Peace, Love and Thunderstanding: What to Do Now?
10:59 AM EST on February 19, 2009
First it was deja'vu one way, then another.
When the Hornets were in town, there was a trade near the deadline of the first season in which the Hornets were going to acquire a shot blocking center, Steven Hunter, from the Philadelphia 76ers for draft picks. The deal was called off a few days later when Hunter failed his physical. The next Summer, Hunter was traded to the Denver Nuggets who did not detect the same knee problems the Hornets physicians noted.
After the Hornets first season in Oklahoma City, the team traded P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith to Chicago and brought 7'1" rebounding machine Tyson Chandler to our fair city. Then, the Hornets headed back to New Orleans, taking Chandler with them.
On Tuesday, the Thunder repeated history when they acquired Chandler for the expiring contracts of Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox along with the draft rights to DeVon Hardin. This deal lasted about twenty-four hours. Due to a pre-existing "turf toe" condition, Thunder physician Dr. Carlan Yates advised team General Manager Sam Presti to rescind the trade. Based on this suggestion, Presti called the deal off and now all the players involved are headed back to their respective teams.
This is the second time (in three seasons hosting a team) that an Oklahoma City team has called off a trade based on the suggestion of Oklahoma City based doctors. To put this in perspective, this is an occurence that almost never happens. Earlier this season, the New York Knicks followed through on a trade that netted them a player with a heart condition who had to retire as a result.
What did we learn from this? Never use Dr. Carlan Yates for orthopedic surgery. Because the real twist here is that Yates, then a physician for the Hornets, is the person who performed the surgery the correct Chandler's turf toe two years ago. Now, he won't warranty his own work for his new team.
The failure of this deal now puts the Thunder in a tough position. They possess a lot of tradeable assets that have great value in this economic climate, but now Presti has but a few hours to make something happen. And in the interim of when this deal was consummated and reneged, the other player the Thunder could have acquired with Joe Smith's contract, John Salmons, was shipped from Sacramento to Chicago taking him off the market.
Making matters worse is that the rumor wires have been incredibly quiet regarding the Thunder. But with exhaustive research, we have found a few things Presti has on the fire:
#1: Earl Watson to Dallas for a bag of potato chips
Supposedly, the Mavericks are seeking a back up point guard for Jason Kidd and Watson is on their radar. If someone wants him, we need to make sure they take him and his $6.2MM contract for this and next season off our hands. Since the Collective Bargaining Agreement won't allow two teams who are over the salary cap to consummated a trade that doesn't exchange contracts of approximately the same value, Dallas will have to kick in more than a single bag of Ruffles. It will have to be a bag stuffed with 1,984,000 smaller bags of the tasty treat. (Yeah, I did the math.)
More deals after the jump.
#2 Rumble the Bison for The San Diego Chicken
It looks like a trade weighted heavily in favor of the Thunder, but word is that the city of San Diego is in a money crunch and would be willing to pass off the restrictive salary of the chicken for a young talent with upside like Rumble.
#3 Christy Gaylord-Everest to the Lakers for Jerry Buss' daughter
In return for The Oklahoman's sponsorship, the Thunder would receive Jeannie Buss. I've never seen a picture of her, so I'm not sure if she's hot. And I don't think she really has any true role with the Lakers, so I don't think she's help out the front office. However, she does sleep with Lakers' coach Phil Jackson who is a free agent after this season. With Jackson's track record handling superstars, as Kevin Durant as rapidly becoming, the Thunder could really use having the woman with Jackson's sugalumps in her purse on their side.
#4 Jonathan Meissner to New Orleans for Honeybee Talor
With the Hornets in dire financial straits, as witnessed by the trade they attempted to make earlier this week, they need to relieve themselves of obligations somehow. Pawning off the $100/night they pay to Oklahoma City's favorite Honeybee would be a start. As for Meissner, I hear the Thunder pay him in baseball caps and sunscreen.