Truth & Rumors: Nov. 19, 2004
Posted: Friday November 19, 2004 12:40PM; Updated: Friday November 19, 2004 4:07PM
Baseball's Hot Stove is heating up with a flurry of rumors and gossip. To keep you up-to-date, we've created a special edition of Hot Stove Truth & Rumors.
The Raptors and Trail Blazers are in serious trade discussions that would send Vince Carter west in return for power forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim. A larger trade involving Carter and Jalen Rose for Abdur-Rahim, either Nick Van Exel or Derek Anderson and a third Blazer was discussed but has been put on the backburner. Because of salary cap rules, Carter could not be traded straight up for Abdur-Rahim, although each team has several low-salary players they could throw in to make the deal work. The Raptors might want to toss in the contract of the injured Alvin Williams and take another player back to make the deal work.
"I don't make comments on any trade discussions or rumors," Raptors GM Rob Babcock said.
Ever since he arrived at training camp out of shape, Carter has been happily watching his stats plummet and his trade value bottoming out, laughing and smiling through wins and losses alike. And if he's concerned -- heck, if he even still enjoys playing basketball -- he hides it well.
Dikembe Mutombo believes he was traded this summer by Knicks GM Isiah Thomas because of an old feud Thomas has with Mutombo's agent David Falk, dating back to when the two were involved with the NBA Players Association. When asked what it says about an executive who may have placed his personal feelings over what is good for the team, Mutombo said: "I plead the Fifth."
Mutombo's charge is laughable. Michael Sweetney is a Falk client and virtually untouchable. Contrary to a Chicago report, the Knicks say Sweetney won't be included in any Eddy Curry deal.
Nobody is talking publicly about Latrell Sprewell's demand for a contract extension with the Timberwolves. Privately, prospects for getting a deal done have improved in recent days.
Jason Kidd isn't likely to start practicing until late next week, at the earliest, and probably won't play a game until late December. By that point, the Nets might be closer to contending for a lottery pick than for a playoff spot.
The Nets worked out Tremaine Fowlkes, Britton Johnsen and Marcus Haislip yesterday to fill Ron Mercer's injury-induced opening. The Nets could just stay with forward Awvee Storey.
If the Mavericks are into the middle of next season and are unhappy with what Erick Dampier has given them, they might be receptive to a move. But it's not even going to cross their minds before then.
Think Hornets owner George Shinn wishes he had listened to minority owner Ray Wooldridge two summers ago and hired Mike Fratello instead of Tim Floyd? Especially since Shinn is paying Floyd $1.5 million this season, and went overboard ($4.5 million a year for three years) for the first time to secure a coach (Byron Scott)?
Rockets assistant coach Patrick Ewing still aspires to rejoin the Knicks. His ambition is to one day be a head coach.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss was a lot closer to losing Kobe Bryant than he realized during last summer's free-agent period. "I think he had really kind of made up his mind somewhere during the year that he was going to leave," Buss said. "I don't think I really recognized that.When I told him what kind of team I wanted, what kind of exciting basketball I wanted to play ... Of course Kobe wanted to play the same kind of basketball and that's how we got together."
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells' body language is what led former 49ers quarterback Steve Young to say he thinks the Cowboys coach might not be back next season. "What does [Young] know? I haven't talked to him in two years. He doesn't know anybody I know," Parcells said, adding somewhat to his terse answer the day before regarding what he called "a ridiculous question." Parcells never said, "Yes, I'm coming back" or "I'm digging in" or "I'm positive we can get this thing righted." He instead noted that he does not possess a crystal ball and therefore does not know what will happen before next season.
Don't think Browns management hasn't already begun nosing around, trying to determine whether embattled coach Butch Davis really is a potential candidate for college jobs at Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere next season.
It appears likely that Davis will be fired after the season. His team is 3-6 and must face the Jets, Patriots and rejuvenated Bengals the next 3 weeks.
Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia has taken an image hit for openly second-guessing Davis so much this season and undermining his authority. If any Browns player owes Davis total and blind loyalty these days, it's Garcia. If Davis hadn't pushed team management to sign Garcia for lucrative free-agent money during the offseason, the QB would likely be making chump change as a backup with Tampa Bay (the only other NFL team that seriously pursued him).
Mike McMahon has gotten more practice time than usual with the No. 1 offense this week, but he isn't putting much stock in speculation that he might challenge Joey Harrington's starting status. Harrington has taken every snap this year and will start Sunday's game at Minnesota.
Jets QB Chad Pennington, who is expected to be out two to four weeks with a strained rotator cuff on his right (throwing) shoulder, will be examined by doctors on Monday.
Jets offensive coordinator Paul Hackett is so loathed by the fans, he has become a target not worth the foxhole. He has to go, whether the Jets make the playoffs or not.
In the last year of his contract, running back LaMont Jordan is running out of time. The Jets say they intend to re-sign him, but there are no guarantees.
The Buccaneers' Anthony McFarland was placed on injured reserve with a torn right triceps, the third defensive tackle lost because of injury this season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has summoned the league's GMs to New York on Dec. 2 for a day-long meeting for what's being described as an informal update on bargaining.
Bettman may unveil a date as to when the 2004-05 season will be potentially lost at the meeting.
There won't be an NHL Entry Draft before a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the players' association, said Frank Bonello, the director of the NHL's scouting department .
"If there's no draft, no CBA at that point, we're going to have to explore our options," said Pat Brisson, one of the agents for potential top pick Sidney Crosby.
The NHLPA is considering an amendment to its agent certification regulations that would prohibit player representatives from negotiating contracts for replacement players next season. Although NHL officials have denied that the league would use replacement players for the 2005-06 season, there has been strong speculation that the lengthy lockout is headed for an impasse and the league would wind up employing replacement players.
Toronto's Tie Domi confirms there is a deal on the table for him and Leafs captain Mats Sundin to play for Djurgarden, of the Swedish Elite League in the New Year.
An unnamed NHL agent has lost his certification for leaking information about a players' association Web site used to help negotiate contracts to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. NHLPA union head Bob Goodenow informed the agent that he broke the union's confidentiality rules and would no longer be able to negotiate player contracts.
The Spanish Football Federation has sent a formal apology to England's Football Association for racist abuse by fans in Madrid against England's black players in Wednesday's friendly match between the two countries. World and European governing bodies FIFA and UEFA will be investigating.
The Spanish government said it was working with football authorities to find the "small number" of fans at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid who aimed monkey chants at black England players, including Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips.