Posted on: November 25, 2008 10:06 am
Edited on: November 25, 2008 12:42 pm
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Mobley holding up Knicks-Clippers trade (UPDATE)

An apparent health issue involving Cuttino Mobley is holding up completion of the Knicks-Clippers trade that sent Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to L.A. for Mobley and Tim Thomas.

Mobley and Thomas did not practice with the Knicks Monday, with the team saying "paperwork" on their physicals hadn't been completed. Mobley evidently has a long-standing heart issue that the teams he's played for have been aware of. It's never been an issue before, but the Knicks are doing their due diligence. They have until 6:30 p.m. EST to complete the trade, which can be voided if any player involved fails his physical.

The Knicks are extremely unlikely to scrap a trade that alllowed them to dump Randolph's $48 million remaining over three years.

UPDATED 12:42 p.m. EST: A person familiar with the trade negotiations told CBSSports.com that Mobley's heart condition was widely known among team executives -- including Walsh -- and that the Knicks president could be trying to squeeze something else out of the Clippers. (Walsh covets Marcus Camby, whom Mike Dunleavy wouldn't part with in the initial deal that was agreed to Friday. Short of that, Walsh would like a draft pick since the Knicks' first-round pick in 2010 is committed to Utah.)

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cautioned that Dunleavy would not sweeten the trade offer and "would walk away from the deal instead." This is a negotiating tactic more than anything. The Knicks do not want to jeopardize the cap-dumping benefit of trading Randolph. Mobley signed a waiver on the heart condition with his current contract, so the Knicks would have no financial risk. It's unlikely to be an issue anyway, as Mobley has never missed a game in his 11-year career due to the condition.


 


Category: NBA
Posted on: November 24, 2008 7:32 pm
 

What about the new-look Warriors?

All anyone can talk about in the aftermath of the Knicks/Clippers/Warriors trades is how it affects the Knicks and their pursuit of LeBron James. All well and good, and clearly the newsiest angle.

But what about the Warriors? What are they going to do with Jamal Crawford and the $19.5 million left on his contract over the next two years -- if he doesn't opt out next July? More to the point, who is making the decisions in Golden State? This afternoon I spoke with Warriors GM Chris Mullin, who isn't concerned about his future at all -- because he is never concerned about things, even with the writing clearly on the wall.

"My situation is, my contract expires June 30," Mullin said in a phone interview. "I'm comfortable with that and how it plays out, I'm not quite sure. In the meantime, a lot of people talk about living one day at a time. I actually do, so I don't really get caught up in looking too far ahead. That's usually when I'm the most effective, when I stay in the moment. So for me, it's not really a thought at all. I know it gets speculated upon, but a lot of those things work themselves out naturally. In the meantime, I'm just trying to make the team better so I'm focused on that."

It's been apparent for some time that Al Harrington would not be a part of the plans in Golden State; he first asked to be traded, and specifically to the Knicks, back in April. Don Nelson essentially told Mullin that in exchange for Harrington, he wanted a locked-in, every-night scorer, either at the small forward or guard positions. Small ball is all well and good, but Nellie needed someone to score -- while Monta Ellis is recovering from his moped accident and after he returns. Crawford fits the bill, and gives Nelson the ability to play two bigs against some of the bigger Western Conference teams (Portland, the Lakers) without sacrificing a scoring punch. So there you go.

The game on everyone's mind Tuesday will be the Knicks hosting LeBron at Madison Square Garden. For those who like the road less traveled, there's always NBA League Pass and the new-look Warriors at the Wizards in coach Ed Tapscott's debut.

Category: NBA
Posted on: November 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2008 4:42 pm
 

My real intro ... and the LeBron countdown

Wow, talk about a "what have you done for me lately" business. You spend years building a reputation and your first day on a new job there's a sign hanging in your cubicle that says, "Amateur."

This really isn't a cubicle, of course. It's my ability level as a CBSSports.com blogger. My new bosses say this will change, that as I blog more, I will get closer to that elusive "superstar" status. I guess I'll let you be the judge of that.

I've been reading your site. A lot. You guys obviously know what you're doing here. I'm just here to add to it and make it better.

This would be a good time to tell you who I am. (I was going to do this three hours ago, but Eddie Jordan got fired.) I'm your new NBA columnist. I have been beamed down from the planet Newsday, a print and online publication I've been reading for about 30 years and working for the past eight.

I won't bore you with the details. If you want to find out more about me, read this. If you want to see where I stand on certain issues, read these. Sorry for the informal intro, but we have stuff to get to.

I'm joining CBSSports.com just in time for the LeBron in 2010 sweepstakes to take on a life of its own tomorrow night when the King descends upon Madison Square Garden for the first time since Donnie Walsh cleared $27 million in cap space for him. The last time LBJ played at MSG, he rang up 50 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. And then some nutcase ran onto the court to congratulate him. (No, it wasn't me.)

As I sift through the aftermath of the Knicks' red-carpet deals for LeBron -- Jamal Crawford for Al Harrington and Zach Randolph/Mardy Collins for Cuttino Mobley/Tim Thomas -- I can't help but recall what Cavs coach Mike Brown had to say about all of this last Tuesday night in New Jersey.

A small version of the New York media swarm gathered around him before the Cavs played the Nets, and asked what Brown thought about half the NBA clearing cap space for his prized possession, as if they were thieves casing LeBron's mansion in Booth Bath Township.

"They can clear all the cap space they want," Brown said. "We're trying to win now."

Until now, the Knicks were just another team that could talk the talk about LeBron in 2010.  Should be an interesting time tomorrow.

Category: NBA
Posted on: November 24, 2008 10:56 am
Edited on: November 24, 2008 7:08 pm
 

Hello me, good-bye Eddie Jordan (UPDATE)

Wow, first day on the job and I’ve already gotten a coach fired.

P.J. Carlesimo got canned over the weekend, and now comes word from D.C. that the Wizards have fired Eddie Jordan after a 1-10 start. Ed Tapscott, the team’s director of player development and a longtime assistant and confidant to G.M. Ernie Grunfeld, takes over as coach.

I guess Ernie didn’t take too kindly to injured star Gilbert Arenasrecent statement that last place isn’t the worst place in the world to be – especially in the NBA, where there’s a draft lottery.

According to a person familiar with the situation, associate head coach Mike O'Koren also was let go.

As the Washington Post points out, Tapscott traveled with the team and essentially served as an extra assistant coach. According to a person who knows him well, coaching isn’t in Tapscott’s long-term plans. He was the logical interim choice for Grunfeld, who goes back to his Knicks days with Tapscott. (Tapscott was the Knicks’ director of player personnel when the team infamously drafted Frederic Weis over Ron Artest.)

This firing is as curious as they come. Just a month ago, the Wizards picked up Jordan’s option for 2009-10, and he finished seventh in the coach-of-the-year voting last season.  One name that has to shoot to the top of the list of candidates for Jordan’s long-term replacement is Avery Johnson, who was fired by the Mavericks last May and replaced by Rick Carlisle.

Oh, by the way: I’m your new NBA columnist. I was going to introduce myself sooner, but more important things got in the way. More on that later.

UPDATED 7:08 p.m. Some interesting details and angles have emerged after the Jordan firing. First, the Washington Post reports that Jordan was informed of the decision around 8 a.m. -- after he and his wife finished handing out Thanksgiving turkeys to the needy. Gobble gobble!

Second, it's unclear how much of a role Arenas' recent comments about last place not being all that bad played into this. Management evidently was less concerned about the job Jordan was doing with the depleted talent he had than it was about the lack of fight and desire the team had shown recently. Exhibit A was a putrid defensive performance Saturday night in which Washington gave up 122 points to the Knicks, who only had seven players available.

A person familiar with the Wizards' thinking disputed the notion (floated above) that Avery Johnson would be in the mix here. Grunfeld said Tapscott will coach the rest of the season. Then every unemployed coach (there will be more then) will be jockeying for position. (Every one except Jeff Van Gundy, who lost an infamous power struggle to Grunfeld in New York).

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com