Knicks finalize trade despite Mobley
Updated: December 5, 2008, 12:58 AM ETBy J.A. Adande | ESPN.com
The New York Knicks, apparently satisfied that Cuttino Mobley's heart condition would not be an issue, have finalized the trade that will send Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Mobley and Tim Thomas.
New York waived the physical requirement so the deal could be finalized. Thomas was expected to be in uniform Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Knicks team president Donnie Walsh said that Mobley likely will miss the rest of the week. The guard will undergo further tests that likely can't be scheduled until after the holiday. "We are taking the right precautions so everything is all right," Walsh said. Walsh added he didn't know if Mobley would ever play for the Knicks. Coach Mike D'Antoni said before the game he was "anxious" about Mobley's status, but didn't have much other information. The New York media and fans can now resume their full-fledged romancing of LeBron James, starting with James' visit Tuesday to Madison Square Garden with the Cavaliers. By moving the remaining years on Randolph's contract, on the heels of last week's trade that sent Jamal Crawford to the Golden State Warriors, the Knicks have cleared $27.4 million in salary-cap space, enough for them to make a run at James and another member of the alluring 2010 free-agent class that is expected to include Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire. The Knicks-Clippers trade was originally made last Friday. Normally players have 48 hours to report to their new teams and take physical examinations, followed by an additional 24 hours to get all the results of the physicals. In this case, because the trade was made after business hours Friday, the teams agreed to an additional 24 hours, which made the deadline 6:30 p.m. ET Monday. On Monday the problems with Mobley surfaced on the Knicks' end, keeping them from signing off on the deal and preventing Randolph and Collins from playing in the Clippers' game against the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night. One source said the Knicks were also having "buyer's remorse," wondering if they could have received more in exchange for Randolph, but in the end they accomplished their primary objective: getting contracts that expire in 2010. J.A. Adande is a columnist for ESPN.com. Information from 1050 ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press was used in this report.