View Full Version : 'Trade' is operative word for forward (from ESPN)

07-24-2004, 02:31 AM
Link (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1845597)

Friday, July 23, 2004
Updated: July 24, 3:20 AM ET

'Trade' is operative word for forward

By Andy Katz

LAS VEGAS -- Antoine Walker predicts he could be playing for the New York Knicks next season, assuming the Knicks can work a trade for the Dallas Mavericks forward.

"I think I'm going to be in a Knick uniform. That's my prediction but we'll wait and see,'' Walker told ESPN.com Friday.

Walker, who was coaching a high school summer league team called the Illinois Fire at the adidas Super 64 tournament Friday, said he has to get out of Dallas before next season.

Wallker has one season left on his contract worth a reported $14 million.

"I've got to go, but obviously I'm under contract, so they don't have to move me,'' Walker said after he coached his team to a win at Centennial High in Las Vegas.

"I don't know if the grass is greener for me elsewhere, but there had been too many negative things with the situation in Dallas. They left me unprotected [in the expansion draft] and all the trade talks and they made moves like Steve [Nash] going the other way [signing with Phoenix].''

A possible Knick trade could include Kurt Thomas but would also mean more players for an equal salary swap. Walker said he has spoken to the Knicks as well as the Philadelphia 76ers.

A potential trade with the Sixers could include Glenn Robinson. Trading Walker to the Sixers would reunite him with coach Jim O'Brien, who coached Walker in Boston, where he was a two-time all star. Walker averaged 22.1 points in 16 playoff games in 2002, when he led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals.

"I would love to play for him for the simple fact that I know him as a coach and I know his system,'' Walker said. "He wants you to play hard defensively and, offensively, he goes with the guy who can put the ball in the basket.

I've got to go, but obviously I'm under contract, so they don't have to move me.
Antoine Walker

"They have [in Philadelphia] the pieces there, but I like the New York situation too,'' Walker said. "I like their style of play and any time you get a chance to play with a great point guard like Stephon [Marbury] is a plus.

"Going back to the East would be good for me,'' Walker said.

"I want to be the best I can be. You always want to be in the top 24 players at the halfway point,'' Walker said about being an all star. "The West is tough at forward. I would have a better chance going back to the East. That would put me in the mix [for the All-Star Game].

"I want to be a winner and would love to get back to the Eastern Conference finals and have a chance to win a ring,'' Walker said. "Hopefully, I can put myself in that situation again. That's why I like the Philly and New York situations. Detroit is the dominant team defensively in the East but both teams are right there close by and maybe one player a way from those guys [the Pistons]."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday that Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations, said "Antoine Walker is a big part of our team." Nelson went on to say that the Mavs like Walker "quite a bit."

When the Sacramento Kings eliminated the Mavs in the first round of the playoffs, Walker, who averaged 9.8 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes a game in the series, was quoted in an ESPN.com story saying:

"To be honest, [being traded] is a concern of mine. I don't want to be sent around the league. I know when you're in the last year of your deal, you can become very valuable. I'm very aware of that. But I never wanted to spend my career playing on five or six different teams. That's not something I'm looking forward to doing.

"I think we're very talented, but we have eight new guys on this team. Even scrambling, we won 52 games. We were a great home team that just didn't get it done on the road. With a year with everybody learning each other, we can be very good."

But his mood has changed upon reflecting how he was used with the Mavericks. He was phased out of the offense, especially late in the game when he didn't find as many minutes.

Walker said he is in constant contact with Mavs owner Mark Cuban.

"I'm patient because it's only July but I just hope I'm going to be moved before the season starts," Walker said.

If he isn't, then he said he would have to talk to coach Don Nelson because Walker started off "playing a lot of minutes before they got cut."

"I like playing ball and I don't want to be in a situation where I'm toyed around,'' Walker said. "I want to be in a consistent situation.

"Offensively, it would be tough without Steve because we did a lot of the pick-and-rolls off of him when he created mismatches. Marquis [Daniels] is a good young player and [first-round draft pick] Devin [Harris] is going to have to get his feet wet. So right now, we're in tough shape."

Walker said he doesn't want to be put in "another situation like that [Dallas] again.''

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

07-24-2004, 02:38 AM
I respect Vince for keeping hush.

What is Walker thinking?

Still up for a bet, KG?

P.S.- This is totally Mavs related. I would like to see this in the Mavs forum. The fantasy folks can start RealGMing, but this is important Mavs news.

07-24-2004, 04:37 AM
I've got to go, but obviously I'm under contract, so they don't have to move me.
Antoine Walker

Ya hes gone

07-24-2004, 04:52 AM
Originally posted by: Jamisonite
I've got to go, but obviously I'm under contract, so they don't have to move me.
Antoine Walker

Ya hes gone

it's funny how Walker and the Mavs are still making those statements.

We say "we want to trade him but {if he's still here} he'll be welcome."
He says "I've got to go, but obviously I'm under contract, so they don't have to move me.

Let's save some oxygen here. Mavs don't want him and Walker doesnt want to be here. Thinly-veiled, PC statements like that don't do anyone any good and no other team is fooled.