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Source: Clips-Knicks trade in limbo over Mobley's physical

By David Aldridge, TNT analyst
Posted Nov 25 2008 1:52AM

The trade between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers involving forward Zach Randolph, forward Tim Thomas, guard Cuttino Mobley and guard Mardy Collins is currently in limbo because of a physical concern raised by the Knicks about Mobley, according to a source. As a result, Randolph was not in uniform for the Clippers' 99-87 loss to the Hornets on Monday.

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The source said that the Knicks raised the concerns about Mobley and have yet to sign off on the deal as a result. While players do have to pass a physical in order to join their new teams, those teams are allowed to waive physicals in order to expidite trades. It is not known if Mobley has taken a physical yet in New York.

Players have 48 hours from the time a deal is finalized to report to their new teams, and are given an additional 24 hours to take their physicals, the results of which are usually posted and approved quickly.

In this case, that means the respective teams would have until Tuesday afternoon to approve any physicals. A Clippers source said that while they hoped Randolph would play Monday, they weren't expecting him to be available until Tuesday at the earliest.

The deal was initially delayed for a few hours on Friday because the Knicks were seeking a first-round pick from the Clippers as well as Mobley and Thomas, but New York ultimately gave up that request.

Mobley had started all 11 of the Clippers' games this season before the trade, averaging more than 33 minutes a night. He's played in 747 games in his 10-year NBA career and has only played fewer than 66 games in a non-lockout season once.

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Another source indicated that the Houston Rockets had raised concerns about Mobley's heart when he played there, but the Rockets still gave Mobley a six-year, $31 million deal in 2000, the year after he finished second in voting for the NBA's Sixth Man Award. A former official with the Rockets reached last night could not recall Mobley having any physical problems.

After Monday's game, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said any health issues regarding Thomas or Mobley would be news to him.

"From a standpoint of Cuttino's concern, anything that ... anything with either one of our two players, Cuttino or Tim, there's nothing that they have or don't have that hasn't been known to us or hasn't been approved by us and all of the teams that he's played for," Dunleavy said. "Neither one of those guys had any issues with any of those things that are being talked about.

Dunleavy also said he wasn't aware of any heart issues regarding Mobley.

"He's never had any issue with us. There's never been one time that he's missed a practice, missed a game or from any physical of any kind has any issues so I don't really know," Dunleavy said. "From the standpoint of all of our guys and all of their medicals, there hasn't been any issues for us. I've been told by our doctors that the things of concern is not something that we haven't known about or had any issues with. So there shouldn't be ... hopefully there won't be an issue."

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After six seasons in Houston, Mobley was part of the trade with Orlando in 2004 that sent Tracy McGrady to the Rockets and Steve Francis to Orlando. He only played 23 games for the Magic before being sent to Sacramento in a deal for guard Doug Christie. He signed a five-year, $42 million free agent contract with the Clippers in 2005.

Mobley and Thomas are both on the Knicks' roster on the team's Web site.

The Knicks traded Randolph and Collins to Los Angeles last Friday for Mobley and Thomas, the second big trade New York made in a 24-hour period. Earlier Friday, they traded guard Jamal Crawford to Golden State for forward Al Harrington.

The moves were designed to maximize New York's potential salary cap room in 2010, when a bumper crop of potential free agents including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others may become available. James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be in New York Tuesday.

If the trade is ultimately voided, Randolph and Collins would return to New York and Mobley and Thomas would re-join the Clippers.

Trades have been voided because of physical concerns before, including a 1994 deal that would have sent Sean Elliott from Detroit to Houston for Robert Horry, Matt Bullard and draft picks. The Rockets got out of the deal after learning about Elliott's kidney problems, which ultimately led to Elliott needing a kidney transplant in 1999 while a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

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