The Los Angeles Clippers weren't able to suit up their two newest players, Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins against New Orleans on Monday night because of some red tape involving the results of the physicals taken by Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley following Friday's trade to the New York Knicks.
So Mike Dunleavy's first deal in his dual role as coach-general manager of the Clippers remained on hold -- leaving them undermanned for the third consecutive game.
"All I know is, we sent two guys there who were playing for us with no (physical) issues," Dunleavy said before the Clippers' 99-87 loss. "So I don't think it's going to be anything that's going to hold the deal up. But they have until tomorrow to either say `Yea' or `Nay' on the trade. It has to be by tomorrow. That's the deadline."
After the game Dunleavy was asked about a ESPN.com report which cited an unidentified source and said that the delay was caused by Knicks concerns about Mobley's heart. The report said Mobley would see a heart specialist Tuesday.
"From the standpoint of Cuttino's concern, there's nothing they have or don't have that hasn't been known to us or hasn't been approved by us and all the other teams he's played for," Dunleavy said. "Neither one of those guys has had any issues with any of the things that are even being talked about.
"All I know is that if Cuttino has anything, he's been asymptotic," Dunleavy said. "He's never had any issue with us. There's never been one time that he missed a practice or missed a game or had any issues in any physical of any kind for us. I mean, I've been told by our doctors that the things that are under concern is not something that we haven't known about or have had any issues with. So hopefully, it won't be an issue."
Dunleavy learned just before the morning shootaround that the trade couldn't be finalized until about noon local time because of the hangup with the test results in New York, so Randolph and Collins weren't able to work out with their new teammates. Dunleavy got another call 2 hours later and was told he'd have to wait until Tuesday.
"I don't know the reasoning behind it, so at this point I can't pass judgment on it," Dunleavy said. "I can't be upset about it because it was a part of the trade that they had until tomorrow to get it done. I don't know who's at fault as to why they don't have the results back. I have no clue. They just said, 'Your players haven't passed the physical yet because some of the results are not back.'
Randolph and Collins were placed on the Clippers' inactive list. The Knicks don't play again until Tuesday against Cleveland, so the urgency at their end wasn't as great as it was with the Clippers, whose next game isn't until Friday at Portland -- where Randolph played his first six NBA seasons before spending last season with the Knicks.
"I thought the trade was going to be cleared, so I wasn't too worried," Randolph said. "I was looking forward to playing tonight, so it's really disappointing because I haven't played in about a week. I was really up, getting ready and doing all my preparation for the game. And then to find out you can't play, it sucks the life out of you."
The Knicks also acquired Eddy Curry in a trade with the Chicago Bulls despite concerns that were raised about the center's heart.