I have read the part about the pacers 5 times and cannot figure out who was the other player who skipped the last meeting. Seems like it says that Al harrington did, but the sentence before that is apears that AL met with Donnie, but maybe he blew off the "other meeting" Confused

Appears McGrady never wanted to play for the Pacers. Because McGrady is a free agent after next season, the Pacers needed assurances that he would re-sign, and I think the deal cooled because T-Mac was not wanting to come here.


http://www.nypost.com/sports/23513.htm


TRACY A ROCKET MAN; CLIPPERS GUN FOR SHAQ







June 22, 2004 -- GUESSING games are hereby cancelled on several channels:

Come July 1, Tracy McGrady will be the newest Rocket Launcher to look off Yao Ming down low more times than not.

The Clippers have separated themselves from the NBA pack as the most ardent suitor for Shaquille O'Neal's slighted services.

And all that's standing between Rudy Tomjanovich from being hired as Lakers head coach is an interview with Kobe Bryant.

These are a few of my favorite things gleaned from sources very much in the know.

Steve Francis was named in the exchange program prophecy. In less than two weeks when Francis' base year salary status all but evaporates, he'll officially join the Magic along with Cutino Mobley and throw-in Bostjan Nachbar. Juwan Howard and Tyronn Lue will join McGrady in Houston. McGrady earns $13.3 million in '04-05, while Howard pockets $5.4M and Lue $1.65M. Francis is on the books for $12.3M, Mobley $5.88M and Nachbar $1.49M.

From what I'm told, McGrady only had eyes for the Rockets from the git-go. Phoenix interjected itself into the conversation early because it quickly offered to swap Shawn Marion.



The Pacers got consideration late from the Magic (but not McGrady, not really, despite a long, tight relationship with Jermaine O'Neal) when they proposed a deal involving Jeff Foster, Jonathan Bender and Al Harrington, who asked to be traded in his final meeting with CEO Donnie Walsh (no promises were made) regardless of whether Ron Artest is kept or dealt.

Both players blew off the team's last meeting and were fined 5G apiece; Artest has been dangled to the Grizzlies for Muncie, Indiana's Bonzi Wells and a No. 1 pick Memphis doesn't have but is trying to obtain. When the Rockets-Magic arrangement is completed it'll be the most important relocation of an NBA scoring star that doesn't implicate the Birmingham Barons.


Should Shaq shift to the Staples Center's other NBA tenants, my Paper Clips would instantly supplant the L.A. Kings as the second best basketball team in the building.

Do we dare imagine!

Several seasons ago, owner Donald Sterling preferred remaining coach-less during the summer simply to save salary. Now he's prepared to do whatever it takes, it appears, to acquire Shaq as well as extend his substantial salary several seasons in order to keep him beyond the next two.

An entrenched LA monitor reveals how much the Clips — $3.8M under the $43.8M cap — want to do business. Elton Brand ($10.96M), Corey Maggette ($7M), two of their three best players (Quentin Richardson is a restricted free agent) and Melvin Ely ($1.63M) are readily obtainable.

That shows they've got a serious thing for Shaq. But if they're dead serious about generating unprecedented overnight credibility, advertising revenue, season ticket holders and unearthly interest, as well as assembling a championship contender, it's probably going to cost them the fourth overall pick in the draft.

"I'm not entirely sure the Clips have to go that far to get the deal done," allowed the source. "As it stands, the Lakers seem genuinely tempted. They're eager to get something done. At the same time, should they decide to include their draft pick I'm confident the Lakers will accept without another thought."

In anticipation they may have to use the pick to square things with the Lakers or create additional cap space for Shaq, the Clips yanked their proposition (No. 2 for Nos. 6 & 17) off the Hawks' table.

(Naturally, O'Neal must agree to reenlist with the Clips before anything is consummated; they're not going to turn over that much talent to the Lakers on a one or two year rental and Shaq also must promise not to recruit Gary Payton.)

The Charlotte Bobcats, in return for taking Sterling off the hook for Predrag Drobnjak's 2-year obligation ($2.55M/$2.7M) swapped Nos. 4 and 33 for No. 2; Shaun Livingston, a 6-7 prep point guard, is the object of Mike Dunleavy's desire should the Lakers fail to squeeze the Clips for the equally prime real estate.

The Bobcats, who must pluck 14 players in today's expansion draft, also appear positioned to relieve the Suns of Jahidi White's $6.1M for a payment of $3M.

Last week, Shaq goofed at the prospects of a Laker-Clipper rivalry should Kobe decide he'd enjoy being a Staples Center stepchild. It was no secret Sterling had approved Bryant's summer romancing and had saved $10.2M worth of cap space in his honor. The possibility of such a twist of fate can't help but jolt even the most infertile minds.

A Shaq-Kobe feud in the same town would be anything but petty. The likely stiff competition between the two teams would be watered down compared to their trash talking. Laker loyalty would be ripped apart like never before and everybody would profit as a result.

As for Tomjanovich, Kobe can't find a more compatible, non-confrontational, coachable coach accomplished at instructing players to get the ball to their official scorer. The only way Rudy T. doesn't get the job is if he's beaten out by Kobe's au pair, Jim Gray.