– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker
BROUSSARD: HOWARD TO ASK FOR TRADE TO NETS
UPDATE 12:55 a.m.: Well, it took about 45 minutes into the official start of the season for the Dwight Howard shoe to drop, so to speak.
Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine dropped the bombshell via Twitter:
Nets have emerged as No. 1 choice for Dwight Howard, multiple sources say. D12 is expected to ask Magic to trade him to NJ.
Nets still pursuing Nene in case deal for Howard falls through. NJ offering Brook Lopez & 2 1st rnd picks, as
@ESPNSteinLine wrote last wk
You knew it was going to come up at some point. But in the first hour of free agency? This is going to be a long day!
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GILBERT WEIGHS IN ON DEAL
UPDATE 12:40 a.m.: What is it with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and his letters during free agency?
He struck again, this time with a letter to the Commissioner expressing his concerns about the proposed monster deal. Yahoo! Sports has the text of the email:
It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.
This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.
Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.
I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).
I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen.
I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.
When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?
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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS: We expected fireworks right around midnight.
They came a few hours early, though, and not in the form of some blockbuster deal or some superstars being swapped in a mega-trade or even some high-profile free agent being the first one to put his signature on the dotted line.
Instead of a jaw-dropping deal taking center stage, the deal that died will be the one remembered from this night. The league squashed a three-team blockbuster that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers.
That makes what should officially be the first day of the 2011-12 NBA season seem almost anti-climactic. The start of training camps all around the league is just hours away. And there will be plenty of free agent signings announced between now and then. There will be a few trades, too.
But nothing on the level of the blockbuster that almost was. And the confusion and craziness that the scuttling of the Paul deal has wrought will no doubt linger. Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and Kevin Martin will join their Rockets teammates at training camp in Houston. Instead of heading to training camp in a new city, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom will join their Lakers teammates in Los Angeles and figure out a way to make it through what will have to be an awkward day.
“When a team trades u and it doesn’t go down? Now what?
That’s what Odom tweeted after the deal disintegrated.
Odom said even more to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times, and as you might have guessed, it’s raw:
Lamar Odom is still a Laker, but he doesn’t sound completely thrilled about it.
Odom admitted that he was “shocked” and “surprised” when told Thursday afternoon that the Lakers agreed to trade him to the New Orleans Hornets as part of a deal for point guard Chris Paul. But this evening when he heard that the NBA had killed the trade, Odom said he was in “total disbelief” over these new developments.
Odom and Pau Gasol had been part of a three-team deal: Paul was coming to the Lakers, Odom was going to the Hornets and Gasol was going to the Houston Rockets, who were going to send Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and draft picks to the Hornets.
But NBA commissioner David Stern, reportedly under pressure from the same owners that just ratified the new collective bargaining agreement, killed the deal. The Hornets are owned by the NBA; the league said they rejected the Paul “trade for basketball reasons.”
“I guess that means I’m a Laker if the trade didn’t go through,” a somber Odom said in a phone interview with The Times. “I don’t know what to do for the Lakers. I’m even weirded out by the league doing what they did. I don’t know what to do.”
Odom said he thought it was “a lie” when he was first told about the trade to New Orleans.
“And then it doesn’t go through,” Odom said. “Oh, lord. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll pray about it.”
The Lakers open training camp Friday at their facility in El Segundo.
“Maybe I’ll see you there tomorrow [at practice],” Odom said. “But I doubt it. You don’t want to go to no place you’re not wanted. I’ll try to give them what they want as much as possible.”
Odom also felt bad for Gasol.
“Imagine how Pau feels,” Odom said. “Pau came to the Lakers and played here for four years, went to the Finals and lost, won two NBA championships and then got swept [by the Dallas Mavericks this year]. Wow! Imagine how he must feel.
“Man, I’m just in total disbelief about all of this,” Odom continued. “They don’t want my services, for whatever reason. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I was proud to be a Laker, so I’ll try to help them in the process as much as possible.”
For all of us that looked forward to this day as the first truly big day of the season since the lockout ended, we’ll get that and a whole lot more.