, is determined to make a deal for Paul, who reportedly was not going to show up for the first day of the Hornets’ camp. Like Orlando, the Hornets will not allow Paul to play out the final year of his deal, become a free agent next summer and leave with the team getting nothing in return.
Joe Freeman of the Oregonian reports Brandon Roy is retiring:
“The seemingly never-ending saga surrounding Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy and his balky knees has reached a stunning conclusion. Two sources with knowledge of Roy’s decision told The Oregonian Friday morning that Roy plans to retire because of degenerative knees, confirming a story first reported by ESPN. Roy made this decision, one of the sources said, after meeting with doctors on Thursday. After evaluating Roy’s knees, which have been operated on six times and no longer have any cartilage, the doctor flatly told Roy he should no longer play. “You can’t do this,” the doctor told Roy, according to one of the sources. “You might end up not walking.”
John Canzano of the Oregonian reported on Twitter that Minnesota was prepared to acquire Roy through waivers.
Tyson Chandler has confirmed he is going to the New York Knicks. From Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas:
“The most difficult thing is having to make those phone calls to Dirk and Kidd and Jet and all the guys that I played with,” Chandler said Friday on ESPN 103.3’s Ben and Skin Show after confirming that he’d agreed to terms with the New York Knicks. “When I say this, I say it from the heart: I truly love those guys and I will forever, because we stood side by side and accomplished the ultimate. You can’t do that and not have a respect for each other. We did that, and nobody can take that away from us.” However, (Mark) Cuban is determined to maintain the financial flexibility he firmly believes is necessary to improve the Mavs in the future under the new labor agreement. As a result, the Mavs topped out at a two-year offer for Chandler, who opted to explore several situations that offered more security before settling on the Knicks. “I could just tell with the mindset that it wasn’t going to work,” said Chandler, who stressed that he has no animosity toward the Mavericks. “I had to come to grips with that and I had to be OK with that. I wouldn’t want to put a financial strain on the organization and not allow them to make any moves for the future, because obviously I want to play on a winning team and a team that has a chance to compete. If it just didn’t make sense for myself and the Mavs, then it just didn’t make sense. Sometimes it happens like that.”
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports says Glen Davis is getting a four-year, $26 million deal with the Orlando Magic, apparently as part of a sign-and-trade for Brandon Bass.
From Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: According to two league sources, the Cs are in discussions with Orlando to send Big Baby, in a sign-and-trade deal, to Orlando for power forward Brandon Bass – a player Magic management had been very high on at one stage. Bass is due $4 million each of the next two years, including a player option for the 2012-13 season. Davis’ asking price may have been too steep for the Celtics, who hold his Bird rights and could pay the power forward anything they want under salary cap guidelines. But with Davis asking for at least $5 million – the full mid-level for teams under the luxury tax threshold – the Celtics turned to a trading partner in Orlando. As of 12:30 today talks were still in progress. “I don’t know yet, man,” Davis said when reached where he is working out in Bradenton, Fla. “But I want to get this resolved soon so I can just get into camp – somewhere.”
Spears is also reporting on Twitter that Rockets free agent Chuck Hayes will sign a 4-year, $21.3 million dealwith the Sacramento Kings, mirroring the full mid-level exception., and that Jeff Foster has agreed to return to the Indiana Pacers for one year.
Vince Carter was waived by the Phoenix Suns, but not under the amnesty provision. Carter had a $4 million buyout. Stein is reporting that the Mavericks hope to have him signed to a multi-year deal by Saturday.
It was no surprise that Arenas was the first player to be amnestied.
From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Arenas will receive about $62 million over the next seasons. The Magic will pay all of that unless a team makes a bid on him in a modified waiver-wire process. Using the amnesty clause means that Arenas’ remaining salary will come of off the team’s salary-cap and luxury-tax totals immediately. Arenas, a close friend of General Manager Otis Smith‘s, was a major disappointment. Although he showed some flashes of the old form that made him a dangerous scorer, Arenas’ left leg caused him significant problems and took away from his jumping ability and his quickness. Arenas also complained how Coach Stan Van Gundywas using him and embarrassed the franchise when he went onto Twitter and made jokes that some people found offensive.
Billups’ agent said his client will retire rather than go to an undesirable destination if he is claimed on secondary waivers.
Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork reports: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Chauncey retired rather than play for a team he wouldn’t want to play for,” said Andy Miller, agent for the 35-year-old point guard. “He doesn’t need the money, his kids are getting to an age where he wants to be an active participant, and he doesn’t need the frustration and instability he’s constantly dealing with. So he may choose not to play.” Miller said his client raised the possibility of retirement after news broke that the Knicks were close to an agreement with Chandler, and that the 14-year veteran playmaker would need to be sacrificed to make the deal possible. Billups didn’t want to leave Denver last February when he was shipped to New York in the Carmelo Anthony trade. “Chauncey’s pissed off, but he’s not pissed at the Knicks,” Miller said. “He understands it’s a business and they have to do what they have to do. But he’s in a very frustrated state of mind because this has happened to him twice now. The way the league is structured, if you’re a hot name and teams have interest in you, you have the ability to manufacture mass hysteria, and guys like Chauncey who put in years of high-level leadership, production, and service get lost.”
Meanwhile, Ric Bucher of ESPN says the Knicks are trying to trade Ronny Turiaf and $3 million to clear more cap room. If the Knicks threw all that cash into a trade, they would not be able to include money in any more deals for a year. The new labor agreement puts a $3 million annual limit on the amount of cash teams can trade.
On the Hamilton buyout, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press tweeted: Don’t have a figure, but source says buyout considerably less than $20 million he is owed over next two years. Hamilton would be a perfect fit for the Chicago Bulls, who pulled Keith Bogans and his non-guaranteed contract off the practice court, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Wojnarowski also broke the news of the details of Thaddeus Young’s new contract with the Philadelphia 76ers: Five years, $42 million.
Also, Toronto acquired Mickael Pietrus from Phoenix for a second round pick. They are becoming the EuroRaptors again. Can’t wait til next year, when young, fresh and fly Big V arrives from Lithuania.
Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida reported that Mario Chalmers is re-signing with the Miami Heat for three years and $12 million.
Also, Tayshaun Prince re-signed with the Detroit Pistons for $28 million over four years, a league source told SheridanHoops.com.
And the Knicks are going to speak with agent David Falk regarding filling their point guard void with Mike Bibby, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.