NBA: A wild day of moves
The NBA notebook …
The NBAís amnesty era is under way.
Taking advantage of the leagueís 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 ó a precursor to adding Tyson Chandler as a free agent from the champion Dallas Mavericks.
There was Dwight Howard trade talk, widespread reaction over the NBAís 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 season.
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. A number of teams worked out with very small groups, barely enough to play even 3-on-3 in some cases.
ěItís good to be back on the court, to hear the balls bouncing and see your teammates,î Heat forward LeBron James said. ěItís a great day to be back.î
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. 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.
ěIím glad heís with us and not against us,î 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. Orlando was close to making one trade, working on finalizing a deal to acquire Glen Davis from the Boston Celtics for Brandon Bass.
ěBaby was terrific for us. He was,î Celtics coach Doc Rivers said about Davis. ěIt will be different. We had an emotional conversation. I wish him well.î
A day after the Paul trade fell apart, the All-Star guard showed up for work in New Orleans. In Los Angeles, Pau Gasol ó another part of the deal, he was to be sent to Houston ó 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 Mitch Kupchak.
On Friday, though, it seems Paul could be soon on the move again.
ěWeíre talking about everything. Everything is on the table,î Hornets general manager Dell Demps said.
In Phoenix, 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 Carterís contract was guaranteed anyway. The Suns also added guards Shannon Brown and Sebastian Telfair, who tweeted a picture of his new jersey and said, ěIím back. Thank god!!!! So blessed.î
In Miami, point guard Mario Chalmers agreed to a new deal.
In Portland, the news of the day was grim. 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 ěsuffered a setback.î
Oden has played in only 82 games in his first four seasons while dealing with major knee issues.
ěIím obviously disappointed with the setback, but Iím as determined as ever to return to the court,î Oden said. ěI appreciate the support of the Trail Blazers and our fans and that they continue to stand behind me.î
The Sacramento 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, whoís 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 contract.
The Lakers signed sharpshooter Jason Kapono, a two-time winner of the leagueís 3-point shootout contest at All-Star weekend. Itís a homecoming for Kapono, a Long Beach, Calif. native who played his college basketball at UCLA.
Philadelphia is keeping Thaddeus Young, who finished third in voting for the leagueís sixth-man award last season, with the sides announcing a tentative agreement.
Detroit re-signed Tayshaun Prince to what was expected to be a $27 million, four-year contract.
There were reports the Pistons were reaching a buyout with longtime guard Richard Hamilton, with a possible landing spot for him being Chicago ó where incumbent shooting guard Keith Bogans was not practicing as the Bulls opened training camp.
Roger Mason, a key figure in the lockout talks throughout the offseason, signed with the Washington Wizards, announcing his move on Twitter.