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Thread: ESPN Insider 8/3/04

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    Default ESPN Insider 8/3/04

    Tuesday, August 3, 2004

    By Chad Ford
    ESPN Insider


    Monday morning we issued a call for the Mavericks, Knicks and Hawks to get off their butts and do something this offseason, and as of Monday night it appeared all three were on the verge of major trades.

    The Mavericks and Hawks are in the process of finalizing a trade that will send forward Antoine Walker to Atlanta for combo guard Jason Terry and forward Alan Henderson. According to multiple reports, the Knicks and Bulls also looked like they were finally on the verge of working out a Jamal Crawford sign-and-trade.

    They weren't the only teams working the phones. The Grizzlies were still talking to the Bulls about an Eddy Curry swap on Monday. Here's a quick look at what was going on around the league Monday night.

    Can Jason Terry replace Steve Nash?

    The Walker-Terry trade makes a lot of sense for the Mavericks and also could potentially give the Hawks a windfall down the road.

    The Mavs have been looking for a starting point guard ever since they lost Steve Nash to Suns in early July. Terry, while not a true point guard, could be a good fit. The Mavs also have rookie Devin Harris, who's much closer to a real point, and Marquis Daniels, who's more of a point forward. Throw in Dirk Nowitzki, who's an excellent ball-handler for his size, and it really lessens the need for the Mavs to go out and find a true point.


    Jason Terry
    Point Guard
    Atlanta Hawks
    Profile


    2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    81 16.8 4.1 5.4 .417 .827

    Still, Terry's no Nash. Nash averaged 8.8 apg, shot 47 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and averaged fewer turnovers per game than Terry did last season.

    Terry suffered through his worst season since his rookie year. His 16.8 ppg average came on just 41 percent shooting. His 3-point shooting was down to 34 percent, and his assists were down to 5.4 per game -- barely one better than Walker averaged in Dallas.

    Terry was unhappy in Atlanta after the team matched a three-year offer sheet from the Jazz, which may help explain his poor performance. He has two years, $14 million left on his contract. Henderson is a throw-in. He played just six games last season. He's in the last year of a contract that pays him just more than $8.2 million next season.

    If the two teams pull the trigger, you can forget about talk of Jason Kidd returning to Big D. Kidd has been dangled to the Mavericks, but owner Mark Cuban has been reluctant to assume the five years, $90 million remaining on his contract unless the Nets take back at least one bad contract in return.

    With Terry in the fold, the debate becomes moot. There won't be a need for Kidd anymore. Adding Henderson in the deal also gives the Mavs flexibility to make another big trade. Both Henderson and Christian Laettner come off the books at the end of the season. However, because of trade rules, the two can't be packaged together or with other players in a trade until the end of the year.

    Why should the Hawks make the trade? There are several motivations. First, the team saves around $7.6 million in the long run by making the trade now. It gives them added cap flexibility next summer, when Walker comes off the books, and roughly $1 million in cap space this year to pursue a top-flight free agent.

    The trade also gives them a versatile big who can play power forward and is still capable of being one of the top passing and shooting big men in the league. Terry's attitude in Atlanta was awful last season, and the Hawks definitely would like to clean the slate there. They already are overloaded at the two and three and know he isn't the point guard of the future anyway.

    While this isn't the home run the Hawks are looking for, it's a solid start. Walker, who turns 28 this month, is a former all-star who still has plenty of gas left in the tank. He's in a contract year, meaning he's motivated, and the Hawks desperately need to add some more size to the roster.

    The team still would need to add a point guard and center but would have roughly $11.5 million in cap space to get it done. Next summer, when Walker and Chris Crawford come off the books, the team still would have enough cash under the cap to make another run at a max free agent. If a combo of Walker, Al Harrington, Josh Childress and whoever the Hawks can add at the point and center can give the Hawks even a respectable season, free agents will start to consider the Hawks a real destination.

    Will Isiah finally get his man?

    Reports out of both Chicago and New York had the the Knicks and Bulls finally on the verge of finalizing a sign-and-trade that would bring Jamal Crawford to New York. The latest deal varies, according to the reports, but essentially sends a re-signed Crawford (6 years, $55 million) and Jerome Williams to the Knicks for Dikembe Mutombo, Frank Williams and either Othella Harrington or Moochie Norris depending on the report. The deal had previously included both Eddie Robinson and Shandon Anderson.

    However, if Crawford is really making six years, $55 million, and if neither Robinson nor Anderson is included, the only way to make a deal work financially is for the Bulls to send Crawford, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies to the Knicks in return for Mutombo, Frank Williams, Harrington and Norris. Because Crawford would be earning a starting salary of $7 million on a six-year deal for $55 million, he becomes a base-year compensation player.


    Jamal Crawford
    Shooting Guard
    Chicago Bulls
    Profile


    2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    80 17.3 3.5 5.1 .386 .833

    That means the Bulls can take back only half of his starting salary ($3.5 million) in any trade. Since the aggregated salaries in a trade must be within 15 percent and $100,000 of each other, the trade is difficult to pull off. Of all the different scenarios out there (and assuming the reported numbers are accurate for Crawford, and Robinson and Anderson aren't included), this is the only one that conforms to the rules of the CBA.

    Does the trade make sense for either team? By making the trade, the Bulls save $2.6 million in salary next year and nearly $10 million over the life of the contracts sent out. Mutombo, Williams and Harrington are in the last years of their contracts, and Norris has two years, $9 million remaining. The Knicks reportedly have offered $3 million in cash to help offset the cost of taking on Norris. The Knicks assume a huge amount of salary, but they're never squeamish about these things.

    However, for Thomas to make this trade happen, he is essentially ending his pursuit of Erick Dampier. According to several reports, he needed the expiring contract of either Mutombo or Harrington to work out a sign-and-trade with the Warriors. Under these scenarios, he has to send both to the Bulls to make the Crawford trade happen.

    Why is Isiah so obsessed with Crawford given the team has a greater need at center? The word coming from the Knicks on Monday was the team is seriously concerned about the health of Allan Houston and believes he may either be unable to play or only able to play limited minutes this season after undergoing offseason knee surgery. This is somewhat at odds with reports just several weeks ago that Houston was healing on schedule.

    Grizz, Bulls still talking

    The Grizzlies and Bulls continued talking about an Eddy Curry swap on Monday, league sources told Insider. The fact Eddie Robinson was pulled out of trade talks with the Knicks may be evidence that a deal is getting closer. A combination of Bonzi Wells (in the last year of his contract) and a re-signed Stromile Swift for Curry and Robinson could work under the terms of the CBA. According to sources, Bulls GM John Paxson is insisting he'll only trade Curry if a team is willing to offer a talented young player or two and salary-cap relief in return.


    Eddy Curry
    Center
    Chicago Bulls
    Profile


    2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
    GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
    73 14.7 6.2 0.9 .496 .671

    If the Bulls complete both the Crawford and Curry trades, they would have roughly $8 million in cap room (assuming a $45 million cap) going into the summer of 2005. However, they likely would have to spend most of that to re-sign Tyson Chandler, who becomes a restricted free agent next summer.

    According to sources around the league, Paxson has switched gears over the past week and now prefers to keep Chandler over Curry. Chandler has been in the Berto Center all summer working out, and according to sources in Chicago looks healthy and ready to resume playing. Chandler averaged 13 ppg and 9.3 rpg last season before a back injury stifled him throughout most of the season.

    While Curry is much better offensively, Chandler, who is 7-foot-2, is much more active defensively and has proved to be an excellent rebounder when he's healthy. Paxson loves his work ethic and feels he could effectively share center minutes with veteran Antonio Davis this season.

    Assuming both trades happen, that would leave Swift and Harrington at the four, rookie Luol Deng and Andres Nocioni (who, at 24, is a little more advanced than your average rookie) and Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Wells, Norris and Williams in the backcourt.

    So what's the hold-up on the Grizzlies trade? Paxson has been talking to several other teams who also are interested in Curry and is in the process of gauging his trade value.

    Around the League

    # It looks like Richard Jefferson will be the second player in the class of 2001 to sign a lucrative extension (Shane Battier was the first). According to sources, both sides are nearing a compromise on a deal that will pay Jefferson around $75 million over six years.

    # The Lakers re-signed forward Slava Medvedenko to a two-year, $6 million deal Monday. The Nets appear close to a two-year, $3.3 million pact with Ron Mercer. They are also trying to finalize a three-year, $11.5 million deal with forward Eric Williams. However, a number of other teams are also in the mix, trying to work out a more lucrative sign-and-trade for Williams.

    # Grizzlies center Jake Tsakalidis has a lucrative offer to play pro ball in Russia, but he has yet to sign it, hoping instead to land with an NBA team. The Grizzlies haven't ruled out re-signing him if they are unable to land a big man.

    # The Wizards gave second-round pick Peter John Ramos a four-year contract worth $2.6 million. However, only the first two years of the contract are fully guaranteed. Ramos just finished playing for Puerto Rico at the World Championship Qualifying Tournament. He averaged 20.6 ppg and 7.6 rpg, including a scintillating 34-point, 9-rebound effort against Team USA in the gold medal game on Monday evening.

    # Hawks guard Travis Hansen has signed a one year deal to play for Tau Ceramica in Spain the club announced today. Hansen confirmed the signing to ESPN.com this afternoon. Hansen, who played his collegian ball at BYU, was the second round draft pick of the Hawks last season where he averaged 3 ppg on 12 mpg.The Hawks had an option to pick up the second year of his contract, but told Hansen they wouldn't pick up the option, allowing him to leave for Spain. The Hawks have drafted five other swingmen over the past two summers, making Hansen expendable.

    Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.

    -----------------------------------------

    Tuesday, August 3 Updated 11:07 AM EST

    Rumor Central

    Knicks reportedly close to acquiring Crawford

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Jamal Crawford
    Bulls
    Knicks Aug. 3 - Just when it appeared Crawford was stuck in Chicago, the sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks appears to be back on. Reports out of both Chicago and New York have the the Knicks and Bulls finally on the verge of finalizing the trade. The latest deal varies, according to the reports, but essentially sends a re-signed Crawford (6 years, $55 million) and Jerome Williams to the Knicks for Dikembe Mutombo, Frank Williams and either Othella Harrington or Moochie Norris depending on the report. The deal had previously included the larger contracts of Eddie Robinson and Shandon Anderson.

    However, if Crawford is really making six years, $55 million and if neither Robinson nor Anderson is included, the only way to make a deal work financially is for the Bulls to send Crawford, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies to the Knicks in return for Mutombo, Frank Williams, Harrington and Norris. Because Crawford would be earning a starting salary of $7 million on a six-year deal for $55 million, he becomes a base-year compensation player.

    That means the Bulls can take back only half of his starting salary ($3.5 million) in any trade. Since the aggregated salaries in a trade must be within 15 percent and $100,000 of each other, the trade is difficult to pull off. Of all the different scenarios out there (and assuming the reports numbers are accurate for Crawford, and Robinson and Anderson aren't included), this is the only one that conforms to the rules of the CBA.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Jason Terry
    Hawks
    Mavs Aug. 3 - According to the N.Y. Post, the Mavericks are close to sending forward Antoine Walker to Atlanta for Terry and forward Alan Henderson. The Mavs have been looking for a starting point guard ever since they lost Steve Nash to Suns in early July. Terry, while not a true point guard, could be a good fit.

    Terry was unhappy in Atlanta all last season after the team matched a three-year offer sheet from the Jazz, which may help explain his poor performance. He has two years, $14 million left on his contract. Henderson is a throw in. He played just six games last season. He's in the last year of a contract that pays him just over $8.2 million next season.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Antoine Walker
    Mavericks
    Hawks Aug. 3 - Walker, according to the N.Y. Post, is heading to the Hawks in exchange for Jason Terry. Walker, who turns 28 in August, is a former all-star who still has plenty of gas left in the tank. He's in a contract year, meaning he's motivated, and the Hawks desperately need to add some more size to the roster.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Jason Kidd
    Nets
    Mavericks
    Lakers
    Spurs Aug. 3 - If the Mavs and Hawks pull the trigger on the Antoine Walker-for-Jason Terry trade, you can forget about talk of Kidd returning to Big D. Kidd has been dangled to the Mavs, but owner Mark Cuban has been reluctant to assume the last five years, $90 million of his contract unless the Nets were willing to take back at least one bad contract in return from Dallas. With Terry in the fold in Dallas, the debate becomes moot. There won't be a need for Kidd anymore.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Eddy Curry
    Bulls
    Grizzlies Aug. 3 - The Grizzlies and Bulls continued talking about an Eddy Curry swap on Monday, league sources told Insider. The fact that Eddie Robinson was pulled out of trade talks with the Knicks may be evidence that a deal is getting closer. A combination of Bonzi Wells (who is in the last year of his contract) and a re-signed Stromile Swift for Curry and Robinson could work under the terms of the CBA. According to sources, Bulls GM John Paxson is insisting that he'll only trade Curry if a team is willing to offer a talented young player or two and salary-cap relief in return.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Troy Hudson
    Timberwolves
    Timberwolves
    Heat?
    Jazz?
    Rockets?
    Raptors? Aug. 3 - Hudson thought he had a deal with the Timberwolves that went for six years and started at about $5 million. Now, he thinks he might have to break off negotiations with Minnesota and find employment elsewhere.

    "I'm getting a little irritated," Hudson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I really want to be in a stable situation. I want to find out where I'm going to be for the season."

    The point guard says he'll give his current team until Friday to finalize the language in his contract that concerns the injury he sustained last season. If not, he may instruct his agent to start talking to other teams.

    "I have the same frustration as Troy," agent Bill Neff said. "I think we'll be able to get this done by the end of the week."

    Miami, Utah, Houston and Toronto were among the teams that expressed interest in Hudson before he told the Wolves he wanted to stay in Minnesota.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Erick Dampier
    Warriors
    Knicks
    Hawks
    Grizzlies
    Pacers
    Suns Aug. 3 - If Knicks GM Isiah Thomas is able to seal the deal for Jamal Crawford, it would essentially end his pursuit of Dampier. According to several reports, Isiah needed the expiring contract of either Dikembe Mutombo or Othella Harrington to put together a sign-and-trade deal with the Warriors. Under the current trade scenario with Chicago, he has to send both to the Bulls to make the Crawford trade happen.

    If the Knicks give up on Dampier, the free agent center will likely sign the Hawks' offer. The Hawks have, according to sources, upped their offer to Dampier now that they've received considerable trade interest from several teams, including the Grizzlies. The Warriors may not be interested in doing a sign-and-trade, but the Hawks wouldn't be averse to signing Dampier and then trading him. If they sign Dampier, they won't be able to trade him until Dec. 15th.

    There's always the risk, given his history, that Dampier will get injured and become untradeable before the deadline. But if he goes to Atlanta and plays well for a few months, it may convince a team like the Grizzlies or Pacers to make a trade that could help fill a number of holes that the Hawks have.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Toni Kukoc
    Bucks
    Bucks
    Heat
    Celtics Aug. 3 - He's at the end of his career, but there's still a lot of interest in Kukoc if the money is right. Miami's shown interest. So have the Celtics. However, it still appears that the Bucks are the front-runners to re-sign him.

    WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

    Bob Sura
    Hawks
    Hawks
    Rockets
    Clippers
    Heat Aug. 3 - Sura was awesome for the Hawks the last month and half of the season, averaging 15.4 ppg, 8 rpg and 7.4 apg in April and 14.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg and 4.4 apg in March. The Hawks need a veteran guard who can play the point and Sura may be the best guy out there. The Rockets, Clippers and Heat are also looking for some help at the point.

  2. #2
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN Insider 8/3/04

    Wow, if Jerry West can steal Curry away from Chicago...
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    Member PacerBlade's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN Insider 8/3/04

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    Wow, if Jerry West can steal Curry away from Chicago...
    Bulls' GM isn't that stupid...

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    Fat, Drunk and Stupid Lord Helmet's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN Insider 8/3/04

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerBlade
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    Wow, if Jerry West can steal Curry away from Chicago...
    Bulls' GM isn't that stupid...
    Yea they are.Remember our trade with the Bulls?

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN Insider 8/3/04

    Different GM

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    Default Re: ESPN Insider 8/3/04

    Krause was smart, but he was an arrogant slob and p!$$ed off enough agents that he couldn't execute his plans.

    Everybody likes Paxson, in part because he might be gullible enough to fall for an unbalanced trade proposal... especially as he's still trying to clean up the mess he inherited.

    And there's still some belief in Chicago that the Bulls accomplished exactly what they wanted to do with that trade - they got rid of a "soft" center who was keeping Curry on the bench, and "unbalanced" SF who was disrupting everything the Bulls were trying to do, and an overpriced SG that can't shoot from beyond 17-feet and couldn't do much else. All they had to do was take back a second-tier star in Jalen Rose and an expiring contract. From the Bulls perspective, that still seems like a steal.

    There's no reason to believe that Brad or Ron would ever have become all-stars had they stayed in Chicago. Before they could blossom, they needed to get to a winning environment - they needed the positive influence of Reggie and JO far more than the Pacers needed them.

    Both teams benefitted from that trade, but not necessarily in the ways that were envisioned when the trade was made.
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