Clippers decline offer for Hornets' Chris Paul

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Chris Paul isn’t coming to Los Angeles, at least not now.
The Clippers rejected a proposed deal by the New Orleans Hornets for the All-Star guard because the team felt “the cost was just too high,” general manager Neil Olshey said Monday.

Whether the deal is dead remains to be seen. The Clip­pers later claimed five-time All-Star Chauncey Billups off waivers. The 35-year-old point guard was waived by the Knicks last weekend.

Olshey declined to identify whom the Clippers had offered in exchange for Paul, but their package reportedly included center Chris Kaman, reserve guard Eric Bledsoe, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and their No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

It’s the second time in five days that a deal moving Paul to Los Angeles fell apart.

MAGIC: The relationship between Dwight Howard and the team appears to be improving – at least a bit.

A day after Howard said he hadn’t spoken to general manager Otis Smith since asking the team to be traded, Magic CEO Alex Martins said he sat down with the All-Star center Monday. Martins said he remains confident things still can be done to convince How­ard that Orlando can build a championship team.

“We have to continue to do what’s right for this organization to win a championship, and the first piece of that is keeping Dwight,” Martins said.

After speaking at length for two days about all that was wrong with management, Howard said the door remains open for him to re-sign.

“As of a right now, I have on a Magic uniform. ... If it’s meant for me to stay here, then I’ll stay,” Howard said. “I love this city and there’s no place I’d rather be than Orlando. I just want to make sure that we have the right things here so we can win a championship.”

CONCUSSIONS: The NBA has put in place a concussion policy that will determine when players return from head injuries.

If a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he will have to complete a series of steps to confirm he’s healthy enough for competition. Once he is free of symptoms, the player must make it through increasing stages of exertion while ensuring the symptoms don’t return after each one. Then the neurologist hired to lead the concussion program needs to be consulted before the player is cleared.

The process will likely take days, if not weeks.

KNICKS: Carmelo Anthony hyperextended his left knee during practice Monday but said the injury was not a concern. The Knicks said his status is day to day.


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