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NBA: April 10, 2006

Posted: Monday April 10, 2006 10:52AM; Updated: Monday April 10, 2006 10:52AM
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Despite missing the bulk of yet another season in Orlando, Grant Hill is expected back on the court next season for the Magic.
Despite missing the bulk of yet another season in Orlando, Grant Hill is expected back on the court next season for the Magic.
Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images
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There have been rumors of a Michael Jordan-Trail Blazers connection with Nike headquartered in Oregon. But even Nike executives now see the Trail Blazers as a bad deal. There is now considerable doubt the franchise could command $300 million, which could lead owner Paul Allen to declare bankruptcy. If there were a bankruptcy, the NBA would take over the team as baseball did with the Montreal Expos and find a buyer.
 -- Chicago Tribune

Magic Assistant General Manager Otis Smith said he believes forward Grant Hill will play next season -- even if he has to undergo another sports hernia surgery.
 -- Orlando Sentinel

Perhaps it was all part of a grand scheme. The more disruptive Ruben Patterson could be in Portland, the better his chances of being traded. "That might have a little bit to do with it," Patterson said.
 -- Rocky Mountain News

The most likely free-agent targets for the Bulls remain Atlanta forward Al Harrington and Portland center Joel Przybilla.
 -- Daily Herald

The talk is the Warriors will make Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy available, though the big deal would be if they attempt to trade Jason Richardson. Richardson could be the kind of player who could bring the Warriors the big man they've been missing. Would they be interested in Tyson Chandler or the Bulls' pick from the Knicks? They'd certainly have to listen after the season they've had.
 -- Chicago Tribune

Dwane Casey said Kevin McHale has told him he will return for a second season as the Timberwolves' coach. Casey said McHale, the team's vice president of basketball operations, gave him his support a couple of weeks ago. It's the most definitive statement to date regarding his job security.
 -- St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's rare for coaches to say who they'd rather face in the playoffs, but Phil Jackson did just that. "We played the best against Dallas," he said. "I think they're the best team, but we have played the best [against them], and that was early in the season." The Lakers, who have not officially clinched a playoff spot, finished 2-1 against Dallas, 1-3 against San Antonio and are 0-3 against Phoenix with a game left against the Suns.
 -- Los Angeles Times

Corey Maggette is back from his ankle injury and unhappy about not starting. "It needs to change," he said. "I'm 100 percent. I'm ready to play." The Clippers have been using defensive specialist Quinton Ross instead of Maggette. The Clippers tried to trade Maggette for Ron Artest, and the feeling is they'll look to deal Maggette after the season.
 -- Chicago Tribune

Chris Wilcox, 6-feet-10 and 235 pounds, has boosted his restricted free-agency value by being unleashed in a system that fits his talents well - like Phoenix would have. "He runs and fits our style," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We definitely had some interest.
 -- Arizona Republic

The Suns want to finish strong, but what happens as a team will only affect playoff momentum because they are set as the No. 2 seed. Specifically, Mike D'Antoni is homed in on getting Tim Thomas comfortable in his role, Brian Grant integrated after missing most of the season for knee rehabilitation and James Jones confident.
 -- Arizona Republic

Coach Doc Rivers said that while nothing has been decided, it was his belief that Al Jefferson would be best served by not participating in the Celtics' final five games, the next being Wednesday night in Indiana. Rivers talked to basketball boss Danny Ainge yesterday morning about shutting down Jefferson and, according to Rivers, Ainge gave his coach the green light to do what he thought was best.
 -- Boston Globe

Eddy Curry sat the fourth quarter for the second straight game and admits he's unsure why. Larry Brown's usage of Curry has been strange, as well as his Curry comments or lack thereof. Friday, Brown listed the young players -- including Jackie Butler -- and how they will be much better next season but shockingly omitted Curry's name.
 -- New York Post

Rookie center Andrew Bynum, all of 18 years and five months, continues to grow. He is now 7-feet-1 and 280 pounds, adding almost two inches and 15 pounds since joining the Lakers.
 -- Los Angeles Times

Yao Ming said he had no doubt he would play tonight at Utah after turning his right ankle against the Kings. But when asked if he were concerned about playing, he said: "I worry about that. I just feel I still can play.
 -- Houston Chronicle

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