NEW YORK — Even with a flurry of moves around the league as training camps and free agency opened Friday, the focus remained on the deal that didn't get done. All-Star guard Chris Paul was still in New Orleans, and there was anger throughout the league about it.
The Hornets, owned by the league, had agreed to a three-team trade Thursday that would have sent Paul, who can be a free agent in the summer, to the Lakers. But the league killed the deal. Yahoo Sports reported that angry owners pressured commissioner David Stern to do it. The league denied that, and Stern said Friday that New Orleans was "better served" with Paul "than by the outcome of the terms of that trade."
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told a radio station the league went through the lockout to prevent the type of deal in which small-market teams lose their superstars. In an email to Stern and other owners, obtained by Yahoo Sports and the New York Times, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called the trade proposal a travesty. "When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?" he wrote, referring to the longtime losing opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Stern's statement generated plenty of anger among players. Stern upset them during the labor negotiations by asking for financial concessions with what they considered "take-it-or-leave-it" proposals. "Huge controversy, again with NBA owners," said forward Anthony Tolliver, the Timberwolves' player representative.
Friday, New Orleans general manager Dell Demps said he had resumed talks for Paul and had been given autonomy to make a trade to any team.
more paul fallout: Lakers forward Lamar Odom showed up more than 90 minutes late for the team's first workout and left early after meeting with GM Mitch Kupchak. He apparently was upset about the aborted attempt to trade him in the Paul deal. He didn't speak to reporters. Pau Gasol, the Lakers' All-Star forward also in the deal, practiced.
Many Magic opening day moves
A busy first day of training camp for the Magic included trade talk, dumping a big contract and uncertainty.
The Magic said it was using a new collective bargaining agreement amnesty provision to release guard Gilbert Arenas. Forward Brandon Bass' agent said a deal was being finalized that would send his client to Boston for forward Glen Davis. And two rookies were signed, forward Justin Harper and guard DeAndre Liggins.
Also, Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said the team had not filed tampering charges with the league against any team for interference with All-Star center Dwight Howard. ESPN reported that Howard, who can be a free agent in the summer, met with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King on Thursday in Miami without the Magic's knowledge. King and Howard said that didn't happen.
"Right now we're in Orlando and we just had practice, and that's what matters," said Howard, who turned 26 Thursday.
Arenas' release had been anticipated. The amnesty clause gives a team a one-time option to waive a player's remaining contract from the salary cap and luxury tax. Arenas has about $62 million left on the final three years of a six-year, $111 million deal. After coming from the Wizards in a trade for Rashard Lewis last season, Arenas struggled. He averaged career lows in minutes (21.8), points (8.0) and assists (3.2), and started just two of the 49 games in which he appeared.
Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in this year's draft, finalized contracts. Financial terms were not known.
clippers: Free agent All-Star guard Caron Butler signed a three-year, $24 million contract.
jazz: The girlfriend of center Al Jefferson was arrested in a domestic dispute after she bit the 6-foot-10, 265-pound player, Salt Lake City police said. Shirley Lewis, 38, was jailed and released. Prosecutors were reviewing possible charges against Jefferson, 26. Jefferson said it was a personal matter.
hawks: Two-time scoring champ Tracy McGrady signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum.
Raptors: Center Jamaal Magloire signed, making the Toronto native the team's first Canadian player in its 16 years.
Suns: Grant Hill, 39, signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract, and forward Vince Carter was waived.
trail blazers: Often-injured center Greg Oden, who hasn't played in two years, agreed to a restructured one-year deal after a setback in rehabilitation from left-knee surgery. Terms weren't disclosed. President Larry Miller said the team is "less confident" he will return this season. … Guard Brandon Roy said he is retiring because of knee problems.