ARTEST FOR MAGGETTE DEAL DEAD
By PETER VECSEY
January 14, 2006 -- Late Thursday the Pacers notified the Clippers that Corey Maggette's left foot failed scrutiny by their doctors, therefore their proposed deal for Ron Artest is dead.
An LA source claims surgery would guarantee Maggette 100 percent recovery, but it'd mean shelving the remainder of the season. Should the 21-point scorer remain in the cast for another five to six weeks, there's an 80-to-90 percent chance he'll be fine.
Obviously, the Pacers didn't feel those odds were in their favor or in their best interests. At the same time, there doesn't appear to be a better offer out there; otherwise, it would've been competed long ago. Indiana may be forced to redial the Nuggets and see if a proposition it nearly executed twice 10 days ago is still available.
Sports Illustrated reported Kenyon Martin was part of that package, a contention strongly refuted by GM Kiki Vandeweghe. I'm not so sure the magazine got it wrong.
Andre Miller's name has resurfaced in trade talk, says someone in the know. Sounds to me like the Celtics may have rekindled summer dialogue that nearly sent Paul Pierce to Denver for the former NBA assists leader. Boston's current prime objectives are to dump sizeable long-term contracts and acquire an established point guard.
Your guess is as good as mine whether the Clips lucked out not getting the Artest formally known as Tru Warier, or it should be branded bad news. If your playoff team needs help, there's no doubt he's the best player available.
It's definitely bad news Maggette now knows the Clips were prepared to airlift him to Indiana. An LA source says he's not taking the news well.
Someone ought to point out to Maggette there are precious few unmentionables in the league's Holy Name Society of Swap Talk — Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Yao Ming. Just about everyone else — Kevin Garnett, Kobe, Allen Iverson, etc. — has nearly been traded or was.
If Wilt and Kareem and Shaq and Dr. J can be traded, Maggette certainly isn't immune. Moreover, the fact he's in the conversation means he's coveted.
The good Clipper news is, Maggette has plenty of time to get over being upset before he returns to active duty.