CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats completed a wild 24 hours of trade discussions with a deal on Tuesday that does include center Tyson Chandler after all.
He's just not heading to the team he thought a day earlier.
After a potential trade with Toronto fell apart, the Bobcats sent Chandler and fellow center Alexis Ajinca to the Dallas Mavericks for center Erick Dampier, forward Eduardo Najera, shooting guard Matt Carroll and cash considerations.
While the Bobcats get financial flexibility with Dampier's non-guaranteed $13 million contract, the injury-plagued Chandler is off to this third team in a year after being acquired from New Orleans last summer.
"We could not be more excited to add Tyson Chandler," said Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson. "He is one of the most versatile big men in the league today. He gives our front line a defensive, shot-blocking, athletic punch we haven't had here in a while."
Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins said the Bobcats will either waive Dampier or make another trade with him. That would allow the Bobcats to clear about $7 million in salary-cap space if they dump Chandler's $12.7 million contract and Ajinca's $1.5 million deal and take in Carroll ($4.3 million) and Najera ($2.8 million).
Before the trade, the Bobcats were only about $3 million shy of the reaching the luxury tax threshold, a payroll figure owner Michael Jordan said they wouldn't exceed.
"You have to consider that contract is probably one of the most valuable contracts in the league," Higgins said. "The flexibility is the beautiful part of having Erick's deal, maybe not so much for Erick himself as a player, but for the franchise itself."
Carroll is a jump-shooter Charlotte traded to Dallas just 19 months ago, one of eight deals involving 26 players the Bobcats have made since Larry Brown took over as coach at the start of the 2008-09 season. Najera will add depth to Charlotte's front court.
It's a far different outcome for Charlotte than what was being discussed a day earlier.
The Bobcats had been closing in on a deal that would have sent Chandler and Boris Diaw to Toronto for Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans. Calderon would have provided Charlotte with a needed replacement for point guard Raymond Felton, who signed with New York on Monday.
While Higgins insisted the deal wasn't agreed upon, the Raptors seemed to think it was. Chandler wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Monday night that his agent had told him the deal was done, while Evans thanked Raptors fans on his Twitter page.
Instead, the 7-foot-1 Chandler goes to a more competitive team out West, while Diaw remains in Charlotte — for now.
"I never talked to Boris. No one from the Bobcats talked to Boris about him in the trade," Higgins said. "I can't speak for anybody else."
It marked the second time in less than two years Chandler had an apparent trade stopped. Oklahoma City voided a deal with the Hornets in 2009 when Chandler failed a physical.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 draft, Chandler was known in recent years for his alley-oop dunks from Chris Paul in New Orleans. But he also had durability concerns that spilled over in Charlotte after he was acquired for Emeka Okafor.
Foot and ankle injuries limited Chandler to 51 games last season and Brown started 37-year-old Theo Ratliff ahead of him late in the season and in the playoffs. Chandler averaged 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds.
"We did the deal because we felt it was going to give us the opportunity to get better, if not today than down the road," Higgins said. "I think with Tyson when he came here I think unfairly for him there were probably a lot of expectations. Maybe he didn't get a chance to show what he can do."
The Mavericks have been searching to add a big man in the offseason. They get two when you include Ajinca.
The Bobcats gave up on Ajinca, whom they gave up this year's first-round pick to take in the 2008 draft. He played sparingly in two seasons.
"Alexis Ajinca is a fine young center with significant upside," Nelson said.
Higgins indicated the Bobcats aren't done dealing. Acquiring a point guard remains a priority after the Calderon deal fell through.
"With D.J. Augustin as our only point guard under contract, we know we have to get more depth," Higgins said. "We will try at the end of the day to improve that position. ... Our roster still has to take form."
HORNETS GM BOWER LEAVING: NEW ORLEANS — The Hornets and general manager Jeff Bower have "mutually agreed" to part ways immediately.
The Hornets announced Tuesday that Bower was leaving after spending more than 14 seasons with the club in various capacities. He was the club's GM since 2005.
Hornets President Hugh Weber says it was in the best interest of the club to part ways with Bower at this time and that a search for a general manager is already under way.
Bower took over as head coach nine games into last season after the firing of Byron Scott, leading the Hornets to a 34-39 record that left the club at 37-45 overall and out of the playoffs. He went back to the front office during the offseason, when Monty Williams was hired as the Hornets' new coach.
ALLEN OFFICIALLY STAYS WITH CELTICS: WALTHAM, Mass. — Ray Allen is glad to be back with the Boston Celtics.
Allen said on Tuesday that he didn't really want to uproot his family and make them adjust to a new city. His first choice was to stay in Boston, and things worked out for a two-year deal worth about $20 million.
Allen had his physical at the Celtics' workout facility on Tuesday and finalized his contract. With his signing, the Celtics have the core of the team that won the 2008 NBA title back for another run.
The Celtics lost this year in the finals to the Los Angeles Lakers. Allen turns 35 next week. He is 28th on the NBA's career scoring list, and he is fifth among active players.
ILGAUSKAS TO SIGN WITH HEAT: MIAMI — Zydrunas Ilgauskas is following LeBron James to the Miami Heat.
Agent Herb Rudoy says the veteran center expects to sign a two-year contract later this week. The terms have not been finalized, but Rudoy says "we've agreed to agree."
Rudoy says Ilgauskas has told Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert and Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant of his decision.
The 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas was selected by Cleveland with the 20th pick in the 1996 NBA draft.
NETS GET MORROW IN SIGN AND TRADE: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New Jersey Nets have acquired guard Anthony Morrow in a sign and trade deal with the Golden State Warriors.
The Nets say the deal was completed on Tuesday, just a day after they handed Morrow an offer sheet on a three-year, $12 million contract.
The Warriors, who were not expected to match the offer, will get the Nets' second-round draft pick in 2011. The pick is protected if it falls between 31 to 55.
Morrow averaged 13.0 points last season, shooting 46 percent from 3-point range