Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

NBA kills Chris Paul trade, proving labor issues aren't nearly resolved

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves news Updated: December 9, 2011 - 2:11 AM

You just can't make this stuff up.

On the same day both owners and players each approved the new labor agreement that delayed the season by two months, NBA commissioner David Stern opened the proverbial door more mess by quashing the three-team trade that would have brought Chris Paul to Los Angeles AND provide the Lakers with big luxury-tax relief.

Oh, boy.

A league spokesman denied media reports that owners arose in anger to kill a deal made by a franchise that the league owns.

That spokesman cited "basketball reasons," but Cleveland owners Dan Gilbert's email to Stern -- leaked to Yahoo!Sports and the New York Times at least  -- sure says otherwise.

Here it is.

Paul likely will sue at the league's killing of a deal in which the Lakers would have sent Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to New Orleans and the Hornets then would have turned around and send Gasol to Houston for Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a pick or picks.

Maybe Minnesota U.S. District court will get some action after all.

At the very least, don't expect Paul to show Friday when the Hornets open training camp and some of his teammates and other players around the league may not as well.

What a mess...

The season start was delayed and so much disruption was created fighting over a new labor agreement that, at least in the immediate term, did nothing to curb owners from offering ridiculous contract and did nothing to ensure "competitive balance."

Right away, Paul attempted to force his way to L.A. while Dwight Howard apparently is doing the same to...N.J.?

Because the owners acquiesced on "system" issues to reach labor peace, the new agreement has done nothing to stop superstars from migrating at will to big-market teams, Stern stepped in and intervened instead.

Can't wait to measure the pulse of Wolves players over this at the team's media day on Friday afternoon. Just saw tonight an angry tweet from Danny Granger over it.

Until we get to Friday afternoon...

Derrick Williams arrived for workouts today and a whole bunch of Wolves -- him, Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Ricky Rubio, among others -- played pickup ball.

Here's the story I wrote for Friday's paper about Rubio's teammates' reaction to playing with him this week.

And just to prove I'm no longer just a triple threat -- writing, blogging, tweeting -- here I am experimenting in a fourth dimension with a little video from a conversation with Williams on Thursday afternoon.

You'll find the video here. Just scroll down until you see Williams' handsome mug.

And also...

* Chuck Hayes' agent said Thursday that the Wolves and Sacramento are still in the running to sign his client, although he said Houston -- before the night's dramatic developments -- was "begging" for Hayes to wait before making a decision. "They have something up their sleeve," he said in late afternoon.

Calvin Andrews said they'll make a decision sometime this weekend.

He said Hayes' relationship with Rick Adelman, for whom he played the last four seasons, is "huge, huge" and added "He really likes Coach Adelman and would love to play for him again."

The Kings reportedly have offered a 4-year, $20 million deal.

"It's not just about money," Andrew said. "But I think the money has to be similar."

* SI.com reported early Friday that Golden State is poised to try to lure restricted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers but also said the Wolves, Rockets and New Orleans remain in the picture to sign him to an offer sheet.

 

 

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