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Crazy talk

Trade talk runs rampant, but still worth dissecting

Posted: Tuesday June 27, 2006 10:12PM; Updated: Wednesday June 28, 2006 2:57PM
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Could Allen Iverson be wearing green next season? The Sixers would love to dump his salary.
Could Allen Iverson be wearing green next season? The Sixers would love to dump his salary.
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It nearly goes without saying that the days leading up to the NBA's annual draft include the craziest -- Crispin Glover-level nutty -- hours of the league's calendar year. Trade rumors leak out of all sorts of media outlets. Most of these are bunk, obviously, but they're worth breaking down -- if only to understand each team's interest (both rumored or otherwise) in shaking things up. Drop us a line in the mailbag box below, because we'll include the best of your thoughts on these potential trades in a follow-up column before the draft on Wednesday night.

Again, we're not saying any of the deals are actually going down, as the bulk of them seem quite laughable, but it's a nice way to gauge how the league regards its trade bait.

The Boston Celtics send Wally Szczerbiak to the Utah Jazz, the Philadelphia 76ers send Allen Iverson to the Celtics, the Jazz send Carlos Boozer to the 76ers.

The only good reason for Boston to do this trade is if they only have to give up the 29-year old Szczerbiak, whose talents are a bit superfluous with Paul Pierce already on board. As good as Iverson can be, if Boston has to give up any part of its young core (Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Delonte West), this trade has to be considered a setback. And due to the disparities in the salaries of the trade's rumored participants, it appears the Celtics would have to throw in a prospect or two just to make the deal feasible -- unless the Sixers or the Jazz want to take on the contracts of Brian Scalabrine or Vin Baker.

Szczerbiak would appear to be insurance for Utah in case Matt Harpring leaves via free agency, though he provides none of the latter's rebounding or toughness. And though the Sixers would love to dump the 31-year-old Iverson's contract, Boozer's deal runs a year longer than A.I.'s, and he plays the same position as Chris Webber, who is due another two years and $43 million.

The Celtics send the seventh pick in Wednesday's draft to the Chicago Bulls for the 16th pick and Chris Duhon.

The rumor here is that Chicago is hoping to see Tyrus Thomas fall to them at seventh overall, a la Luol Deng (who they had considered selecting with their third pick) in 2004. It's a nice idea, but it would take a magical combination of luck and teams drafting for need to see that happen. Boston, like Chicago, is pretty stacked with young talent, and Duhon (the 38th pick in the 2004 draft) would allow Delonte West to play significant minutes at shooting guard -- but is it worth a potential shot at Thomas, Rudy Gay or Shelden Williams?

The Atlanta Hawks select Brandon Roy (if he's available) with the fifth overall pick, the Houston Rockets pick Shelden Williams (if he's still around) with the eighth overall pick, then swap the rookies-to-be, with Rockets guard Luther Head also sent to Atlanta.

This seems like a go for all involved, both in terms of plausibility and need. The Rockets get an all-around scorer (and, like Tracy McGrady, an Arn Tellem client), while the Hawks pick up the banger they supposedly (and pointlessly) promised to pick fifth overall, while grabbing a so-so 'tweener guard who is still an improvement over Royal Ivey.

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