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.