Clippers, Knicks complete trade

By Ramona Shelburne
Staff Writer

The Clippers’ proposed trade with the New York Knicks has gone through, a source close to the team said Tuesday afternoon. The Clippers traded Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas to the New York Knicks for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins.

The deal had hit a snag Monday night, when New York raised questions about the condition of Mobley’s heart.

The knicks had Mobley undergo additional testing Tuesday and signed off on the deal shortly thereafter.

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The latest

Cuttino Mobley is having additional tests done on his heart this afternoon. After those are completed, the Knicks will decide whether to approve the four-player deal with sent Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to Los Angeles for Mobley and Tim Thomas.

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters in New York that Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh would make a final decision on the deal.

“There are more tests today and this afternoon Donnie will make a decision (after) whatever comes out of the tests,” D’Antoni told reporters at the Knicks practice.

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What’s going on?

OK, so I’m about to head for bed after another wild night in Clipperland and if you pinned me down, I’d still say I’m pretty sure the Randolph trade will end up going through.

There is some sense that the reason New York might be holding back on approving the deal, and signing off on Mobley’s heart condition, is that it’s trying to get a “rebate” from the Clippers. Say a draft pick, back from them as some sort of compensation for accepting Mobley with this condition.

That might be true, since New York had really wanted a draft pick as compensation before even making the deal on Friday. If that’s the case, the Clippers will not be pleased. According to a person familiar with the club’s thinking, the Clippers are pretty adamant about not giving any sort of “rebate.”

But I don’t think it’s the whole story.

Basically, New York is just making itself comfortable with Mobley’s condition. He’s obviously had no setbacks from it in the past, which is why it has never come out in public before. But considering NY’s recent history with Eddy Curry, you can understand why it would be wary, and insist upon doing its due diligence.

Second, New York had the luxury of time. It didn’t play Monday night. So it could spend an extra day checking into things.

But the most compelling reason I see this deal going down is that New York has made such a public case for why it did the deal, sold the notion of clearing cap space for LBJ in 2010 so well, I just don’t see ever getting this fizz back into a bottle.

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Clippers confident

Clippers president Andy Roeser said he’s “confident that both guys (Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins) will be in uniform” when the team plays Denver on Wednesday, despite concerns raised by the Knicks about a physical condition of Cuttino Mobley’s that has held up the four-player deal.

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Report: Trade held up by a physical concern raised by Knicks

The Clippers have been saying all night that they expected this situation to be resolved by tommorrow morning, which I took to mean that there was just some paperwork issues that were dragging on. But I just came across a report on NBA.com which calls the trade “in limbo” because of a physical concern about Cuttino Mobley raised by the Knicks.

I’m checking this out and will update with more information as I get it.

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Bonus

Here’s a part of my NBA column that somehow didn’t make it onto the internet on Sunday that I thought was pretty interesting in regards to the Clippers:

A few weeks ago NBA commissioner David Stern announced the league was laying off about 9 percent of its workforce, amid fears that the country’s economic recession was going to severely cut into the league’s growth.

Well, we’re nearly a month into the season and attendance is basically flat compared to last season. Not half bad, considering the grim news coming from the economic sector every day.

Where the poor economy is being felt are in cities or regions that are being hardest hit by the recession and/or trying to support a losing team.

The steepest declines in attendance thus far come from Miami, where the Heat is off by an average of 3,622 fans a game from last year and Los Angeles, where the Clippers are off by 2,743 fans compared to last year.

Right behind those two franchises are the Philadelphia 76ers (-2,112), the Sacramento Kings (-2,101), the Charlotte Bobcats (-1,677) and Orlando Magic (-1,165).

There are a few exceptions of course. The new Oklahoma City Thunder has the worst record in the league and is still packing the house nearly every night. So are the dreadful Washington Wizards, who are still drawing 17,582 fans a game.

Those franchises that have managed to tread water in these turbulent times have come up with some creative promotions. Saturday, the Nets hosted the first of five job fairs, where unemployed fans who attend and bring a copy of their resume are given free tickets to the game.

“Unemployment is on the rise in the metropolitan area, so we want to offer our fans that are between jobs some help in finding a job, as well as a chance to relieve some stress by coming to a Nets game,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark said in a press release. “We are committed to investing in our fans now, and hopefully they will invest in us when times are better.”

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