Market watch (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday February 21, 2007 12:18PM; Updated: Wednesday February 21, 2007 5:33PM
Here's an update on some of the other bits picked up in conversations with several GMs and player-personnel types:
The Pau Gasol trade talks have cooled considerably. Apparently Bulls GM John Paxson is holding firm in his stance that he doesn't want to trade either Luol Deng or Ben Gordon. One Eastern Conference GM said he wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls and Grizzlies pulled off the deal at the last minute, but he believed Memphis was content to keep the 7-foot Spaniard until the summer.
For what it's worth, the NBA also announced over All-Star Weekend that the Grizzlies would be playing an exhibition game in Spain next fall. Would David Stern & Co. have agreed to send Memphis over there without at least some indication from Jerry West that Gasol would still be around?
Meanwhile, rumors of a Zach Randolph deal for Chicago have begun to regain steam. Randolph is just the kind of low-post scorer the Bulls need, and his Michigan State background fits with coach Scott Skiles. However, his past character issues, lack of defense and big contract make it doubtful Paxson would mortgage his team's future on him. Besides, the Blazers continue to insist they aren't trading Randolph. Chicago might instead make a run at Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who has been platooning with Kenny Thomas in Sacramento.
Despite statements to the contrary by New Jersey brass, the Nets' chances of moving Vince Carter were said to be even lower than that of Kidd. The All-Star forward has the right to terminate the last year of his contract ($16.4 million) at season's end and become a free agent, meaning any team that acquires him would want assurances that he would be interested in re-signing. The Magic could offer Grant Hill's expiring contract in a deal for Carter, but they don't want to add another huge contract when they have to extend Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson, and possibly pay free agent-to-be Darko Milicic.
Magloire remains in limbo as the Blazers try to find a deal for the 7-foot former All-Star. The Wizards made queries, according to a league source, but it is unclear if an offer was made. The likeliest deal would involve Etan Thomas and Jarvis Hayes. Would the Blazers take on the remaining three years and $20 million due Thomas? Probably not. Also, Magloire would have more value in a sign-and-trade next summer than would Hayes.
The Nuggets and Celtics appear to be two of the more active teams, but neither looks to have the assets to pull off a major deal. George Karl has said he would like to add a point guard, and there were reports of a deal with the Mavs that would send Anthony Johnson to Denver for Eduardo Najera. The Celtics are said to be seeking any kind of big-man help.
While much of the focus has been on big names, it is beginning to appear as if this year's trade deadline might feature more small deals. Miami's James Posey, Memphis' Chucky Atkins and Stromile Swift, Minnesota's Mike James, Detroit's Nazr Mohammed and Flip Murray, Chicago's Chris Duhon, San Antonio's Jackie Butler and Golden State's Mickael Pietrus are among the names that have been bandied about.