3:40 p.m. Eastern
-Portland has used its amnesty on the retiring Brandon Roy and the Nets used its amnesty on Travis Outlaw. Both players are now former Blazers.
-Golden State signed F Dominic McGuire.
1:55 p.m. Eastern
-Jamal Crawford will make $10 million over two years, says Ken Berger, with the second year a player option.
-Despite verbally agreeing to a two-year deal with the Nets worth $6 million, Adrian Wojnarowski says the Knicks have not stopped recruiting Shawne Williams. Playing dirty?
1:40 p.m. Eastern
-Jamal Crawford has chosen the Blazers over the Kings, according to Sam Amick.
-Jerome Jordan signed a two-year deal with the Knicks and former UConn standout Jeff Adrien signed a two-year deal with Houston.
12:20 p.m. Eastern
-New Jersey signed Shawne Williams to the same two-year, $5 million deal the Knicks offered, says Ken Berger. *The Nets also announced the signing of big Ime Udoka. Sacramento is also interested in Andre Kirilenko in addition to the Nets, says Sam Amick.
-The Knicks announced the signing of Jerome Jordan. Mo Evans, Michael Redd and Troy Murphy are next on the team’s wish list, says Alan Hahn.
11:50 a.m. Eastern
-New Jersey was not only able to pry Shawne Williams away from the Knicks, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the team is trying to close out a deal with free agent, and Mikhail Prokhorov pal, Andrei Kirilenko. *With Jamal Crawford and Williams out of the picture, New York will try to lure Maurice Evans with the team’s $2.5 million exception.
-New Orleans re-signed Carl Landry to a one-year deal worth about $9 million, choosing the Hornets over Portland and New Jersey.
-Orlando re-signed Earl Clark for two years, as the young big chose the Magic over Denver.
Wednesday night’s completed Chris Paul trade from the Hornets to the Clippers sent shockwaves throughout the NBA on both coasts, directly or indirectly exactly half the league’s teams.
The first two teams that were affected, the Clippers and the Hornets, are pretty obvious ones. Acquiring Paul has turned the Clippers into Los Angeles’ ugly step-child of a basketball team into a household name and a legitimate threat to do some damage in the Western Conference over the two years Paul is guaranteed to be with the Clips.
Commissioner David Stern, who was the de-facto project manager (in Celebrity Apprentice terms) for this trade, needed to get a maximum haul after what he did to the Lakers and Rockets (more on them soon) and Stern did just that. Stern slashed payroll, making New Orleans more attractive to the next owners of the team, an acquired young talent in Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu, a quality center in Chris Kaman and Minnesota’s 2012 pick, guaranteed to be a top 10 selection in a loaded draft. However, since Stern did cancel the original three-team trade a wee ago, the Chris Paul trade fiasco has affected so many more teams. Here are the six degrees:
1) The Lakers were set to move forward- Los Angeles’ most popular team is the obvious third team affected by Paul. They were going to have Paul for the next several years to make an excellent sidekick for Kobe Bryant for the rest of Bryant’s career. They were then going to try to package Andrew Bynum to Orlando (that’s four) for Dwight Howard, giving them a much better Big Three than even Miami’s triumvirate. But now that Paul is a Clipper, the Lakers have much better assets to give to the Magic than the Nets (that’s five), who tried to offer Orlando Brook Lopez and a reported five first-round picks to no avail. When the Howard trade talk picks back up again, the Lakers will be in the thick of it with better assets to offer than New Jersey because their Paul deal was shamelessly rejected by the league.
2) Lamar Odom’s departure and the domino effect- We’re not done with the Lakers, because there are more layers of impact to uncover with LA. The Paul trade that was not irreparably harmed the team’s relationship with Lamar Odom (and Kardashian spouse), who was set to go to New Orleans and have their E! reality show become a year-long booze filled, disgruntled Mardi Gras. Instead, Mitch Kupchak had to dump Odom on Dallas (that’s six), who traded just a first-round pick for the reigning 6th man of the year.
To replace Odom on the roster, the Lakers signed underrated big man Josh McRoberts, who was no longer needed in the Indiana (that’s seven) lineup because the Pacers had just signed former Hornet David West. However, Indiana had a different plan for McRoberts. He was in a proposed deal with Memphis (that’s eight) which would have brought O.J. Mayo to Indiana. The Grizzlies weren’t liking the deal too much, but it certainly wouldn’t happen after McRoberts replaced Odom in Los Angeles.
3) Houston’s ruined three-year plan- When Yao Ming’s career was coming to a tragic end, Rockets (that’s nine, it’ll be tied in soon) GM Daryl Morey began to assemble quality young pieces which would eventually be cashed in on a superstar via trade. Kevin Martin and Luis Scola made Houston an exciting team to watch, but we always knew that Morey had bigger plans.
When the Rockets emerged as the third team in the Chris Paul trade and Houston was set to acquire Pau Gasol, it all made sense. Stern’s rejection of the deal ruined Morey’s plan. Having Martin and Scola off the books would have freed up the cap space to sign Nene, who would have left Denver (that’s 10) to form an imposing Rockets front line with Gasol. It was going to happen. Instead, Nene re-signed with Denver and allowed the Nuggets to keep its all important inside presence. Since Houston could not get Pau Gasol, they signed his little brother Marc Gasol (a restricted free agent) to a max offer sheet, which was (as expected) almost immediately matched by Memphis.
4) New York’s new plan- The Knicks (that’s 11) had been Paul’s preferred destination for the past couple of years and he was going to opt out of his contract after next season to sign with New York. When trading Paul was beyond the point of no return for New Orleans, the Knicks knew they didn’t have the pieces to deal for Paul and wisely went in another direction to improve their team.
In a surprise move, the Knicks were able to snatch Tyson Chandler in a three-team trade with Dallas, who ended up with Odom, and Washington (that’s 12), who was able to get a quality bench big in Ronny Turiaf out of the process. To make room for Chandler, New York had to use its amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups, who ended up being claimed by the Clippers. So instead of being traded in a deal for Paul, Billups gets to be teammates with Paul. The Knicks then replaced Billups at point guard with Mike Bibby, who along with Chandler, end up being the consolation prize for not getting CP3.
5) Boston’s relationship with Rondo- Before the Clippers, or really the Lakers, got involved, the Celtics (that’s 13) were in heavy talks to parlay Rondo and perhaps another piece like Jeff Green, for Paul. Whether Boston would like to admit it or not, putting Rondo in all these rumors could make him question his status on the team and whether he’s truly wanted as the next franchise cornerstone (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen aren’t going to be around forever) or is just a trade chip as Boston looks for its next superstar. The Paul rumors only perpetuated the theory that the team only wants to pawn off Rondo, which could permanently damage the team-player relationship.
6) Golden State’s golden opportunity gone awry- Before the Clippers emerged as a legitimate threat to deal for Paul, the Warriors (that’s 14) could have centered a deal around Stephen Curry, who New Orleans liked even more than Eric Gordon as a trade asset, and sharpshooting rookie Klay Thompson and acquired Paul. But Golden State balked at the deal because they didn’t know how long Paul would stay in the Bay Area, so they moved on.
As their flawed Plan B, Golden State signed big man DeAndre Jordan (a restricted free agent) to an offer sheet, which was (as expected) quickly matched by the Clippers. To clear the cap space needed to offer Jordan a contract, the Warriors had to use its amnesty clause on Charlie Bell and renounce its rights to Reggie Williams, who signed a two-year deal with Charlotte (that’s 15). The Warriors’ Plan C was to sign Kwame Brown away from Charlotte for an overpriced $7 million, and the Bobcats replaced him with Melvin Ely.
So the Paul trade had a much larger impact than had ever been anticipated. Now that it’s over, we can finally look forward to the start of the regular season, which now starts in just 10 short days.