Welcome back! A wild NBA day of personnel moves
The NBA’s amnesty era is under way.
Taking advantage of the league’s new get-out-of-a-contract card,
the Orlando Magic waived Gilbert Arenas and the $62 million he was
owed over the next three seasons as one of the very first moves
after the lockout formally ended, and the New York Knicks were
preparing to use the clause on Chauncey Billups – a precursor to
adding Tyson Chandler as a free agent from the champion Dallas
There was Dwight Howard trade talk, widespread reaction over the
NBA’s decision to reject a proposed trade of Chris Paul to the Los
Angeles Lakers, and dozens of moves in short order as teams worked
briskly to start filling their rosters for a rapidly approaching
And finally, rookies could become, well, rookies. Kyrie Irving,
the No. 1 pick this year, signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as
did No. 4 pick Tristan Thompson. In Minnesota, No. 2 pick Derrick
Williams practiced with the expectation his deal would be signed no
later than Saturday, and Utah signed, among others, No. 3 pick Enes
A number of teams worked out with very small groups, barely
enough to play even 3-on-3 in some cases.
”It’s good to be back on the court, to hear the balls bouncing
and see your teammates,” Heat forward LeBron James said. ”It’s a
great day to be back.”
The biggest news was likely yet to come, and New York was in the
epicenter of speculation.
Chandler was on his way to New York, though was not yet a member
of the Knicks. A person with knowledge of the Knicks’ plans told
The Associated Press that the team is planning to use the amnesty
clause to waive Billups and possibly make other moves before having
the ability to free up space for Chandler and what could be a $58
million deal over four years.
”I’m glad he’s with us and not against us,” Knicks forward
Amare Stoudemire said about Chandler.
Howard showed up for the start of Magic camp, amid reports that
he was seeking a trade to New Jersey.
”As of right now,” Howard said, ”I’m here.”
Orlando was close to making one trade, working on finalizing a
deal to acquire Glen Davis from the Boston Celtics for Brandon
”Baby was terrific for us. He was,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers
said about Davis. ”It will be different. We had an emotional
conversation. I wish him well.”
The Magic made a slew of other moves, including the signings of
veteran guard Larry Hughes and former Boston draft pick Gabe
Boston finalized its trade with Milwaukee, acquiring guard Keyon
Dooling and a protected 2012 second-round draft pick from the
Bucks. The move helps Milwaukee clear salary cap space. The Bucks
also get the rights to forward/center Albert Miralles.
Arenas still gets his money, of course – amnesty only means that
teams can rid themselves of salary for cap and luxury-tax
Teams could begin signing players and completing other
transactions at 2 p.m. Friday, with most set to begin practice
shortly afterward. The lockout lasted more than five months,
leading to a shortened 66-game season that starts on Christmas Day.
With about two weeks to set rosters, teams were expected to make
dozens of moves Friday.
A day after the Paul trade fell apart, the All-Star guard showed
up for work in New Orleans. In Los Angeles, Pau Gasol – another
part of the deal, he was to be sent to Houston – was at Lakers
camp. Lamar Odom, who was presumed to be bound for New Orleans,
showed up more than 90 minutes late for that first practice of the
post-Phil Jackson-era, then left after meeting with general manager
On Friday, though, it seems Paul could be soon on the move
”We’re talking about everything. Everything is on the table,”
Hornets general manager Dell Demps said.
In Phoenix, a person with knowledge of the deal told The AP that
Grant Hill is returning to the Suns on a $6.5 million, one-year
deal, and later, the team announced that Vince Carter was waived.
That move was expected, and only $4 million of Carter’s contract
was guaranteed anyway. The Suns also added guards Shannon Brown and
Sebastian Telfair, who tweeted a picture of his new jersey and
said, ”I’m back. Thank god!!!! So blessed.”
In Miami, point guard Mario Chalmers was smiling as he signed a
new deal that could be worth up to $12 million over three years,
swingman James Jones and forward Juwan Howard agreed to new
contracts and center Eddy Curry – who has played in 10 games over
the last three years – arrived to formally join the East champions
The Heat practiced with only six available players while
contracts were getting finalized. Mike Miller (hernia) and Eddie
House (left knee) are under contract, but recovering from offseason
”Excited to be a Heat. Miami, thank you for our welcome, we’ll
do our best,” new Heat forward Shane Battier wrote on Twitter late
Friday, just after he signed.
In Portland, the news of the day was grim and kept coming in
The Blazers were told guard Brandon Roy will not play this
season because of knee problems, and there were widespread reports
that Roy is retiring. And while Portland re-signed oft-injured
center Greg Oden, it did so while saying he has ”suffered a
Oden has played in only 82 games in his first four seasons while
dealing with major knee issues, and the Blazers are bracing for him
to potentially miss this entire season as well.
”I’m obviously disappointed with the setback, but I’m as
determined as ever to return to the court,” Oden said. ”I
appreciate the support of the Trail Blazers and our fans and that
they continue to stand behind me.”
Blazers forward-center LaMarcus Aldridge will miss about a week,
the team said, after undergoing a procedure ”to evaluate the
status of the electrical system in his heart.” Aldridge had a
similar procedure in 2007.
A person familiar with the decision said the Sacramento Kings
agreed to a $21.3 million, four-year deal with free agent center
Chuck Hayes. The team also re-signed free agent guard Marcus
Thornton for $31 million over four years. Thornton averaged 21.3
points in 27 games with the Kings last season after getting traded
from New Orleans.
Plus, the Kings completed the signing of No. 10 pick and former
BYU star Jimmer Fredette.
For San Antonio, T.J. Ford was on the training camp roster, as
was Richard Jefferson, who’s widely believed to be an another
amnesty candidate. The Los Angeles Clippers completed the signing
of Caron Butler for a reported $24 million, three-year
The Lakers signed sharpshooter Jason Kapono, a two-time winner
of the league’s 3-point shootout contest at All-Star weekend. It’s
a homecoming for Kapono, a Long Beach, Calif., native who played
his college basketball at UCLA. And another former 3-point shootout
champion, Daequan Cook, agreed to terms on a $6.5-million, two-year
deal to stay with Oklahoma City.
Philadelphia is keeping Thaddeus Young, who finished third in
voting for the league’s sixth-man award last season, with the sides
announcing a tentative agreement. Dallas announced the signing of
free agent forward Brandan Wright, a former first-round pick.
The Detroit Pistons are set to part ways with Richard Hamilton.
General manager Joe Dumars said Friday night the team has reached a
”verbal agreement” and indicated a buyout would be forthcoming.
The 33-year-old Hamilton spent the last nine seasons with the
Pistons, leading them to the 2004 NBA title.
”Once it’s official, then I can get more detailed about why
buyout instead of amnesty,” Dumars said.
Later Friday night, a message appeared on Hamilton’s Twitter
account: ”Thank u to all my Detroit fans. Love all of u. U will
always have a special place in my heart. Yessssssirrrrr”
A possible landing spot for him might be Chicago, where
incumbent shooting guard Keith Bogans was not practicing as the
Bulls opened training camp.
Detroit re-signed Tayshaun Prince to what was expected to be a
$27 million, four-year contract. The Pistons added four players –
Jake Voskuhl, Kareem Rush, Walker Russell Jr. and Brian Hamilton –
to their training camp roster, and re-signed forward forward Jonas
Jerebko. He partially ruptured his right Achilles tendon in the
Pistons’ first preseason game at Miami last year, missing the
Atlanta re-signed center Jason Collins, and added a trio of
veterans in Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic and training-camp
addition Jerry Stackhouse, who has played for six previous NBA
Roger Mason, a key figure in the lockout talks throughout the
offseason, signed with the Washington Wizards, announcing his move
on Twitter. And Toronto completed a deal with center Jamaal
Magloire, the first Canadian-born player to sign with the
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