Paul trade to Lakers quashed
By MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency
|Point guard Chris Paul. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Just when it looked like New Orleans point guard Chris Paul would be joining Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, the league stepped in and vetoed the deal.
Various media outlets were reporting a done deal last night that would see Paul become a Laker, Pau Gasol join the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Goran Dragic all land in the Big Easy.
But later Thursday evening, after a faction of owners complained about a team the league currently owns dealing its marquee player to the big market Lakers, commissioner David Stern declared the trade null and void.
This one isnít over folks.
NBA Training camps open Friday across the league, but with the number of bodies that are going to wind up switching teams before the business day is over, itís unlikely any team is going to have itís full complement of players.
Details of deals from across the league were flooding the Internet Thursday and while none will be made official until at least 2 p.m. Friday, we will endeavour to provide details of the deals most likely to impact league play this winter.
KNICKS BEEF UP THE D
Move over Miami. The New York Knicks have a big three of their own. Already with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in the fold, the Knicks are on the verge of adding defensive stalwart Tyson Chandler.
Chandler, whose defensive presence was a mainstay in the Mavericks championship season in 2010, is among the top free agents available.
Reports Thursday night had Chandler signing in New York for four years at a ballpark figure of $58-million.
For this to happen the Knicks would have to free up some salary with the easy answer being using the amnesty provision on point guard Chauncey Billups, which would get the Knicks very close. Ronny Turiafís contract might also have to be unloaded.
The move would certainly improve the Knicks porous defence but it would also leave the team without even an average point guard. Without any more additions Toney Douglas or rookie Iman Shumpert would run the point.
THE HEAT GET RICHER
The big three will officially add basketballís version of the grade A student today when Shane Battier joins the team.
The cerebral former Dukie made his intentions known on Twitter.
A 10-year vet Battier will give the Heat a much stronger defensive presence not to mention another high percentage shooter.
Itís not all good news in Miami however, as point guard Mario Chalmers isnít prepared to re-up just yet. While Chalmers is a restricted free agent he told reporters Thursday that he will decide Friday whether to remain with the Heat or take another offer elsewhere.
The Heat would have three days to match whatever offer Chalmers accepted in order to retain him.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Caron Butler is also bailing on the championship Mavs and will accept a three-year $24-million offer from the Los Angeles Clippers today where he will join Blake Griffin ... The Pistons seem determined to hang on to their own free agents. Word leaked yesterday that Tayshaun Prince will be staying in Detroit for the next four years for $30 million. Jonas Jerebko will also remain in Detroit. His deal is said to be worth $18-million over four years ... The Milwaukee Bucks will add former Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy will get a two-year $7.5-million deal from the Bucks.