The trade between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers involving forward Zach Randolph, forward Tim Thomas, guard Cuttino Mobley and guard Mardy Collins is currently in limbo because of a physical concern raised by the Knicks about Mobley, according to a source. As a result, Randolph was not in uniform for Monday’s Clippers game against New Orleans.
The source said that the Knicks raised the concerns about Mobley and have yet to sign off on the deal as a result. While players do have to pass a physical in order to join their new teams, those teams are allowed to waive physicals in order to expidite trades. It is not known if Mobley has taken a physical yet in New York.
Players have 48 hours from the time a deal is finalized to report to their new teams, and are given an additional 24 hours to take their physicals, the results of which are usually posted and approved quickly. In this case, that means the respective teams would have until Tuesday afternoon to approve any physicals. A Clippers source said that while they hoped Randolph would play Monday, they weren’t expecting him to be available until Tuesday at the earliest.
You get the sense that the Knicks don’t really care about Mobley the Player so much as Mobley the Contract. I don’t want to suggest that Mobley offers no value to the Knicks on the court. But would they really hold up a deal that works for them whether or not Mobley ever logs a minute? In a similar vain, Mobley has proven to be a very durable player over the course of his career, so why the concern?:
Mobley had started all 11 of the Clippers’ games this season before the trade, averaging more than 33 minutes a night. He’s played in 747 games in his 10-year NBA career and has only played fewer than 66 games in a non-lockout season once.
The only plausible reason I can think of for the Knicks’ buyer’s remorse is the possibility that they feel there are better offers out there for Randolph, and they pulled the trigger too quickly. That seems awfully unWalshlike. Lisa Dillman reports that the Clippers maintain the holdup is no big deal:
“We’re confident that both of our players will be in uniform on Wednesday,” said Clippers’ President Andy Roeser.
I learned about the holdup earlier in the afternoon, but was told that it was not a big deal and that the Knicks were not concerned. It could simply be a case of the team needing more information about Mobley’s heart condition. Aldridge wrote that the Rockets raised concerns about it when he played in Houston but also noted that the club gave him a six-year, $31-million deal in 2000. It has never been an issue in Mobley’s tenure with the Clippers.