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Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 01:40 PM
Western Conference Rumor Mill

By Chad Ford
NBA Insider
Send an Email to Chad Ford &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Wednesday, June 18
Updated: June 19
9:48 AM ET

Mavs owner Mark Cuban is tired of reading about Jason Kidd's bridesmaid complaints. At least Kidd was invited to the wedding.


Cuban, like too many of us, suffered through the painful NBA Finals wondering what things would've been like had the flashier more up-tempo Mavs been running with the Nets.

"It was painful to watch," Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. "The only thing I take away is that we let a golden opportunity slip away. Some things went our way, and went against us, during the playoffs, but it was inches away, and we let it slip away."

The Mavs have two of just about everything, but until they get a low-post bruiser to rebound, defend and draw a double-team in the post, Cuban might have to keep sitting at home watching the Finals on his giant HDTV.

So expect the Mavs to be among the most aggressive players in the free agent and trade markets. They need power, size and attitude, and they're willing to give up a player or two to get it.

But Cuban won't be the only one trying to shake things up this summer. The Spurs will be adding $14 million worth of top players to the roster. The Lakers have promised to be aggressive in the free-agent market. The Blazers are expected to blow things up. The Nuggets will add a top lottery pick and as many as two high-priced free agents. Jeff Van Gundy has some definite ideas of how to improve the Rockets. The Jazz might finally part ways with Karl Malone and spend some money on a few good men. Jerry West is determined to get his Grizzlies up to speed. The T-Wolves are anxiously trying to make a deal that will convince Kevin Garnett to stick around.


And that's just the Western Conference.

Of course, with a few exceptions, most teams aren't going to be able to get things done with free-agent dollars alone. Teams can't outbid each other with their mid-level exceptions. But they can offer more if they can convince a team to pull a sign-and-trade.

That's why, capped out or not, everyone has some hope going into the offseason.

"I think when we start the season, the West will be just as wide open as it was last year," Cuban said. "It will be interesting to see if the Spurs keep all their free agents, as well as who they bring in. Remember, most big-time free agents don't move with cap room, they move with sign-and-trades. So it will be a very interesting summer."

Sign-and-trades aren't the only things that make teams better. Last year a whopping 10 first-round draft picks were traded right before the draft or on draft night. In 2001, there were eight first-round draft picks traded, and don't forget the Jason Kidd-for-Stephon Marbury deal and the Mike Bibby-for-Jason Williams swap.


All of that means it may be time to sound the alarm -- the NBA trading season is once again open for business. Here's a look at who should keep their bags packed in the Western Conference. On Friday we'll break down the East.

Dallas Mavericks
LaFrentzOn the Block: Raef LaFrentz
The Skinny: The Mavs have to do something about that gaping hole in the middle of their defense. No one available when they draft -- pick No. 29 -- is going to give them the immediate help they need. Teams will try to pry away one of the Big 3 (Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley), but LaFrentz is probably as far as the Mavs will be willing to go. Rumors about a Raptors deal -- LaFrentz and Avery Johnson for Antonio Davis -- seems to be mostly speculation. The Raptors are trying to move Davis, but they're not thrilled about taking back a bad contract. Besides, nothing can happen on that front until July 31, because of base year issues with LaFrentz. Another possibility is a sign-and-trade that sends Heat free agent Alonzo Mourning to Dallas for LaFrentz.


Denver Nuggets
CambyOn the Block: Marcus Camby
The Skinny: They are in a rebuilding state of mind, and Camby isn't. Camby was the victim of a draft-night trade last year and could suffer the same fate again this year. The team will try to bring in two top-tier free agents this summer and mesh them with the their core of young players. If Michael Olowokandi makes it onto the list, Camby's gone for sure. One rumor to watch: Several league sources told Insider the Kings would be willing to part with Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson in return for Camby, Ryan Bowen and the No. 3 pick in the draft. That could be tempting to the Nuggets.


Golden State Warriors
On the Block: Danny Fortson, Erick Dampier, Mike Dunleavy Jr.
The Skinny: The Warriors tried to move Fortson all last season. Would they be able to package their No. 11 pick along with Fortson to get it done this year? They also have their eyes on Gary Payton this summer, if Gilbert Arenas leaves.


Houston Rockets
On the Block: Glen Rice, Cuttino Mobley
The Skinny: There's already been talk about a possible Rice-for-Glenn Robinson deal. Now that Rice is in the last year of his contract, he should be easy to move. The Rockets also will see what value Mobley can bring on the trade market. New coach Jeff Van Gundy wants to bring in a bigger, more experienced player to play alongside Francis. Would he go after Latrell Sprewell?


Los Angeles Clippers
On the Block: ???
The Skinny: They've pulled off big draft-day deals the last three years. Will they make it four? The problem is, they don't have much to trade. Eight of their top players are free agents this year. So ... can we start the bidding on Quentin Richardson before they lose him to free agency too?


Los Angeles Lakers
On the Block: Devean George, Derek Fisher
The Skinny: The Lakers want to shake things up this summer, but how? Unless they offer either Shaq or Kobe (they won't) the best they have to work with is George and Fisher. What could a guy like George get them on the trade market? The T-Wolves would swap Joe Smith for George in a heartbeat.


Memphis Grizzlies
PersonOn the Block: Wesley Person. Maybe Stromile Swift and Shane Battier.
The Skinny: The Grizzlies are trying to get better now. The most recent rumor, via the Chicago Tribune, has them dangling Wesley Person and the No. 13 pick in the draft for the Bulls' No. 7 pick. Tempting. But not only does it not work cap-wise, but the Grizzlies would be giving up an extra $7.7 million in cap room next summer (yes Person is making that much next season). Other reports have suggested Stromile Swift or Shane Battier could be had. The Grizzlies vehemently deny it. Of course, they also denied they would trade Drew Gooden, right up until the time they sent him to Disney World.


Minnesota Timberwolves
On the Block: Joe Smith
The Skinny: If the Lakers really are willing to take Smith off Minnesota's hands, the T-Wolves should jump at the chance. Smith and George need a change of scenery in the worst way. The trade would do both of them a big, big favor.


Phoenix Suns
On the Block: Ummm ...
The Skinny: For the first time in a long time, we're not hearing any Penny Hardaway rumors. What gives? The backcourt of Stephon Marbury and Hardaway clicked last season, when Hardaway was healthy. The Suns would like to get more playing time for Joe Johnson and Casey Jacobsen, but right now Hardaway's still holding them off.


Portland Trail Blazers
WallaceOn the Block: Rasheed Wallace, Dale Davis, Ruben Patterson
The Skinny: The rumor that's been floating for weeks has the Blazers sending Wallace to the Raptors for Antonio Davis, Hakeem Olajuwon (expiring contract) and the No. 4 pick in the draft. Wallace's value is two-fold. Not only is he one of the top power forwards in the country when he's not serving suspensions, but his $17 million contract comes off the books next year. According to one source, the Heat also would be willing to play ball for Wallace. Their offer? Brian Grant, Anthony Carter and the No. 5 pick.


Sacramento Kings
On the Block: Hedo Turkoglu and Peja Stojakovic. Maybe Mike Bibby.
The Skinny: The rumors of Mike Bibby and Hedo Turkoglu going to the Nets in a sign-and-trade for Jason Kidd took on a life of their own this week. If you're Geoff Petrie, you pull the trigger on that in a heartbeat. However, the Kings appear to be active right now on a number of fronts. There's talk of a swap with Denver that would send Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson to the Nuggets for Marcus Camby, Ryan Bowen and the No. 3 pick. There's also talk of the Kings shipping Turkoglu to the Bulls for Dalibor Bagaric and the No. 7 pick. Something will happen in Sacramento. There's a lot of smoke there, and, at the very least, it looks like they're willing to move Turkoglu. The Pistons and Blazers have also shown interest.


San Antonio Spurs
On the Block: Tony Parker?
The Skinny: They only have five players under contract for next season, and the Spurs aren't inclined to trade any of them. Instead, expect the Spurs to stock up via free agency and the draft. Of course if Jason Kidd decides to come to town, that could change. Instead of playing Kidd and Tony Parker together in the backcourt, they'd be better off trading Parker and getting some more size in return.


Seattle SuperSonics
On the Block: Brent Barry, Vladimir Radmanovic, Calvin Booth
The Skinny: The Sonics need a power forward and point guard in the worst way. While their two first-round picks (No. 12 and No. 14) can help them address those issues, the team isn't sure they'll get starters. Packaging Brent Barry (in the last year of his deal) and Vladimir Radmanovic could land them a top flight point guard or veteran power forward. Among the deals the Sonics reportedly are pursuing? Barry, Radmanovic and their two picks for Jamal Crawford or Jay Williams and Marcus Fizer.


Utah Jazz
On the Block: Karl Malone, John Amaechi
The Skinny: If Karl Malone decides it's time to leave Utah, the Jazz will pursue a sign-and-trade to get value in return. That probably won't work if Malone chooses San Antonio or the Lakers, because those teams don't have anything Utah wants. But a deal with Dallas that brings back Raef LaFrentz might be something the Jazz would be interested in.


:cooldevil

Marcus Bryant
06-19-2003, 01:42 PM
WHY DONT THE SPURS SIGN BIG NAME FREE AGENTS? WHY ARE THEY NEVER MENTIONED IN RUMORS ABOUT BIG TRADES AND SUCH?

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 01:44 PM
Well, for the past three years we've been in a Holt-ing Pattern. Before that, the Spurs had no money to spare and very few tradeable commodities.


:cooldevil

Marcus Bryant
06-19-2003, 01:47 PM
Shut up already with your cute little phrases. You think Peter Holt doesn't want to win? You are so off it isn't even funny. Here we are the day after the city of SA and the Spurs celebration of their 2nd NBA title, a title you told us would never happen, and you are still spewing your nonsense.

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 01:49 PM
Um, STFU.

You are the only b1tch here, Marcus.

You try to instigate a quarrell with me and when I p1ss on your takes, you resort to saying I am complaining.

Get your head out of your @ss and enjoy the championship honeymoon.

:cooldevil

adidas11
06-19-2003, 01:50 PM
Quote: "Instead of playing Kidd and Tony Parker together in the backcourt, they'd be better off trading Parker and getting some more size in return."

Nuff said. :cooldevil

Solid D
06-19-2003, 01:51 PM
WHY DONT THE SPURS SIGN BIG NAME FREE AGENTS? WHY ARE THEY NEVER MENTIONED IN RUMORS ABOUT BIG TRADES AND SUCH? - Marcus Bryant

This could easily have been a quote from Ghost any of the past 3 years...for those of you needing translation.

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 01:54 PM
Wow, Solid D, you're quick on the uptake, huh? Go to the library and read the book: "Sarcasm for Dummies".



adidas, I agree. It's either Parker or Kidd. If we got Kidd, I'd send Parker elsewhere for size. Of course, this is stuff we settled on about a year ago, but some people are stubborn or just plain stupid.

:cooldevil

Solid D
06-19-2003, 01:58 PM
"Sarsasm"

I guess none of us are exempt from mistakes, today. ;)

adidas11
06-19-2003, 01:58 PM
Some people on the other board and this board seem to think a backcourt of Parker and Kidd would be successful. Of course, this leaves out Manu and the choice of either Bowen/Jackson to fill out the 3 spot. I can't envision San Antonio moving Parker to the bench. I say the only way Jason Kidd comes to San Antonio is through a S&T (although DizzG will insist that it's possible Kidd will come via straight Free Agency) and that Parker will have to be sacraficed as part of the S&T. Maybe I'm just crazy though...:rollin

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 02:03 PM
Solid D, nice catch, bro.


adidas, the only flaw I see with the Spurs doing a sign-and-trade with the Nets for Kidd using Parker is that the Spurs can sign Kidd outright. Why would Kidd want to lessen the talent pool on the team he was agreeing to sign with?

Of course, if the Spurs wanted to bring in Kidd to upgrade Parker and have enough cap flexibilty to sign Jackson, Ginobili, Claxton, etc., they may jsut as soon part ways with Parker, because he'll cost money down the road.

:cooldevil

Solid D
06-19-2003, 02:14 PM
Kidd could end up in a S & T, no doubt. Another question looking outside of J-Kidd.:

If the Spurs do end up offering Max money to someone like Jermaine O'Neal on or about July 16th, would the Pacers be able to match and keep J.O. for $12 meg in 2003-04 (or 30% of new cap) and keep Croshere and Ron Mercer at over $14M combined, and keep Brad Miller?

ducks
06-19-2003, 02:26 PM
, they may jsut as soon part ways with Parker, because he'll cost money down the road.


why not trade parker later if parker and kidd do not work out? or why not keep them together and after a year parker improves with kidd then ship kidd out for brand?

just pay kidd max money to coach tp this next year. ofcourse would the clippers pay a max contract to a player that deserves one. they say they would.

Aggie Hoopsfan
06-19-2003, 02:41 PM
Where do they come up with some of this?


Several league sources told Insider the Kings would be willing to part with Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson in return for Camby, Ryan Bowen and the No. 3 pick in the draft.

Peja and Bobby Jackson for the #3 pick? Does Denver just want to suck?

And Miami doing a S&T sending out Mourning for Lafrentz? Riley's trying to get out from under bad contracts, not take on another one.

Solid D, that appears to be the plan Indy's pursuing, they're gonna be over the lux cap though. One thing to remember is when the expansion draft is held next year, I'd bet money that Indy leaves Croshure unprotected.

AHF

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 03:04 PM
Aggie, I actually think that Demver would be making out in that deal. Peja is an All-Star and no guard had a better first half of the season than Bobby Jackson did starting in place of Mike Bibby. Denver would be getting two talented starting quality proven performers at the cost of Carmelo Anthony basically a young Jamal Mashburn.

Does Denver want to stay young forever?


:cooldevil

kohai
06-19-2003, 03:08 PM
One thing to remember is when the expansion draft is held next year, I'd bet money that Indy leaves Croshure unprotected.

I'll bet Charlotte doesn't bite on that bad contract, though. they only get a % of the cap to spend in their first two years, like 70% in year one, and 90% in year two(?). Why tie a big chunk up in a stiff like Croshere.

I don't see why folks like 'Didas insist that Kidd must come in a S&T. NJ won't be offering him that cap-poison year 7, since that figure is added to NJ's cap, pro-rated, for the first six years of his deal. It's been pretty much acknowledged in the press that it's our 6 year offer, with no state income tax, against NJ's 6 year offer. NJ can go screw themselves. We can sign Kidd outright, and then ship TP out for size if it looks like that backcourt won't work. If they want the trade exception, they can take a second rounder like Toronto did for TMac, and like it.

DuffMcCartney
06-19-2003, 03:14 PM
"I think when we start the season, the West will be just as wide open as it was last year," Cuban said. "It will be interesting to see if the Spurs keep all their free agents, as well as who they bring in. Remember, most big-time free agents don't move with cap room, they move with sign-and-trades. So it will be a very interesting summer."

And who exactly does Cuban think he can pull out a S&T with? Absolutely nobody unless he gives up at least two of the big three....I dont see that happening. NVE is only good because of the system he is in, I bet you if he was anywhere else like he was before the Mavs he would stink just like he did before the Mavs. That whole deal about Raef, yeah right, the Mavs just fucked themselves with a whole lot of bad contracts and they are just living in denial about the whole thing. No way anybody would pick up Raef's contract or anybodies on that team, the biggest problem for the Mavs is that Cuban spends ridiculous amount of money for players that suck ass.

ducks
06-19-2003, 03:17 PM
if denver makes that trade they may convince howard to stay there. howard may be sick of lossing

and rookies take time to be good and may not pan out

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 03:21 PM
Other reports have suggested Stromile Swift or Shane Battier could be had. The Grizzlies vehemently deny it. Of course, they also denied they would trade Drew Gooden, right up until the time they sent him to Disney World.


:cooldevil

scott
06-19-2003, 03:30 PM
Portland Trail Blazers
WallaceOn the Block: Rasheed Wallace, Dale Davis, Ruben Patterson
The Skinny: The rumor that's been floating for weeks has the Blazers sending Wallace to the Raptors for Antonio Davis, Hakeem Olajuwon (expiring contract) and the No. 4 pick in the draft. Wallace's value is two-fold. Not only is he one of the top power forwards in the country when he's not serving suspensions, but his $17 million contract comes off the books next year. According to one source, the Heat also would be willing to play ball for Wallace. Their offer? Brian Grant, Anthony Carter and the No. 5 pick.


Can you trade retired players?

NCaliSpurs
06-19-2003, 03:45 PM
If their papers haven't been filed.

NCaliSpurs
06-19-2003, 03:46 PM
Um, STFU.

You are the only b1tch here, Marcus.

You try to instigate a quarrell with me and when I p1ss on your takes, you resort to saying I am complaining.

Get your head out of your @ss and enjoy the championship honeymoon.


Ghost and Marcus quibbling like girls. It must be summer time.

:lol

Aggie Hoopsfan
06-19-2003, 04:13 PM
Ghost,

Denver needs to sell some tickets, get their attendance up. I think they have a better chance with 'Melo than with the two Kings.

AHF

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 04:30 PM
Aggie, you were originally talking about not sucking. The two Kings may not put the @sses in the seats, but they would certainly translate to more wins than Anthony.






:cooldevil

Aggie Hoopsfan
06-19-2003, 04:33 PM
Maybe, maybe not.

Carmelo's gonna have the ultimate motivation: proving that the teams who picked LeBron and Darko ahead of him F'ed up.

The kid's gonna be a great baller, and until he pulls ahead he's always going to be gunning to be a better player/bigger winner than LeBron.

The butts in the seats thing is secondary, 'Melo's gonna be a franchise player. Denver doesn't have one of those, and the Kings won't qualify either.

AHF

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 04:36 PM
Let's see Anthony carry a team this season in the NBA before we call him a franchise player. I think he'll be like Jamal Mashburn.

Like I said before, the two Kings are All-Star quality now.

:cooldevil

scott
06-19-2003, 04:44 PM
Denver is slowly building a decent team. If they sign Arenas this summer- they'll have a core group of players in Anthony, Arenas, and Hilario. Not bad to build around. If Tklishivi ever amounts to anything, he'll be a nice player too.

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 05:00 PM
Be that as it may, scott, I still put more stock in having one superstar, a secondary star and a decent mix of young and veteran role players.

Rarely do we see young teams of blossoming talent amount to anything or make the playoffs for that matter. Even more rare is these teams sticking together when the phenoms start maturing as hitting their primes.

That's why I'll never be phazed by teams like Chicago, Cleveland, LA Clippers, Denver, etc.

By the time their young talent reaches their potential, several of them will have left for free agency.


:cooldevil

scott
06-19-2003, 05:27 PM
So, Ghost, who then is the superstar after this trade? Peja? He more closely fits the role of secondary star. Bobby Jackson? Could be a secondary star as well.

The core of Anthony, Arenas, and Hilaro has the potential to be the optimal line up you just outlined. Superstar (Anthony), Secondary Star (Arenas). At the same time, Hilaro has the potential to be more than a "role player" as well.

I'm not saying that Anthony will or will not be a superstar- but he does have the potential to be one. You certainly can't fault a team for attempting to go with an Anthony-Arenas-Hilaro core.

If those players develop as much as possible, they may be battling it out with Phoenix (Marbury-Marion-Stoudamire) for Pacific Division titles in a few years.

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 05:34 PM
scott, does any of this ring a bell?:

Kidd-Jackson-Mashburn
Wallace-Webber-Howard
Gugliotta-Marbury-Garnett

Re-read what I wrote before.

:cooldevil

scott
06-19-2003, 05:53 PM
I realize that the history of a corps of young, developing stars does not have a great track record- but that doesn't mean you don't try. Especially if the next best option is Peja-Jackson-Hilario as opposed to Anthony-Arenas-Hilario.

The only potential superstar in that bunch is Anthony. If the deal was the #3 pick for Webber- it'd be another story.

The question is, how much do the Nuggets have to benefit by doing this deal as opposed to what they have to lose?

Risk/Reward.

Ghost Writer
06-19-2003, 06:03 PM
I'm sorry. I generally look at other team's past failures and try not to replicate them.

:cooldevil

scott
06-19-2003, 06:27 PM
Yes, we are fully aware that you are nothing more than a front-running bandwagoner.

Go Yankees, right?

RuffnReadyOzStyle
06-19-2003, 11:53 PM
AHF and Ghost - when I saw that proposed trade my jaw dropped because for mine you always take proven players over draft picks - sheesh, will Carmelo become a better player than Peja alone??? If I'm Denver I snap that one up (gives them a solid point and an excellent SF), if I'm the Kings I ask Kiki what he's been smoking! :rollin

IcemanCometh
06-20-2003, 12:33 AM
ghost is my hero

Marcus Bryant
06-20-2003, 01:49 AM
I'm sorry. I generally look at other team's past failures and try not to replicate them.

'cept for the Knicks and of course the 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs...