Monday, November 24, 2008
Updated: November 25, 1:50 PM ET
Source: Concern over Mobley's heart holds up Clippers-Knicks deal
By J.A. Adande
Zach Randolph was in the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room Tuesday night. He just wasn't in a Clippers' uniform, as the trade between Los Angeles and the New York Knicks was held up by what a source said were concerns about Cuttino Mobley's heart.
Mobley and Tim Thomas were sent to New York in exchange for Randolph and Mardy Collins on Friday in a deal that gives the Clippers a low-post presence in Randolph and gives the Knicks more cap space for the 2010 free-agent market.
Mobley's and Thomas' contracts expire before the 2010 season.
The source said Mobley would see a heart specialist on Tuesday. Normally players have 48 hours to report to their new teams and take a physical examination, followed by another 24 hours for all the test results to come in. Because this trade was completed after business hours on Friday, the teams agreed to an additional 24-hour period, which ends at 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.
When asked about ESPN.com's report by reporters after the Clippers game on Monday, coach Mike Dunleavy said:
"From the standpoint of Cuttino's concern, there's nothing they have or don't have that hasn't been known to us or hasn't been approved by us and all the other teams he's played for. Neither one of those guys has had any issues with any of the things that are even being talked about.
"All I know is that if Cuttino has anything, he's been asymptomatic," Dunleavy said. "He's never had any issue with us. There's never been one time that he missed a practice or missed a game or had any issues in any physical of any kind for us. I mean, I've been told by our doctors that the things that are under concern is not something that we haven't known about or have had any issues with. So hopefully, it won't be an issue."
Another source told ESPN.com that Mobley's condition has been present throughout his career and has never been a grave concern, although the Knicks were prudent in their diligence.
On the surface it would be hard to imagine the Knicks wanting to void the trade because they achieved their goal of clearing Randolph's contract (which carried two more years and $33.3 million after this season). The franchise already took on Eddy Curry in a trade with the Chicago Bulls despite concerns that were raised about the center's heart.
As for fear of paying a possibly inactive Mobley, who makes more than $9 million both this season and the next, it hasn't stopped the Knicks from keeping Stephon Marbury anchored to the bench despite a salary of almost $22 million.
The Clippers would like to move forward with a full complement of players. They'd also like to explore tinkering with their roster, which would feature an abundance of starting-caliber big men in Randolph, Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby. One source said the Clippers are talking to the Charlotte Bobcats about a package that would send Kaman to Charlotte for Jason Richardson. However, another Clippers source said, "Kaman's not out there."
J.A. Adande is a columnist for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.