The headline here is wrong, I guess. Whoever wrote the headline needs to read the article
NO WAY JERMAINE'S ON THE BLOCK
By PETER VECSEY
June 16, 2006 -- MIAMI - If you read a quote by a named Pacers official or an unnamed source denying Jermaine O'Neal is being shopped, do not fall for it. Too many reliable fountains of information claim the All-Star forward is definitely available for a team's best big player, or an elite draft pick and the team's second best player.
Do not bank on the Raptors to relinquish their pick of the litter for O'Neal. In fact, don't bank on any of the top four draft picks to be traded with Texas center LaMarcus Aldridge rapidly emerging as the favorite to go No. 1, overall.
As long as I'm disregarding reports, obliterate the one that contends the Raptors are considering swapping coveted duo Charlie Villanueva and Mo Peterson for Jamal Magloire and Mo Williams. The only way Toronto takes Magloire in any deal remotely resembling that one is if the Bucks substitute T.J. Ford for Mo.
Tell you something else to discount totally that's being floated out there by wastes of space. Wizard owner Abe Pollin, back to work after a month or so of poor health, is not holding off on extending Eddie Jordan's contract in order to pounce on Larry Brown when (not if) the Knicks finally cut the umbilical cord. Washington is very pleased with how Jordan has guided the team to two straight postseasons and has every intention of retaining him past next season.
Jordan, by the way, isn't the only rising lame duck coach. Also in that position are Mike Dunleavy, Mike Fratello, Rick Carlisle, Sam Mitchell, Bob Hill, Bernie Bickerstaff, Byron Scott and George Karl, who's down for one more year, at which time Denver has a three-year option.
Column contributor Joe Belfiore feels it was a little tacky of commissioner David Stern to join the Heat crowd behind the basket and wave those pom-poms when the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki admittedly "short-armed" his Game 3-deciding free throw.
As mentioned previously, I cast my MVP vote for Dirk. Evidently, I think he can play a little bit. At the same time, ABC's color (uncoordinated) studio analyst Mark Jackson should have his mouth washed out with German chocolate cake for stating Dirk is better than Larry Bird. Not only would Bird have the layup that would've tied the game, underlines column contributor Kevin Heller, "he would've slipped on a blindfold and drained the winning free throw."
The Nuggets are prepared to trade any player on their roster exempting Carmelo Anthony. Any team can have Kenyon Martin essentially for nothing, no joke, if you classify $71 million over the next five seasons nothing . . . Orlando is looking to obtain an established off guard in case it loses DeShawn Stevenson to free agency.
With the Hawks' ownership seemingly in question, it figures to be difficult for GM Billy Knight to make a command decision such as the possible acquisition of Allen Iverson, who'd be an instant gravitational pull in the stands. He's exactly what the incredibly athletic Hawks need to improve dramatically in the standings as well. Naturally, Marvin Williams or Josh Smith would have to part of any exchange program.
Look for Timberwolves GM Jim Stack, a Pacers assistant under Isiah Thomas, to assume a lot of the same duties in New York when Brown leaves and the team president takes over as coach . . . The agent for Mr. Miami, "I'll sacrifice-everything-to-win-a-title-as-long-as-I'm-well-comensated-for-it," has been alerting teams client Alonzo Mourning is about to become a free agent. Shocking that ABC's hard-hitting Game 3 halftime feature on the Organ Groaner never mentioned anything like that.
The Lakers are looking at Kwame Brown exclusively as a center, meaning Andrew Bynum can be had. The question is, for what/ Since he has no college experience and only one unrevealing year of pro ball, nobody really knows what the New Jersey 7-footer is worth . . . If you believe the media (I never have), the Knicks have placed a gag order on Next Town Brown - a natural progression from the gag season he placed on the rest of us.