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David
07-29-2002, 07:37 PM
ESPN.com: NBA



Monday, July 29, 2002
Why no one wants to deal for Sprewell

By Mitch Lawrence
Special to ESPN.com

Latrell Sprewell, anyone?

Not at this point.

Working overtime to get Andre Miller, the New York Knicks have been shopping Sprewell hard over the last few weeks, but
with no success. Here's why:

Teams have been scared off by Sprewell's contract (two more years, at $12.4 million this
season and $13.5 million next season), his age (he turns 32 in September) and the simple fact
that he's an inconsistent player who is paid like a superstar.

"When he's on, Sprewell's a good player," said one Western Conference executive. "But
those nights are every so often now. That's all you're getting for a guy with a big-time contract.
He's not a great player, by an stretch."

Which is why Cleveland, rebuilding and going with young players, doesn't want Sprewell. The
Knicks have also tried to send him to Atlanta, Detroit, Minnesota and Milwaukee, but none of
those teams wants to get involved.

Lacking a bona fide starter at the point, the Knicks have been after Miller for several seasons,
and Sprewell has worn out his welcome with Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan.
While he views himself as a team leader, his habitual tardiness on game nights doesn't go over
well with Garden management, team president Scott Layden or coach Don Chaney.

"They can't move (Allan) Houston because of his contract," the West executive said. "Sprewell has the most value of any of
their players."

Here's Layden hope: Since the Cavaliers don't want Sprewell, the Knicks find a third team that will take him, while that team
also has something substantial to offer the Cavs, with Cleveland then sending Miller onto New York. So far, Layden has come
up empty. But there's another obstacle at work here. According to several league execs, the Knicks are demanding that
seldom-used backup Travis Knight is included in any deal involving Sprewell.

You've got to be crazy or unafraid of the luxury tax to take on Knight, who has two years left on his contract at $4 million this
season and $4.4 mil for next season. He's played only 685 minutes in the last two seasons since coming to the Knicks as part
of the Glen Rice deal.

Around the league
Nets assistant coach Eddie Jordan might not have gotten the head coaching job in Denver, but he didn't do badly for himself
by returning to New Jersey. Byron Scott's offensive coordinator gets a new deal, starting at $1 million this coming season and
$1.2 million in 2003-04. Although Jordan was told several times by Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe that he was
the guy Denver wanted to hire, Jordan never got an offer. Frustrated by Vandeweghe's heel-dragging, that's why he finally
pulled out of the running. Jordan is banking on getting the head job in Jersey whenever Scott leaves. As for Denver, we're
hearing that Alex English, one of the most popular Nuggets ever who coached last season in the NBA's developmental league,
is back in the running.

Just like Mike: After winning his third straight title, Kobe Bryant took off 10 days, then was right back in the gym, starting
workouts with a personal trainer. Kobe's relentless drive reminds Magic Johnson of only one other player: Michael Jordan.
Agreed.

Cavs-Clippers blockbuster involving Miller going to L.A. is still hung up, but there's bound to be a breakthrough
when the Clippers offer Darius Miles. Cleveland likes the idea of pairing Miles with Dajuan Wagner and is holding
out for the ever-improving Miles, who turns only 21 in October. Clippers already have decided not to pay him
"max money." To some in the Clips organization, it's only a matter of time before Miles is included in the deal and
Miller heads west.

Rashard Lewis is definitely rolling some big dice if he signs with Dallas for a three-year deal worth only $15 million and turns
down the Sonics' mega-offer upwards of $70-mil. Lewis is coming off a severe injury to his left shoulder and has been told by
doctors that if he reinjures the shoulder, he will definitely need surgery and will be out for several months. The only reason
Lewis put off surgery after the Sonics were eliminated by the Spurs was because he was heading into free agency. Lewis'
bigger mistake, if he goes to Dallas? Mavs owner Mark Cuban won't hesitate a second to deal Lewis in a future trade, if Cuban
thinks it will improve his team. Look what happened to a few other notable acquisitions, by the names of Tim Hardaway,
Juwan Howard and Christian Laettner.

Informal poll of general managers has Seattle scoring big in its blockbuster trade with Boston. Most GMs think
Celtics won't get their money's worth out of Vin Baker, who still has $50 million and four seasons to run, while
Kenny Anderson's $9.5 mil comes off Seattle's cap next summer. With Gary Payton's $12.6 mil also coming off
after next season, the Sonics could get under cap and be players in next summer's banner free-agent market.

Everybody who thought William Avery was crazy to leave Duke after his sophomore season -- is there anyone
out there who didn't? -- is saying, "told you so." After going to Minnesota as the 14th pick in 1999, he was let go as a free
agent and was playing with Orlando on their summer league team. The Timberwolves are still searching for a point guard
because they're worried as ever about Terrell Brandon's penchant for injuries. That's how little they think of Avery.

The Nets had Chris Childs in to have a look and are expected to sign the ex-Raptor for two years at around $3.5 million
total. Some in the Nets' organization wonder why Childs appeared to put on weight last season. There is still some sentiment
within the Nets to go after Rodney Rogers, who also is being courted by the Sixers.

Point guard update: Miami is considering Rod Strickland or Troy Hudson. Hudson, out in Orlando with the
Jacque Vaughn signing, has a dozen offers, but no one is offering more than the minimum. That includes the Knicks
and Nets. That's a little odd, considering Hudson's productivity and upside. Indiana wants to re-sign Kevin Ollie,
but the Pacers also talked about adding Strickland, too. The Pacers are concerned that Jamaal Tinsley put on
weight last season. Word is, they've lined up a personal chef to do his cooking.

What's Jerry West doing signing Earl Watson to a three-year deal worth $4 million? That's overpaying. Then again, Watson's
agent is Arn Tellum, a huge West favorite. The feeling around the league is that this is a favor for Tellum, who will repay West's
Grizzlies down the line with a better free agent. Who knows, but those kinds of arrangements happen all the time.

Mitch Lawrence, who covers the NBA for the New York Daily News, writes a regular NBA column for ESPN.com.



Copyright 2002 ESPN Internet Ventures.

Drbio
07-29-2002, 10:50 PM
His contract...and of course the fact that he is a punkassbitch.

Rhylan
07-29-2002, 10:52 PM
Spree's aiiight. I wanna choke PJ sometimes myself.

Murphy3
07-29-2002, 11:04 PM
no one wants spree probably for the same reasons very few if any want NVE

#1MavsFan
07-30-2002, 02:45 AM
Telebasket.com is reporting that the Portland Trailblazers will offer Arvydas Sabonis a 2-year, $10 million contract to return to the NBA. Sabonis will leave for Portland next week for a physical and to negotiate the deal.

TheKid
07-30-2002, 11:33 AM
Knicks are in a sad state right now!!!!