|Page (1) of 1 - 12/09/11||email article||print page|
Back in business: Arenas, Howard, Chandler and Paul early newsmakers as NBA goes back to work
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) ' The NBA is back in business, and Gilbert Arenas was one of the first on the move.
Arenas got waived by the Orlando Magic on Friday afternoon not long after the lockout's formal end. Arenas was owed three years and just over $62 million. He'll still get that money, but it won't count against the Magic for salary cap and luxury-tax purposes, per the league's new amnesty clause.
Of course, the bigger news in Orlando is likely still to come, with franchise player Dwight Howard the subject of widespread trade speculation; Tyson Chandler coming to terms with the New York Knicks; and the league still reeling after the NBA rejected the Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.
And on Friday, rookies could finally become, well, rookies. Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as did No. 4 pick Tristan Thompson.
Reigning NBA champion Dallas announced the signing of free agent forward Brandan Wright, a former first-round pick.
Chandler was on his way to New York, though not yet a member of the Knicks. A person with knowledge of the Knicks' plans told The AP that the team will first trade Ronny Turiaf, then use the amnesty clause to waive point guard Chauncey Billups and his $14.2 million salary to free up space for Chandler and what would could be a $58 million deal over four years.
Teams could begin signing players and completing other transactions at 2 p.m. Friday, with most set to begin practice shortly afterward. The lockout lasted more than five months, leading to a shortened 66-game season that starts on Christmas Day. With about two weeks to set rosters, teams were expected to make dozens of moves Friday.
In Phoenix, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that Grant Hill is returning to the Suns on a $6.5 million, one-year deal, and later, the team announced that Vince Carter was waived. That move was expected, and only $4 million of Carter's contract was guaranteed anyway.
In Miami, point guard Mario Chalmers agreed to a new deal with terms being worked out, swingman James Jones and forward Juwan Howard had deals nearly completed and center Eddy Curry ' who has played in 10 games over the last three years ' was on the cusp of formally joining the East champions as well.
Roger Mason, a key figure in the lockout talks throughout the offseason, signed with the Washington Wizards, announcing his move on Twitter. So, too, did Sebastian Telfair, tweeting a picture of his new Phoenix jersey and adding the message, "I'm back. Thank god!!!! So blessed."
Besides formalizing the Arenas waiver and dealing with the never-ending Howard speculation, Orlando made a slew of other moves, signing veteran guard Larry Hughes and former Boston draft pick Gabe Pruitt, along with rookies Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins. They also were close to completing a trade with Boston in which the Celtics would send Glen Davis to Orlando for Brandon Bass.
Davis worked out in the central Florida region during the offseason.
The Nets signed first-round pick MarShon Brooks and second-round selection Jordan Williams, and second-rounder Charles Jenkins completed his deal with Golden State. Philadelphia added considerably to its training camp roster, signing draft picks Nikola Vucevic and Lavoy Allen, along with free agents Antonio Anderson, Dwayne Jones, Mike Tisdale and Xavier Silas.