THE DAY BEGAN with the Los Angeles Clippers rejecting a proposed deal by the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul and it ended with them claiming five-time All-Star guard Chauncey Billups off waivers and re-signing center DeAndre Jordan.
General manager Neil Olshey said yesterday the team felt "the cost was just too high" in what it would have to give up to acquire Paul.
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 draft. Reports suggested the Hornets also wanted guard Eric Gordon included.
"There wasn't one piece or another piece that killed this deal," Olshey said. "The aggregate compensation that we were going to have to convey to them was just too much and it was going to hamstring our franchise in the long term."
It's the second time in 5 days that a deal moving Paul to Los Angeles fell apart. Last week, commissioner David Stern nixed a three-team trade by the league-owned Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets that would have sent Paul to the Lakers.
The Clippers used their remaining $3.5 million in salary cap room to claim Billups. The 35-year-old point guard was waived by the New York Knicks last weekend.
Billups averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 72 games with Denver and the Knicks last season. He was traded to New York in February. He helped lead Detroit to the NBA championship in 2004, when he was MVP of the finals.
Olshey said the decision to acquire Billups was independent of the team rejecting the Hornets' offer.
"This is not a precursor to another move. This is not laying the groundwork for another opportunity," he said.
The Clippers had a need for Billups since Bledsoe is expected to be sidelined 6 to 8 weeks while recovering from knee surgery on Oct. 7.
The team matched a 4-year, $42.7 million offer sheet from Golden State for restricted free agent Jordan.
In other NBA news:
* After helping Dallas capture the franchise's first NBA title, free-agent point guard JJ Barea is closing in on a deal to help Ricky Rubio learn the ropes in Minnesota.
* Marc Gasol announced on Twitter that he has reached a tentative agreement keeping him in Memphis. The Commercial Appeal reported Gasol and the Grizzlies have agreed on a 4-year deal worth nearly $58 million.
* Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said he sat down with All-Star center Dwight Howard yesterday morning, a day after Howard said he hadn't spoken to general manager Otis Smith since asking the team to be traded. Martins said he remains confident things still can be done to convince Howard that Orlando can build a championship team. Howard said the door remains open for him to re-sign. He can opt out of his contract in July.
* Detroit cut ties with three-time All-Star Richard Hamilton. Hamilton was due to make $19 million guaranteed over the final 2 years of his contract. He was bought out for $11 million.
* New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov announced that he will run against Russian president Vladimir Putin in March's election.
* Toronto agreed to terms with free-agent guard Anthony Carter, who split last season between Denver and New York.
* Carmelo Anthony hyperextended his left knee. The Knicks say his return is day to day.
* Cleveland point guard Baron Davis has left the team to seek a second opinion on his stiff back.