Freaky Friday in the NBA

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (R) talks with New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul during the first...

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (R) talks with New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, in this February 20, 2009 file photo. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files)

Ryan Wolstat, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 PM ET

It wasn’t as bizarre as Thursday, that would be impossible, but Friday saw a few twists and turns in the NBA world as well.

A lot of money was handed out — some of it foolishly — Chris Paul and Lamar Odom surprisingly reported to their teams’ training camps, albeit briefly and talks were revived aiming to send Paul to the Lakers after all.

New Orleans general manager Dell Demps apparently has now been given the green light to try to make another swap.

“It would be real easy if Chris signed the extension but the reality is he didn’t sign the extension (to remain in New Orleans long-term), so we have to do everything we can for the organization,” Demps told reporters.

“I wish he’d stay. I’m not going to lie about it.

No kidding, but nobody expects that’s how this saga will end up.

Which is for the best, considering how ridiculous it was for David Stern to strike down a completed deal that was actually more than adequate for all the teams involved.

Former Raptor Jarrett Jack, a close friend of Paul’s, talked about the uneasiness that is pervading Hornets camp.

“I don’t think he feels any type of way about being here or not. It was just, ‘Am I traded? Am I not traded? Is it until tomorrow?’’ Jack said.

“It was just a state of confusion and going through something that we’ve never heard of before. I’ve never heard of anything like that.”

Meanwhile, the league apparently is investigating New Jersey for allegedly tampering with superstar centre Dwight Howard, of the Orlando Magic. The Magic considered pursuing tampering charges against the Houston Rockets as well, before deciding otherwise but warned that they find any proof of wrongdoing by any teams in pursuit of Howard, they will respond accordingly.

AMNESTY WATCH

To the surprise of well, nobody, Gilbert Arenas is the first official victim of the NBA’s amnesty provision. Arenas was set to eat up a whopping $19.2 million U.S., $20.8 million and $22.3 million against the cap over the next three seasons.

Though he will still be paid, dropping Arenas allows the Magic to use the mid-level exception to upgrade in order to try to convince Howard to stay.

The team also engineered a sign-and-trade to bring Howard’s friend Glen Big Baby Davis over from Boston in exchange for Brandon Bass.

Richard Jefferson is also expected to be an amnesty victim, though San Antonio has not yet made it official.

In Detroit, Rip Hamilton will not be amnestied, but according to the Associated Press, will accept a buyout in order to pick his next team.

Finally, the Knicks are expected to amnesty Chauncey Billups in order to open up the space to sign Tyson Chandler to a four-year contract worth about $58 million.

Billups has warned that he might retire if a team he does not want to play for picks him up off of the waiver wire.

Cleveland’s Baron Davis is another amnesty possibility.

ROY DONE

Brandon Roy’s career appears to be finished. And that’s a shame.

Roy’s knee problems have been well chronicled for years (the Raptors passed on him largely because of medical red flags), but the news that he would be retiring due to degenerative knees came out of the blue.

Earlier this week Portland had been trying to decide whether to use the amnesty clause on Roy or not and he was able to suit up for the playoffs last season.

The all-star guard was limited to 12.2 points per game in 47 appearances last season, but averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists and a steal per game over his five season career.

Portland loses its best player, but will also shed his salary starting next season.

In other tough Blazers news, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian, centre Greg Oden has suffered yet another setback.

Oden has restructured his one-year $8 million-plus deal to account for the fact that he might be out again for a considerable period.

The big man and former No. 1 overall selection has missed the bulk of his career due to injuries.

AROUND THE RIM

After being bought out by Phoenix, Vince Carter has been linked to the Dallas Mavericks … New Jersey has emerged as the front-runner to land Nene, but other teams also remain in the mix ... Grant Hill will return to the Phoenix Suns. Hill will ink a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Suns, who opened up cap space by dealing Mickael Pietrus to the Raptors. Hill is the NBA’s second-oldest player at 39, but averaged 15.8 points per game in 2010-11 … Miami has retained small forward James Jones and point guard Mario Chalmers. The team previously added Shane Battier and Eddy Curry on Thursday … Sacramento spent big on Friday, re-signing high-scoring guard Marcus Thornton to a puzzling five year, $40-million extension and inking big man Chuck Hayes to a more logical four-year, $21.3 million deal … The NBA has pushed back the trade deadline to March 15 … Golden State is rumoured to be preparing an offer sheet to Clippers restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan worth $10 million a season … Thaddeus Young has agreed to a five-year, $42 million extension to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers.


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