Thunder void trade for Chandler

The Oklahoma City Thunder doctors have red-flagged a turf toe condition with newly acquired center Tyson Chandler and the New Orleans Hornets trade has been voided, league executives said Wednesday night.

“It’s blown up,” one league executive said.

The Hornets and Thunder completed the Chandler trade on Tuesday for Joe Smith,Chris Wilcox and the rights to draft pick DeVon Hardin, but lingering problems with a “turf toe” injury crushed the deal, league sources said.

Chandler had surgery on the toe two years ago.

“It’s not going to end his career,” one source familiar with the injury said, “but it could hinder it.”


Blazers up ante for Carter

As the market dries up on Vince Carter’s expensive contract, the Portland Trail Blazers have raised the price on the New Jersey Nets to complete a trade. Portland now wants a first-round draft pick, a league executive familiar with the talks said Wednesday night.

The Blazers and Nets have discussed several scenarios centering on Carter, including one that would send the eight-time All-Star guard, Maurice Ager and Chris Douglas-Roberts to the Blazers for Raef LaFrentz, Travis Outlaw and Sergio Rodriguez. So far, the source said, the Nets are balking, but the Blazers are counting on the fact that the several Carter suitors – including San Antonio, Dallas and Houston – just don’t have the comparable assets to make a deal.

“I know they are desperate to trade Vince and teams know that,” the source said. “And now teams are looking to rob them.”

Teams are dubious of the Blazers’ claims that LaFrentz’s expiring contract has drawn league-wide interest. Portland is considering using LaFrentz’s expiring contract on multiple deals, including Milwaukee’s Richard Jefferson.

Jefferson on the move?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have talked to the Bucks about acquiring Jefferson, two league executives said Wednesday afternoon.

Cleveland is dangling the expiring contract of Wally Szczerbiak for Jefferson, who has two years and $29.2 million left on his contract. The Cavaliers have been active in seeking talent to surround LeBron James for a title run.

The Bucks have been engaged in talks with the Trail Blazers about a package that would include Jefferson for Travis Outlaw and LaFrentz’s expiring contract.


Source: Ginobili injury not season-ending

The San Antonio Spurs’ delay to release any specific information about Manu Ginobili’s right ankle injury has led some opposing GMs to speculate that the injury could be serious. Delaying the announcement until after the Thursday trade deadline would help keep the Spurs from losing any leverage in their ongoing talks.

Photo One Spurs source denied Manu Ginobili’s ankle injury is potentially season-ending.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

One Spurs source said the team is still waiting on additional test results. When asked whether the injury was potentially season-ending, he said, “No, not at all.”

Spurs officials publicly announced only that Ginobili won’t join them on their road trip.

Ginobili injured his left ankle in last season’s playoffs and underwent surgery in August. The injury to his right ankle, while still potentially significant, is not believed to be as serious as his previous injury.

In addition to their failed pursuit of Salmons, the Spurs expressed interest in the Nets’ Carter and the Bucks’ Jefferson. One Western Conference executive acknowledged they have little chance of landing Jefferson.

Bruce Bowen has been offered in nearly every trade discussion because he’s guaranteed only $2 million next season. Center Fabricio Oberto also has a partial guarantee of $1.9 million next season.

The Spurs didn’t announce Ginobili’s absence on their trip until Monday when they were already in New York. Though Ginobili scored 32 points in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Spurs’ final game before the All-Star break, team officials say he had been experiencing pain in his right ankle for a while.


Wizards discuss Jeffries

The Washington Wizards still have interest in bringing back New York Knicks forward Jared Jeffries, an Eastern Conference official said. Jeffries played for the Wizards his first four seasons in the league.


Cavs free to spend

As NBA front-office trade discussions centered on teams desperately trying to shed payroll Tuesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the few franchises willing to bring on bigger talent and more salary, league executives said.

After thus far failing to make a deal for Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire, the Cavaliers are trying to pry forward Antawn Jamison from the Washington Wizards, league sources said. The Cavaliers are offering Wally Szczerbiak and his $13 million expiring contract, sources said. The Wizards would have to add another player into the trade – possibly center Etan Thomas – to make the deal possible.

So far, Washington wants no part of such a deal. Wizards executives aren’t completely averse to trading Jamison, a league executive said, but they would want value back for him.

“Money is no object for Cleveland right now,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “They’re willing to spend what it takes to win a title. They understand that this is just pennies compared to the hit they would take losing LeBron [James].”

Cleveland had shown interest in Stoudemire, but didn’t have a package to get a trade done. One Western Conference GM said, “I think [the Suns] are going to keep him. I think Steve Kerr has had it with this whole thing. I think they’re keeping him. There’s no deal out there for them.”


T’Wolves like Hinrich

The Bulls and Timberwolves have discussed a variety of scenarios that would send guard Kirk Hinrich to Minnesota. The Bulls want expiring contracts and draft picks to dump Hinrich. Chicago has shopped both Hinrich and Nocioni separately to several teams, but sources say Minnesota had no interest in Nocioni.

However, sources say the Wolves and Bulls have discussed swapping Hinrich and Thabo Sefolosha for Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal. The Wolves are intrigued with Hinrich’s ability to play the point and off-guard and see him as a good complement to Randy Foye. Collins and Cardinal have shorter-term contracts that bring Chicago payroll relief.

The Bulls also had discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding center Chris Kaman, one Western Conference executive said.


Pistons eye Boozer for summer

When the Detroit Pistons sheered nearly another $1 million in salary-cap space with the trade of Alex Acker to the Los Angeles Clippers this week, GM Joe Dumars further solidified his franchise as the favorite to sign Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer as a free agent this summer.

The Pistons expect to have nearly $23 million available to spend this summer on free agents. Boozer has said he will likely opt out of his contract with the Jazz this summer.

Most believed that Boozer was destined for the Miami Heat, but Heat president Pat Riley chose to take on Jermaine O’Neal’s $22 million contract for the 2009-10 season. The Jazz and Boozer have grown tired of each other, and league executives believe Utah is more inclined to re-sign power forward Paul Millsap to a long-term contract.

Boozer has played just 12 games this season with a knee injury. His inability to stay on the floor has clouded teams’ opinions about him, but Boozer makes sense as the replacement for pending Pistons free agent Rasheed Wallace.


Bell yet to toll for Celtics

The Boston Celtics reached out to the Charlotte Bobcats about trading for proven playoff performer Raja Bell, a league source said. So far, the Celtics don’t have anything in return that appeals to Charlotte.

The Bobcats are telling people that they have a possible two-for-one trade percolating and need to keep a hold on a roster spot.

Boston lost guard Tony Allen to thumb surgery on Tuesday, and he could be out until the playoffs. For months, the Celtics have unsuccessfully tried to trade 2008 first-round pick J.R. Giddens for a draft choice.

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