It's taken four days, but the trade that went down on Friday between the Clippers and the New York Knicks was finally made official. The deal that sent Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to L.A. in exchange for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley was supposed to be all wrapped up yesterday, in time for the Clippers to have Z-Bo in the lineup to face the New Orleans Hornets. But the Knicks were dragging their feet because they had some questions about Mobley's heart condition, so they waited almost until today's deadline to get some additional tests performed.
The heart thing is something the Knicks must have known about going in, as it's been public knowledge ever since Mobley played for the Houston Rockets back in 2000. Speculation was that Knicks' GM Donnie Walsh -- a veteran of the business who's known for being very savvy and working every possible angle -- was trying to get a first round draft pick thrown into the deal, and was using Mobley's condition as leverage. The problem is, everyone knows that this deal means a lot more to New York than it does to L.A., and Mike Dunleavy would probably have let the trade get voided rather than be held hostage for the additional draft pick.
The Knicks made this trade to clear salary cap space to be able to attempt to sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or another big name free agent in 2010. They don't even need Cuttino Mobley to be healthy; all they need is for his contract to expire as scheduled. In fact, Mobley is expected to remain on New York's inactive list for the next week while they continue to perform additional tests. So while it may have been an inconvenience playing shorthanded for the last three games as the Knicks took their time signing off on the deal, the bottom line is that it's now official, and we should see Randolph in a Clippers uniform tomorrow night when the team will host the Denver Nuggets.