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thebac
01-30-2004, 01:46 PM
Will the Warriors win 'Sheed sweepstakes?

After months of searching, we've finally stumbled across a Rasheed Wallace trade rumor that makes some sense for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Rumors were rampant Thursday that the Warriors have been talking to the Blazers about a trade that would send Wallace to Golden State for Nick Van Exel and Erick Dampier. The Oregon Live Web site and the San Francisco Chronicle are reporting similar stories this morning.

Is there any truth to the rumors? Yes ... and no.

According to one Insider source, the two sides have been talking, and a Wallace-for-Van Exel-and-Dampier scenario is the best offer Blazers' GM John Nash has received and something the team is interested in exploring. However, another source insists nothing will happen until closer to the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

"Everyone's exploring their options right now," the source told Insider. "Everyone's talking to everyone. I don't think decisions will be made until they have to be made. The offers keep getting sweeter for Rasheed, which means that Nash won't be in any hurry to pull the trigger."

Why the Blazers would do it

Why are the Blazers so interested? The bottom line is Nash needs to find a way to keep this team competitive, solve its long-term salary-cap problems and start changing its image, all at the same time. That isn't easy, and this is the first trade proposal that really addresses all three issues.

Erick Dampier
Center
Golden State Warriors
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
44 11.9 11.5 0.7 .509 .640



The Blazers have been looking for a legitimate center ever since Arvydas Sabonis retired the first time. Dampier has put up all-star worthy numbers in Golden State this season and could be a long-term solution in the middle. Dampier has two more years and $17 million left on his contract, which is pretty reasonable considering the going rate on big men. Dampier does have an opt out in his contract after this season, but the Blazers can afford to re-sign him should he opt out.

Van Exel has only one more year of guaranteed money left on his deal. The Blazers believe that, on a team competing for the playoffs, Van Exel can still be an asset. If he instead is a pain in the butt, like he's been in Golden State, they're free to dump him anytime and are looking at $12 million of extra cap space in the summer of 2005.

By pulling the trigger on this trade, the Blazers would reduce their payroll by almost $25 million next season and should still be roughly $18 million under the cap in 2005, once Dale Davis, Damon Stoudamire and Van Exel come off the books. They'll need some of that money to re-sign Zach Randolph, but either way the Blazers would remain competitive and get plenty of cap room to work with after the 2004-05 season.

A lineup of Dampier, Randolph, Darius Miles, Derek Anderson, Van Exel and Stoudamire should be able to remain competitive in the West until the Blazers can make more wholesale changes in 2005.

The trade also opens the door to at least one more transaction that makes sense. Davis has been a huge problem in Portland of late, and the Blazers are eager to move him. The problem has been the inability to get a big man in exchange. With Dampier on board, the team would be free to move Davis to the highest bidder. The Raptors and Mavericks have shown the most interest in Davis, and if the Blazers can get back a contract that expires after next season and a prospect, they'll pull the trigger.

Why the Warriors would do it

The Warriors have as much or more incentive to do the trade than do the Blazers. Obviously, last summer's trade of Van Exel for Antawn Jamison and Jiri Welsch has been a disaster. But now they have an excellent chance to correct the mistake.

If the Warriors ship Van Exel and Dampier for Wallace, they'll be looking at around $20 million in cap room this summer. That's enough to make the Warriors instant players in the Kobe Bryant sweepstakes or give them flexibility to go another route.

The loss of Dampier is a major blow , but the cap flexibility is more important in the long run. The Warriors haven't been a major player in the free-agent market for years. This would give Chris Mullin his first chance to really reshape the team in his image. It also gives them a chance to give Eric Musselman the type of defenders he's been begging for.

The Warriors would retain their young core -- Jason Richardson, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Mickael Pietrus and Speedy Claxton -- while having the same cap flexibility as the Nuggets and Jazz.

If Kobe wants to play in Golden State, the Warriors will be free to move Richardson and get something else valuable in return. If he doesn't, the team could make a run at a young big like Mehmet Okur, Kenyon Martin or Stromile Swift. Or the Warriors could make a run at a few veterans like Vlade Divac and Gary Payton to make a big-time playoff run. They could try to re-sign Wallace to a more reasonable contract or work out a sign and trade with a team that wants him. And the move gives them plenty of room to re-sign Adonal Foyle, if they choose.

The bottom line in Golden State is management is willing to do just about anything to have those options. The team has been out of the playoffs longer than any other team in the league and is ready for that to change. The Warriors want to keep their young core intact, but after that they're open to anything that gives them the freedom to choose their own course.

That makes this trade a slam dunk for Golden State.

Van Exel gone no matter what?

Van Exel's agent, Tony Dutt, put the odds at 60-40 that Van Exel will be moved before Feb. 19 trade deadline.

Nick Van Exel
Point Guard
Golden State Warriors
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
30 13.4 2.7 5.9 .393 .696



"My gut feeling is that they're going to try to make a deal that makes sense for Nick and makes sense for them," Dutt told the San Francisco Chronicle. Dutt is in Houston right now with Van Exel, who left the team early this week to deal with a "family matter."

According to the Chronicle, Warriors GM Garry St. Jean and Warriors president Robert Rowell are believed to have met with the Blazers' Nash on Saturday.

Dutt told the paper that "there is no question" the Blazers were one of the teams talking trade with the Warriors.

"You get so much going on at this time of the year that there is a lot of unknown yet," Dutt said. "Everybody is talking to everybody. It's no different than any other year. I think you can sit there and say, 'Yes, there will be some moves this year.' At the same time, at the end of the day, how many of them get done?"

Mailbag
By Greg Anthony
ESPN Insider

It seems as though with each passing week the Association gets crazier. A first-place coach getting fired (Byron Scott). A playoff coach with differences as to the new direction his franchise is taking heading electing to resign (Jim O'Brien). And a coach in the worst situation imaginable having the longest tenure in the Eastern Conference (Terry Stotts).
Let's get to the e-mail:

Adam from Ohio writes:
Greg, I think the Grizzlies are on the rise in the West. Do you see them having any impact in the playoffs this year or next year? Or are they still one key player away from contending with the best in the west?

Pau Gasol
Power Forward
Memphis Grizzlies
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
44 17.4 8.0 2.6 .471 .701


A: Memphis reminds me of the Kings four years ago -- an exciting team that could score and beat anyone on a given night but was still not quite comfortable in its own skin.

Pau Gasol is a very talented player who needs to take the next step to become a true star in this league. But the Grizzlies need someone step up in that secondary role as a consistent scorer to take the pressure off Pau. Is it going to be Mike Miller or Bonzi Wells? One guy has to emerge to truly make this team a playoff threat.

Their defense also is not as strong as it could be, and improving that will help them rebound the ball a little better. But there is no question this team is on the rise, and I expect them to be a playoff team this year and only get better in the future.

The biggest concern has to be Stromile Swift and Lorenzen Wright. More is needed from them if this team wants to make noise. And if they don't contribute, I'm sure Jerry West will come up with a trade scenario to bolster that front line.

John Murray from Weymouth, Mass., asks:
What do you think of the Celtics' future, both this year and beyond? What do you think of Marcus Banks as an NBA point guard?

Marcus Banks
Point Guard
Boston Celtics
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
46 5.4 1.8 2.2 .374 .742


A: John, the Celtics have a lot of uncertainty as a franchise, from the resignation of Jim O'Brien to the trades that have morphed this team's personality from a decent defensive-minded team to one of an inconsistent offensive team. I know Danny Ainge thinks this team is good, but as much as I like Danny personally, I have to disagree. I can't see them competing with the better teams in this Eastern Conference with that lineup.

The Vin Baker dilemma is still a distraction, and without him and Raef Lafrentz, they just don't match up well with anyone along the front line, and I think they will struggle to score. The Ricky Davis trade also could haunt this team, because while no one questions his ability to score, what you have to question is whether or not he is a winner. That's the stat that counts the most, and time will tell if that, along with the rest of the moves, will prove Ainge right.

In regards to Marcus Banks, a lot of his development depends on what direction this team is headed. I don't think they have an identity as a franchise right now and are searching. This kid has talent but needs time to develop in terms of his long-term impact. He can defend it and is a really good penetrator, but perimeter shooting and decision-making still are the biggest concern.

Bags from Dallas writes:
Now that the Mavs have a serious winning streak going, do you think they have what it takes to legitimately compete with the Bigs of the West? Or should they look to move Walker and bring in a solid 4?

Antoine Walker
Forward
Dallas Mavericks
Profile


2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
46 15.9 9.2 5.4 .420 .522


A: First off, let me say that I thought the Mavs were not going to be able to compete with the like of the Kings, T-Wolves or Lakers, but they have really started to figure out who they are as a team.

There is a lot of talk about moving Walker, but he is very important to their team because he takes so much of the pressure off Steve Nash to be the only playmaker. They're hoping Dirk Nowitzki can adopt some of Walker's versatility -- then this team could really take off.

Unfortunately they cannot guard the paint, and the teams I mentioned, along with the Spurs, have a decided advantage inside when healthy.

Thanks again for the e-mail, and while I can't respond to them all, I do read them and appreciate your insights.


Rumor Central

WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Rasheed Wallace
Blazers

Warriors
Mavericks
Knicks
Hawks
Cavs
Rockets
Nets

Jan. 30 - The San Francisco Chronicle and the Oregon Live website (home of The Oregonian) are reporting the Blazers and Warriors are involved in talks that would send 'Sheed to Golden State for Nick Van Exel and Erick Dampier. The move is an obvious cap-cutting attempt by the Warriors that could leave them around $20 million in cap room next season.
Is there any truth to the rumors? Yes ... and no. According to one Insider source, the two sides have been talking, and a Wallace-for-Van Exel-and-Dampier scenario is the best offer Blazers' GM John Nash has received and something the team is interested in exploring. However, another source insists nothing will happen until closer to the Feb. 19 trade deadline.



WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Nick Van Exel
Warriors

Blazers

Jan. 30 - Van Exel's agent, Tony Dutt, put the odds at 60-40 that Van Exel will be moved before Feb. 19 trade deadline. "My gut feeling is that they're going to try to make a deal that makes sense for Nick and makes sense for them," Dutt told the San Francisco Chronicle. Dutt is in Houston right now with Van Exel, who left the team early this week to deal with a "family matter." According to the Chronicle, Warriors GM Garry St. Jean and Warriors president Robert Rowell are believed to have met with the Blazers' Nash on Saturday. Dutt told the paper that "there is no question" the Blazers were one of the teams talking trade with the Warriors.


WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Dale Davis
Blazers

Raptors
Mavs

Jan. 30 - Davis has been a huge problem in Portland of late, and the Blazers are eager to move him. The problem has been the inability to get a big man in exchange. If the Blazers can land Erick Dampier in a trade, the team would be free to move Davis to the highest bidder. The Raptors and Mavericks have shown the most interest in Davis, and if the Blazers can get back a contract that expires after next season and a prospect, they'll pull the trigger.


WHO INTERESTED THE SKINNY

Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Cavs

Knicks
Mavericks
Blazers

Jan. 30 - Is Zydrunas off the block? With so many teams in need of a big man, Ilgauskas has been a pretty hot commodity. The Mavs (for Antawn Jamison), Knicks (for Keith Van Horn and Frank Williams) and Blazers (for Rasheed Wallace) have all tried to pry Ilgauskas away, but so far GM Jim Paxson isn't biting.
For the second time in as many weeks the Cavs reiterated that Ilgauskas is no longer on the trading block. "We are where we're going to be," coach Paul Silas told the News Herald. "(That won't change) unless something crazy comes about. I never say never. But, basically, we're not looking to do anything. We're settled in. Everyone is playing well. It's coming together."

Peep Show

Orlando Magic: Grant Hill told the Orlando Sentinel that he hopes to rejoin the team for practice in late February after being cleared to resume full-scale basketball activities. Hill said he is aiming at playing the last 10 games of the season. "The most it can be is 10 games from what I hear," Hill said. "I'm just glad to be able to play. I don't like to be restricted, but it fits my schedule." According to the Sentinel, 80 percent of Hill's contract is covered by insurance as long as he doesn't exceed 10 games this season.

Cleveland Cavaliers: For the second time in as many weeks the Cavs reiterated that Zydrunas Ilgauskas is no longer on the trading block. "We are where we're going to be," coach Paul Silas told the News Herald. "(That won't change) unless something crazy comes about. I never say never. But, basically, we're not looking to do anything. We're settled in. Everyone is playing well. It's coming together."

New Jersey Nets: New Nets coach Lawrence Frank believes that Alonzo Mourning will eventually return to the Nets, though this season is out of the question. "Alonzo, that's a very, very special guy. So you never forget. And we remember Alonzo every day. We talk about him every day. We put his number on the board every time we go out and prepare for a game," Frank told the N.Y. Post. "At some time, he's going to be back with us hopefully in one capacity or another. We haven't talked about that, but it's something I'm going to pull his leg [over], God-willing, if everything looks great with his health, we'd love to have him around. Whether it's in an official capacity or not, I don't know."

Boston Celtics: Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge is getting testy. Criticism of Ainge and how he's ran the team has been rampant. Ainge has a message for all of his critics. "As far as I'm concerned, keep speculating, keep wondering, keep dreaming that Danny's being reckless with no plan," Ainge told the Boston Globe. "I don't care. It's ludicrous. If they can't see it, that's OK with me. I have a plan that's going to work. I have a plan to build a team that is better offensively than we've been, that is good defensively. But you have to have talent to win. You have to have character and professionalism to win. That's my plan, to develop that. And you have to have a coach who is the leader of that group. And you have to have players on the team that are leaders. That's all in the plan. That doesn't happen in six months. It takes time. So, my plan hasn't wavered from the first day to today. I know that's easy to say. But if every move is judged as its own entity, then that is very, very shortsighted. There is a plan and we are on the same page in this organization. It's not in chaos. [The plan] is well formulated and well thought out and it will be successful."

kg_veteran
01-30-2004, 01:51 PM
If the Mavs are after Dale Davis alone, and the Blazers want an expiring contract and a prospect in return, it'd have to be a three-way trade. I don't think we have the pieces they're looking for.

Dirkenstien
01-30-2004, 03:24 PM
I could see the Blazers shipping Davis out to the East with the Raptors. With this move they'll avoid improving competition while improving their current situation in the West. A bit discouraging to say the least.

ddh33
01-30-2004, 03:35 PM
A lot of talk about moving Walker, huh?

Why exactly? I know he has his flaws, and they have been well documented, but what exactly are we going to get back that is equal value for Antoine. I don't care too much for Chad Ford, but he's right here. Walker is the only guy on this team who takes the playmaking pressure off of Steve Nash. Even though he's been better of late, I still don't trust Travis Best to run this team.

Make mo mistake, I would move Walker if the right deal came along, but we would have to be get back someone or someones who can handle the ball, distribute, rebound, defend, and play inside. I don't hear a lot of those packages flying around?

MightyToine
01-31-2004, 05:43 AM
There is a lot of talk about moving Walker, but he is very important to their team because he takes so much of the pressure off Steve Nash to be the only playmaker. They're hoping Dirk Nowitzki can adopt some of Walker's versatility -- then this team could really take off.

A lot of talk from everyone BUT the Mavs, that is. i/expressions/rolleye.gif

Walker is becoming an Invaluable player to this Mavs team not just because of his all-around talents but because of helping Nash out with running-the-offense and actually teaching Dirk(whether directly, indirectly, or through osmosis) how to pass the ball.




Unfortunately they cannot guard the paint, and the teams I mentioned, along with the Spurs, have a decided advantage inside when healthy.

Ummm....What about Shawn Bradley? HELLO?? McFLY?? i/expressions/rolleye.gif

DubOverdose
01-31-2004, 11:35 AM
I want Ilgauskas. Whenever I've seen him play, he's been really productive.

"Ranks #19 in the NBA in Field-Goal Percentage(0.48)
Ranks #12 in the NBA in Blocks Per Game(1.96)
Ranks #6 in the NBA in Offensive Rebounds(150.0)
Ranks #7 in the NBA in Offensive Rebounds Per Game(3.3)
Ranks #11 in the NBA in Blocks(88.0)
Ranks #16 in the NBA in Free Throw Attempts Per 48 Minutes(7.84)
Ranks #11 in the NBA in Offensive Rebounds Per 48 Minutes(5.4)
Ranks #18 in the NBA in Blocks Per 48 Minutes(3.18)"

OutletPass
01-31-2004, 01:17 PM
A number of recent articles on ESPN lately, some quoting "unnamed GM's", have mentioned that Dale Davis doesn't have "anything left in his tank"...if that's true...I certainly wouldn't be interested in committing anything of substance to acquire him.