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Rants, References, and Revelations

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Everyone was expecting a wild opening to this compressed free-agency period but this seems to have surpassed all expectations. These most of these links will probably be out-of-date within minutes but here’s where things stand so far.

- Thursday night, the framework of a trade was agreed upon to send Chris Paul to the Lakers with Pau Gasol moving to Houston and Lamar Odom, Luis Scola and Kevin Martin going back to New Orleans. Soon after trade was announced, the league (which owns the Hornets) stepped in and blocked the trade. I was recording a podcast with Tim Donahue as this was unfolding and he was of the mind that the league would eventually have to allow the trade to go through. If the league’s argument is that this didn’t represent fair trade value for Paul than they’ve put themselves in a tough position. Realistically a better deal isn’t likely. Which means that Paul plays out the season and leaves in free agency stranding the Hornets. Or they accept a lesser deal and open themselves up to the criticism that blocking the trade was solely about preventing the Lakers from putting Kobe and Paul together. This is a gigantic mess and it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

- Dwight Howard has asked the Magic for a trade to New Jersey. He also reportedly met with Nets’ officials on Thursday night which would have been in violation of team rules. 

- Tyson Chandler has left the Mavericks and signed on to play center for the Knicks. I can’t decide what’s more likely – Chandler transforms the Knicks into a contender, or Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire see this as an excuse to exert even less effort on defense, undoing whatever benefit he provides.

- Caron Butler agreed to a 4 yr., 29 million dollar contract with the Clippers. My guess is that two years from now this is used as an example of how the owners did nothing to change their habit of ridiculous gambling on free agents.

- Shane Battier and Eddy Curry are headed to Miami. Battier makes so much sense for them. Curry makes none.

- Glen Davis is headed to Orlando in exchange for Brandon Bass. That’s a steal for the Celtics, write it down.

- Grant Hill is headed back to Phoenix on a one year deal.

- The Kings lavished 5 years and 40 million dollars on Marcus Thornton. We’ll see how his “pure scoring” ability fits in with their other “pure scorers” Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette. They also dropped another 20 million on Chuck Hayes. The signing of these two guys isn’t as troubling as the amount of money spent on them. I’d be feeling a little queasy today if I was a Kings fan.

- Tayshaun Prince was re-signed by Detroit. What?

- In the saddest news of the day, Brandon Roy announced his retirement. I legitimately feel awful for him, his family, the fans in Portland, and anyone who likes watching professional basketball.

A few non-free agency links:

Matt Moore thinks this free agency might be Vince Carter’s last chance at redemption. As they say in the harbormaster business, “I think that ship has sailed.”

- Some of the specifics parameters for the new amnesty clause appear to have been settled. Zach Lowe has the details.

- If you’re a Pacers fans with a taste for amateur podcasts with questionable sound quality and an even more questionable host, then I’ve got a treat for you. I’ve started a new Pacers-centric podcast, Pacers Parlance. The first two episodes are up, interviews with Tom Lewis of Indy Cornrows and Tim Donahue of Eight Points Nine Seconds.

- My favorite piece of the week comes from Aaron McGuire at Gothic Ginobili. It’s a study in which he looks at the injury patterns of teams and relates them to coaches. Players who play for Byron Scott seem to miss games due to injury at a much higher rate than those of other teams. Could Chris Paul‘s knee have been saved by a coach who didn’t work his players quite as hard in practice?

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