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LRB
02-06-2003, 04:00 AM
Takers absent as trade deadline nears
by Chad Ford


Looking for love in all the wrong places ...

Fifteen days. That's how long NBA teams have to determine their individual collective future. Fifteen days to make that big trade that propels a team to the NBA Finals. Fifteen days to cut payroll and escape the grasp of the nefarious luxury-tax collector. Fifteen days to make room for a top-flight free agent this summer. Fifteen days to explain to season ticket holders why it's time to start rebuilding again. Fifteen days to save your job and the season. Fifteen days to do the impossible ...

The clock is ticking, the light has turned from yellow to green, and Hawks GM Pete Babcock is personally trying to bail out MCI with his long distance bill. But right now, all you hear is the sound of silence.

"There is a lot of talking, not much listening at this point," one Eastern Conference team executive told Insider. "Everyone is trying to pawn off the guys who can't play or make way too much money. Some of the sales jobs [by other GMs] are absolutely hilarious. I'm sorry, but Danny Fortson is not the next Charles Barkley. If he was, don't you think Golden State would be playing him? And what about Austin Croshere? Just because he's paid like Larry Bird doesn't mean he plays like him."

You get the picture. Everyone's selling, no one's buying. GMs are as paranoid as hell that they're going to get ripped off. And no one, I mean no one, wants to explain to his owner why a trade should be made that forces the team to pay more luxury tax. That's how you lose your job.

What the NBA needs is the equivalent of the singles personal ads you find in the back of any cheap newspaper. All everyone in the league is looking for is a little love ...

Today, we'll look at the Eastern Conference. Thursday, we'll address the Western Conference.

Atlantic want ads

Boston Celtics
Wanted: Low-post player with a sense of humor; pass-first, ask-questions-later point guard. Must be willing to play for cheap.
For sale: Baker's half dozen; rotund big man; former all-star. Has a sensitive side. Cries in movies and games in which he gets a DNP.

Miami Heat
Wanted: A point guard who passes like Magic Johnson. A swingman who dunks like James Worthy. A skilled center with a sky hook like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jack Nicholson on the sidelines is purely optional.
For sale: Get the Jones! All-star shooting guard who demands April and May off. Bob Marley look-alike for only $12 million a year!

New Jersey Nets
Wanted: The Spurs and Sonics to make a big deal that eats all their cap space this summer.
For sale: Ultimate veteran. 109-year-old African center who was there when they invented the game.

New York Knicks
Wanted: Anyone who has lived, played or passed through the great state of Utah.
For sale: Houston, there is no problem! This slick-dressed, god-fearing two-guard is money from behind the arc.

Orlando Magic
Wanted: Anyone who can find the low post without a road map.
For sale: You can't pass up this Hill of beans. All-star small forward comes complete with extensive collection of crutches and ankle braces.

Philadelphia 76ers
Wanted: Dominant scorer with ability to put the ball in the basket without actually touching the ball. Low-post applicants must have two feet and be under the age of 50. Small forwards must be willing to relocate every six months.
For sale: Toot our own Horn. Former Eastern Conference champ willing to play the scapegoat in a city near you.

Washington Wizards
Wanted: Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Ron Harper for one last run. Leave Jerry Krause in Chicago.
For sale: Better than Brownies. Former No. 1 pick with big heart and unlimited upside. Loves quiet strolls to the end of the bench.


Central want ads

Atlanta Hawks
Wanted: Derrick Coleman. Steve Smith. Robert Horry. Kenny Anderson. And about $30 million in cap room.
For sale: Rahim cleaning sale. Everything must go. Ninety days, interest-free financing. No reasonable offer will be refused. We won't be undersold.

Chicago Bulls
Wanted: The Wizards to play their home games at the United Center.
For sale: Championship secrets finally revealed! Grumbling, ill-mannered, troll-like creature. Will throw in Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry and a free copy of his famous dissertation, "How organizations, not Michael Jordan, win championships."

Cleveland Cavaliers
Wanted: A do-over. A soft spoken, pass-first young point guard with a bright future. A 19-year-old bad ass power forward, no college experience required.
For sale: Mile high special. A spindly, highlight-reel gazelle -- more jump, less shot. A 6-foot-2 point guard who can't play point guard. Will score a 100 points a game if you send him back to high school.

Detroit Pistons
Wanted: The Grizzlies to stay bad, but not too bad.
For sale: 36-year old veteran does it all. He vacuums, weeds, plays small forward, power forward, center. Just don't ask him to do windows come playoff time.

Indiana Pacers
Wanted: Johnnie Cochran to play defense off the court.
For sale: Austin Powers: From Donnie with Love. The Pacers' secret weapon, trained by Larry Bird, is available in this special limited edition. His powers are so terrifying, so unbelievable, that Isiah Thomas hasn't had the heart to let them loose on the rest of the NBA since he did a number on the Lakers in the 1999 Finals. Available for just five yearly installments of $7 million per season.

Milwaukee Bucks
Wanted: Someone to put George Karl out of his misery.
For sale: Doubting Thomas. 6-foot-11 two guard/small forward/power forward, the NBA's version of a swiss army knife. Can clip toe nails, open wine bottles and fit comfortably into that $10 million cap slot you've been reserving for your sixth man.

New Orleans Hornets
Wanted: New NBA franchise in North Carolina with no salary-cap problems and a new arena.
For sale: Old NBA franchise in the Big Easy with big cap problems and a star point guard with a bad back. Willing to swap straight up.

Toronto Raptors
Wanted: An all-star two guard willing to take it to the basket. Players with a history of knee problems or constant comparisons to Michael Jordan need not apply.
For sale: 34-year old center shooting 38 percent from the field. We hate to part with him and his $12 million a year salary, but we just can't seem to see eye to eye on this whole metric thing.

Fidel
02-06-2003, 09:41 AM
<< New Jersey Nets
Wanted: The Spurs and Sonics to make a big deal that eats all their cap space this summer.
For sale: Ultimate veteran. 109-year-old African center who was there when they invented the game.
>>


That one really made me lough.
The others are pretty funny too. Thanks for posting.

MavsFanFinley
02-06-2003, 09:50 AM
<< &quot;There is a lot of talking, not much listening at this point,&quot; one Eastern Conference team executive told Insider. &quot;Everyone is trying to pawn off the guys who can't play or make way too much money. Some of the sales jobs [by other GMs] are absolutely hilarious. I'm sorry, but Danny Fortson is not the next Charles Barkley. If he was, don't you think Golden State would be playing him? And what about Austin Croshere? Just because he's paid like Larry Bird doesn't mean he plays like him.&quot; >>



This cracked me up. Ouch!

I hope Cuban isn't trying to make any noise about TAW.