View Full Version : a little NBA news from ESPN.com, 9/14/04

09-14-2004, 12:34 PM

From Mark Stein:

I'm hearing ...

That Portland and Boston engaged in some exploratory trade talks last spring on a deal that would have featured Paul Pierce and Zach Randolph swapping teams, in spite of the fact their salaries don't come close to matching. Some six months later, while small-for-big certainly must hold some appeal for the Celtics, Pierce is going nowhere as an all-but-untouchable. The Blazers, of course, wouldn't even consider trading Randolph -- especially for a swingman, even a swingman as good as Pierce -- if not for concerns about his off-court comportment. Skill-wise he's a franchise player, but the Blazers, as you know, are intent on building around especially skillful good citizens ...

And that Gary Payton will be in training camp with the Celtics, even though he hasn't officially notified them yet. Which means Boston, if nothing else, will have one of the most interesting teams in the East, with Payton and Ricky Davis flanking Pierce for new coach Doc Rivers. Throw in Mark Blount and a rehabilitated Raef LaFrentz and, again, Boston looks interesting at the very least after several months of Danny Ainge-bashing ...

And that T.J. Ford's public declarations of optimism don't change the fact that it's a long shot he'll play at all this season. Sadly for the Bucks and for Ford, entities that both exceeded expectations last season, this remains a potentially career-ending injury.

One possible explanation for the leaguewide willingness to splash big dollars this offseason: Teams have been notified that a forthcoming $37 million lump-sum payment to the Lakers from a local cable operator should - stress should -- increase Basketball Related Income this summer by roughly $74 million.

If that payment goes through, as expected, the probability of the luxury tax being triggered next season could be as low as 10 percent. That's according to University of North Carolina-Greensboro economics professor Dan Rosenbaum, our longtime luxury-tax expert. Rosenbaum estimates the probability of a luxury tax after the 2004-05 season at 50 percent if the lump-sum payment to the Lakers is held up in court or for any other reason.

It's no stretch, mind you, to suggest that the hard line commissioner David Stern has taken in labor negotiations with the union -- seeking a more stringent luxury tax- - is because he has just seen how teams spend when they don't expect a luxury tax.

Lord Helmet
09-14-2004, 09:05 PM
Dang that sucks for Ford and the Bucks.He was playing well before the injury.BTW what did he hurt agian?Was it his knee?