Well, I put the over/under at 5 p.m. EST, and we are still awaiting word on whether the league office will approve an amended version of the three-team trade that would send Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers.
So the over wins.
ESPN was the first to report the re-submission of the deal, and there is no definitive word yet on what additional pieces have been added by the Lakers to give the Hornets more than they were getting in the original trade — Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and the Knicks’ No. 1 pick in 2012.
From Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com: “The Rockets’ part of the trade is exactly the same, with Houston sending Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and a 2012 first-round draft pick to New Orleans, while receiving Pau Gasol from the Lakers. … Both Gasol and Odom were present at the Lakers practice facility Saturday, although Gasol was the only one of the two practicing, according to Lakers spokesman John Black. Odom was undergoing his annual physical. Sources close to the talks told ESPN.com earlier Friday that the Hornets, Lakers and Rockets were hopeful of reconfiguring the trade to the point that Stern, after absorbing heavy and widespread criticism for intervening, signs off this time.”
Stein is also reporting that the Mavericks want to use the huge trade exception they received in the Chandler deal to acquire Samuel Dalembert from Sacramento.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweeted that Lakers Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter would be included in the Paul deal, with Emeka Okafor heading to the Lakers. (Hmmm, how much more expendable would that make Andrew Bynum?)
In other news (aside from the Knicks acquiring Tyson Chandler and surrendering $3 million in cash in the process, which means Jim Dolan’s wallet is no longer a trade asset until July), the Milwaukee Bucks are going to match the four-year, $19 million offer sheet Luc Richard Mbah a Moute signed with the Denver Nuggets earlier today.
From Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “The Bucks have been consistent in saying they wanted to keep Mbah a Moute, the defensive specialist who was the 37th overall pick in the 2008 draft. Mbah a Moute has been a key part in the Bucks defense since his rookie season, often guarding the elite players in the league. He has defended everyone from Kevin Durant to LeBron James to Chris Bosh to New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. After the first few days of training camp in 2008, Bucks coach Scott Skiles pronounced Mbah a Moute as the team’s best on-ball defender. Mbah a Moute appeared in 79 games, including 52 starts, and averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season. He played in 73 games the previous season and in all 82 games as a rookie.
The Knicks used their amnesty provision on Chauncey Billups to get below the salary cap and facilitate the Chandler deal, but Billups is threatening to retire if he is claimed by a team that he does not want to play for.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: “I’ m tired of being the good guy,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports by phone on Saturday afternoon. “I’m tired of being viewed as the guy. After a while, you just kind of get taken advantage of in these situations. I’ve been known as a leader, and I am a leader, but a leader can be as disruptive as he can be productive, especially when you carry a strong voice and people rally around you. This is about me now. This is about me, and teams should know that right now.” … If Billups goes unclaimed, he can sign as a free agent. The Miami Heatwould be a strong possibility for him, among several contenders. Billups, 34, has been one of his generation’s great leaders and players, turning theDetroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets into major contenders. Billups won a title with Detroit in 2004. “I just don’t deserve the treatment that I’ve continually gotten,” Billups said. “Historically, these things never happen to the supposed great players and good guys. They continually happen to me, and it gets old. Listen, I feel I’ve been blessed in the game, and I’ve been given back, but these things start to wear on you. But there’s not another guy in history who keeps dealing with this, getting thrown into these things to make the money right. I really believe it’s because people take my kindness and professionalism for weakness. They think I’ll be OK with this. I won’t be OK with this. I’ve saved my money. I may just retire if I don’t get my freedom here. I want my freedom. My goal is to control my own destiny. And as you’ve seen in my career, I’ve never been in a position to do that. I know some teams out there are saying, ‘Oh, Chauncey will be great in mentoring’ and I’m tired of that. I’ve got a few good years left to play, and I’m not trying to come in and sit on the bench, or be a mentor. I’m not going to be that guy. I want to go somewhere and win. I want to choose.”
Pat Riley made a rare appearance in front of the media in Miami to officially announce the free agent signing of Shane Battier, but perhaps an even bigger piece of news (if it is accurate) is that Eddy Curry is in Heat camp and claims to have lost 70 pounds. Curry would not disclose his actual weight, according to a tweet from Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, who also notes that the Heat have no more exceptions to use this season. Any additions will have to be on minimum contracts.
The Mickael Pietrus-to-Toronto trade has been called off because of a problem with Pietrus’ knee.
From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic: “Pietrus had slight knee swelling after a workout for the Raptors, according to Pietrus’ agent Bill McCandless. McCandless said the trade has been “postponed” and that Pietrus did not fail his Friday physical exam. He said the Raptors medical staff determined that Pietrus needed two to four more weeks to be cleared for play. Toronto will likely move another direction to fill the roster slot. Toronto’s doctors flagged something they saw in Pietrus’ MRI exam on his right knee, which underwent minor surgery this summer after he missed the final 12 games of the last Suns season too. The Suns had agreed to send Pietrus, who will make $5.3 million this season, to Toronto with cash for a conditional second-round pick. McCandless said Pietrus now plans to return to Phoenix, join the Suns and undergo rehabilitation on the knee.
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports via Twitter that Hawks coach Larry Drew said Atlanta would have interest in Gilbert Arenas if he clears secondary waivers after being amnestied by Orlando. Atlanta is capped out and can not make a bid on Arenas.