Well, so much for all that. After all our analysis of yesterday’s New Orleans-Oklahoma City trade, the deal was rescinded Wednesday night when the Hornets announced that Tyson Chandler did not pass his physical with the Thunder. No details have yet emerged as to why Chandler failed–and, knowing the OKC front office, I wouldn’t expect anything to come out on or off the record–but it raises some interesting questions about why New Orleans traded Chandler in the first place and the severity of his injured ankle.
So it’s back to the drawing board for both teams. The Hornets presumably will find it nearly impossible to move Chandler, and are back in their previous luxury-tax predicament. Do they try desperately to move Morris Peterson or James Posey in the next 16 hours? Meanwhile, Oklahoma City again has two expiring contracts burning a hole in their pocket.
The real winner here could be the Boston Celtics. I just got finished doing a radio hit in Boston explaining how bad the Smith deal was in terms of keeping Smith from being waived or bought out after the deadline. Now that’s back in play and the Celtics could get the veteran big man they’ve desired.
(Sidenote: How many trades in recent memory can you remember that were undone by a failed physical? I can think of the trade that would have sent Sean Elliott (failed–kidney disease) to Houston for Robert Horry and Matt Bullard. That worked out great for the Rockets, who won two championships with Horry. Meanwhile, Detroit traded Elliott back to San Antonio for pennies on the dollar. Also, there was a deal that would have sent Danny Fortson to Toronto for Alvin Williams (failed-knees) and Sean Marks back in 2000. Williams’ career came to an end not long thereafter. Oftentimes those physicals are correct. Remember the Nets decided not to sign Shareef Abdur-Rahim as a free agent when he failed his physical because of his knee, which also proved a career-ending injury. So look out, Tyson Chandler.)