Chris Paul and Kobe in the Lakers back court? The three team deal between Houston, New Orleans and Los Angeles is dead. Well, maybe not Los Angeles, just the Lakers. As the LA Times first reported, the Clippers jumped into the fray, withdrew and are now back negotiating. Since the Hornets are owned by the NBA, the Clippers continue negotiations with the NBA front office. While Paul may still be on the move, Dwight Howard now appears happy staying in Orlando. The recent news has Kobe wondering why thus far all the Lakers have done is lose Lamar Odom?
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The rub on the Clippers end is the league wanting them to part with not only three potential starters, but also what could turn out to be the first pick in the NBA draft from Minnesota. It seems Los Angeles was considering things when Eric Bledsoe, not Eric Gordon was involved, but Bledsoe's injury, which will keep him out up to two months, is the hold up. The Clippers did add guard Chauncey Billups, perhaps as a backup plan to Paul, or maybe to entice Paul to join what looks to be a team with playoff potential. As we told you yesterday, LA did match the offer sheet to keep center DeAndre Jordan. Some believe it was a bit steep, but if Kaman departs in a deal, it was a must.
In Orlando, Dwight Howard is now speaking more about his love for Orlando than insisting on a trade. Its unknown if he will be receptive to a contract extension and/or he wants to assist the Magic in adding some pieces that will help Orlando in the long term. New Jersey, offering center Brook Lopez and a pair of first round draft choices is beginning to believe they must look at plan B, and C and so on.
He just signed a contract for nearly $10 million dollars, but now Boston forward Jeff Green is not healthy enough to practice. Perhaps with Green's health in mind, the Celtics were close to a sign and trade deal with Charlotte for forward David West, but that fell through. Indiana was the beneficiary, signing the power big for two years for $20 million dollars. The Pacers also completed a deal that fell victim to the trade deadline earllier this year, acquiring guard O.J. Mayo from Memphis for free agent to be big man Josh McRoberts and guard Brandon Rush. Staying with the Grizzlies, as everyone expected, they extended a long term deal to free agent center Marc Gasol. Memphis now has the front court of Gasol, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay for the next four seasons.
It's hard to figure why Minnesota signed free agent guard J.J. Barea. Hard to believe because the Timberwolves finally lured Ricky Rubio from Europe and cleared the way by trading the other dozen or so point guards they had on their roster. Barea's presence will make fellow point Luke Ridnour available via trade. Dallas has now lost Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and Barea to free agency, but took another step towards replenishment signing free agent guard Delonte West. West joins fellow newcomer Lamar Odom. Expect guard Rudy Fernandez to be dealt as the Mavs are still need front court help for Dirk.
The Knicks made arguably the biggest splash thus far by adding center Tyson Chandler to an imposing front court of Amare Stoudamire and Carmelo Anthony. New York certainly has a void at guard and is interested in Atlanta free agent Jamal Crawford. Squeezing him into the cap will be a challenge, perhaps a one year deal with more down the road may be in the offering.
Surprise, surprise, Baron Davis is injured and not participating in training camp at Cleveland. Could this be preliminary to amnesty?
While many of the top free agent's are now spoken for, a number of teams have plenty of cash to burn. Denver, New Jersey, Sacramento and Indiana have between $10 and $20 million available. The Nuggets cap room depends on if they can retain free agent center Nene. Guard Rodney Stuckey and forward Carl Landry appear the top players at their respective positions still available, we'll recap it all later this week.
Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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