NBA amnesty, trades, and vetoes: Day 1

NBA amnesty, trades, and vetoes: Day 1

Back To Where We Started

The first day of NBA free agency proved to be more controversial than the entire summer of 2010, when LeBron took his talents to South Beach, upsetting an entire community and sparking the biggest debate of last year. Will the Heat win it all with a Hall of Fame core of stars Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Fast forward one year and some change, due to the 149 day NBA lockout period, and we have one of the busiest and active free agent days in NBA history. And one of the most controversial. Things immediately kicked off with a blockbuster three team trade that centered on Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, moving Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and sending Lamar Odom to the Hornets along with Kevin Martin and Louis Sciola and Goran Dragic of the Rockets.

Everything was good. Then unexpectedly it was vetoed by commissioner David Stern and league execs due to, at the time, "basketball related reasons". Things went from bad to worse when the league then retracted that statement and cited that New Orleans would be "better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade."

This was met with much criticism from every angle and aspect of sports. From ESPN analysts to former and current players. Everyone took to Twitter and the message boards with their angst for commissioner David Stern and NBA leagues execs for their draconian antics in nixing the deal after it's completion.

But on the other side were owners furious over the deal. After months of deliberating at the negotiating table, it was assumed that the new CBA deal would squash any of the issues that have been set forth within the past 24 hours. Small market owners walked out under the assumption that the major market teams wouldn't reign supreme in the sweepstakes for the leagues stars. And the players thought they still had the freedom to choose in which teams they would like to play for.

Neither appears to be the case.



On the bright side though, there were actual transactions that took place. Alot of which were direct moves teams as a result of the language set in place by the new collective bargaining agreement. That of which is the amnesty clause. This is a " one-time opportunity to remove a contract from the salary cap as a way to help reduce payroll", and essentially is set in place for teams to eliminate bad player contracts under certain conditions.

These "conditions" have hit a few players, first of which was Magic guard Gilbert Arenas. Arenas $62 million remaining on the final three years of his six-year, $111 million deal made it an easy decision for Orlando to decide whether to exercise the option. This gives Orlando a bit of cap flexibility in dealing with the delicate situation that is All-Star center Dwight Howard. Who has openly stated his desire to be traded to the New Jersey (and soon to be Brooklyn) Nets to play alongside guard Deron Williams.

That is where the day's second set of drama hit full tilt. The Orlando Magic have claimed that the New Jersey Nets and execs, broke league tampering rules by speaking directly to Dwight Howard. Magic GM Otis Smith has since issued a statement confirming he did give Howard's agent Dan Fegan permission to speak with New Jersey, however there has been allegations that Howard himself conducted conversations with team representatives.

Howard has denied such allegations and the Orlando Magic have not officially filed charges against the Nets.

The next victim of the amnesty was New York Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups. Billups was waived merely as a precursor to the anticipated adding of free agent Tyson Chandler from the Dallas Mavericks.

And The Rookies Came..

Rookie's also finally signed their not so hard fought contracts. As No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving, No.3 pick Enes Kanter and No. 4 pick Tristan Thompson all signed with their teams. While, No. 2 pick Derrick Williams practiced with the Minnesota Timberwolves with expectation that his deal would be done by the end of today. The Sacramento Kings also completed the signing of BYU star Jimmer Fridette

Other League Notes..


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