Chandler Deal Rescinded

Many eulogies had been written about the New Orleans Hornets' postseason chances after the team dealt center Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City in exchange for former Maryland Terps Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. Most likely at the urging of owner George Shinn, Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower made a cost-cutting deal, hoping to shed salary and adding some depth to its limited bench, but Chandler is headed back to New Orleans after he failed his physical on Wednesday.

"We welcome Tyson back with open arms," said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower said in a statement released late Wednesday night. "We went into this trade to garner more frontcourt depth to add to our team as we continue our push towards the playoffs. We expect Tyson and the rest of our big guys to step up to the challenge."

The Thunder's medical staff failed to clear Chandler, who has dealt with ankle and foot injuries for most of the season. Smith, Wilcox and the draft rights to center Devon Hardin will immediately rejoin the Thunder.

This is a crushing blow for the Thunder, which thought it had found the defensive-minded big man to run with its young nucleus of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook. If Chandler's injury is serious, though, it may not help the Hornets, either.

The winner in this broken-down deal could possibly be the Boston Celtics, who have been hoping that Smith could land on their laps by way of a post-trade-deadline buyout with the Thunder. That could still be a possibility, if Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti is unable to work his magic by dealing the expiring contracts of Smith and Wilcox before 3 p.m. Thursday. It should be an interesting couple of hours, no doubt.

By Michael Lee |  February 18, 2009; 10:58 PM ET
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Wow. But CP is probably happy he can keep running those pick-and-rolls to perfection with Tyson.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | February 18, 2009 11:10 PM

""We welcome Tyson back with open arms," said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower said in a statement released late Wednesday night. "We went into this trade to garner more frontcourt depth to add to our team as we continue our push towards the playoffs. We expect Tyson and the rest of our big guys to step up to the challenge.""

As the Terps student section would chant:

BULLLSH!T....BULLSH!T....BULLSH!T....

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 18, 2009 11:18 PM

"The winner in this broken-down deal could possibly be the Boston Celtics, who have been hoping that Smith could land on their laps by way of a post-trade-deadline buyout with the Thunder. That could still be a possibility, if Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti is unable to work his magic by dealing the expiring contracts of Smith and Wilcox before 3 p.m. Thursday. It should be an interesting couple of hours, no doubt."

Another buyout?!?!

Darn!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 18, 2009 11:19 PM

"Another buyout?!?!"

Yeah, and so soon after Marbury's.

Oh, wait a minute . .

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 11:33 PM

Can we buy out Meshawn so he can stop fakin like he hurt? And somebody get that bama a NECKTIE!!!

Posted by: CBell29 | February 19, 2009 12:01 AM

Chris Sheridan said the trade for Thomas & James won't work because it would put the Bulls back over the luxury, perhaps they will take this:
http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bpl9km

Posted by: djnumb | February 19, 2009 12:59 AM

Joe Smith has become like PJ Brown, someone teams admire and wish their young stars would emulate. Ironic, isn't it? given that he was for several years regarded as a big bust at the top overall draft choice. Who knows, maybe the same will happen to Kwame Brown some day.

But it's an object lesson in overvaluing draft classes. Smith may have been the best of his year, but he was never a perfect fit for the NBA game. Took him a number of seasons to adjust. But adjust he did, even at the price of bouncing around the country.

Still arguably the best player Maryland has produced in the modern era (if you don't count Bias).

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2009 7:00 AM

Ivan: "the team's future appears to hinge on three factors: the health of three-time all-star and franchise player Gilbert Arenas, the development of young players such as Crittenton and McGee, and what Grunfeld does with a likely lottery pick this summer".

Thank you. Does management agree with this?

Posted by: Izman | February 19, 2009 7:11 AM

Doh!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2009 9:39 AM

"But adjust he did, even at the price of bouncing around the country."

Joe has always been a fine player and always gives it his all. Maybe not "elite" player but I think you'd rather have him on your team then not have him.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2009 9:41 AM

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