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jayC
02-10-2003, 07:02 PM
The Rumor of the Day... By Steve "BskBALL" Kyler
for HOOPSWORLD.com
Feb 2, 2003, 10:22
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RUMOR OF THE DAY: The 76ers have reportedly offered Derrick Coleman to Atlanta for Theo Ratliff; Keith Van Horn to Orlando for Grant Hill who then sends Van Horn to New York for Latrell Sprewell. . .
LOTS OF LOVE FOR THEO
Depending on who you talk to there are as many as six teams vying for Theo Ratliff
(Orlando, Philly, Toronto, New York, Portland, Memphis and Miami) there are a few teams you can scratch off immediately starting with Miami and Memphis is a stretch at best; but Orlando, and Philly are still talking according to league sources. The Magic are interested and not opposed to Theo’s history or his contract – the Magic say differently, but a Hawks source and a league source say the same thing. John Gabriel is calling. Philly apparently got close enough to a deal to involve agents, but apparently there was reluctance on Philly’s part to bring in Theo and his remaining two years unless they unloaded Keith Van Horn in the process, or so says Peter Vecsey.
The Hawks have told media that they are not shopping their talent. They don’t have to; most of the league is calling them. On very good authority as many as three hawks players are earmarked for a new zip code at the deadline, and Theo is one of them, the other two would be Jason Terry as the club does not feel they can keep him financially, although they have the option to match whatever he gets offered this summer. The remaining name mentioned, is the only one I see as a sever long shot and that is Shareef Abdur-Rahim. The only way Atlanta moves him is if the get an ending deal and some draft picks. Denver could be a serious bidder for some of Atlanta's luggage if Kiki Vandeweghe wants it. The Nuggets are sitting on a $20 million lottery ticket named Juwan Howard. The Hawks at this point do seem to be the big player as the deadline approaches and many teams will go as the Hawks do.

ITS ABOUT THE MONEY
Latrell Sprewell to the Lakers sounded good… it wasn’t, he didn’t fit… It wasn’t a question of whether he could add to the Lakers roster talent wise and bring them out of the basement,
it wasn’t even a question of whether he could learn the offense fast enough to do anything, it was all about not fitting into the financial picture. The Lakers just could not justify bringing on that kind of contract. So enters plan B and C, also known as steal Jason Terry from the woeful Hawks or pluck Ron Mercer from the Pacers who aren’t; really using him. League sources are telling media outlets that the Lakers would like to make a deal if the Hawks are willing, the deal may include more than Terry, likely including Nazr Mohammed and would likely send Robert Horry and Kareem Rush to the Hawks.. Deal is on the table from what I have heard. As for the Pacers shipping on Ron Mercer, they have to get some of their contract cash off the books if they want to re-sign both Brad Miller and Jermaine O’Neal, and the only way the Pacers keep Reggie Miller is moving Austin Croshere.
Mercer to LA is a long shot at best; but Mercer leaving Indiana may not be a stretch. The Lakers are playing a delicate situation, Phil Jackson does not want a trade, and he’ll win in this situation, but Mitch Kupchak is working the phones, and several team sources say they have had more than introductory talks with the Lakeshow, but at the end of the day the players the Lakers would part with, and the kinds of players they would take in trade make a deal a tough sell at best, and its all going to boil down to how it fits in the financial big picture.

TOP FIVE
With LeBron James being such a huge name on the Draft front, most people are not going to see the real talent for the hype. Next week the Players Union will decide if they will intervene in the Darko Milic case. Milic, a 7’1 stud from Europe will be 17 when the deadline to declare eligible passes, but will be 18 before the actual selections take place. He has absolutely no eligibility to lose, as he’s been playing pro ball for some time. His agent contends he should be able to be part of the 2003 draft class, the NBA says you must be 18 at the time you declare, end of story. So while LeBron and Darko are the two big names in the press there are a few names not getting much hype at all, and here are my Top Five (talent and NBA readiness wise)

#1- CARMELO ANTHONY : A Freshman at Syracuse, has as much game as LeBron James and is a bit more polished. Choose college because as a High School stud at Oak Hill, he was labeled too skinny (he was). His goal this year was to add some muscle, and not get hurt. Once workouts come around he’ll be a lock in the top 3, talent wise he may be the best guy on the board.
#2- DARKO MILICIC: This kid has almost as much hype as LeBron, but you can not beat his foot work, most people compare him to other great Euros like Dirk Nowitzki, but he is not an outside player, in fact I’d liken him to Darius Miles more than I would Dirk, this guy could rip a rim off if he were inclined. But lets be honest in 2001-2002 in the Saporta Cup he averaged 7.9points and 4.7rebounds, in the YUBA League he played in 26 games averaged 5.7 points 3.1 rebounds, so MJ this kid is not, but he is as aggressive an inside player as we’ve seen come out of Europe since Sabonis.
#3- LeBRON JAMES: He’ll go #1, but will he be rookie of the year? King James has the hype going for him, and he is not a slouch on the court, he has polished NBA skills across the board, but will his ego fit in the gym if he signs the expected mega money shoe deal, and then gets drafted #1 by a bad team like Denver or Cleveland? Loren Woods was hyped as the next coming, as was Mike Dunleavy Jr. who can’t get off the bench in Golden State. Hype might get you drafted, but being a solid team player that will put in the work gets you playing, ask Kwame Brown and Amare Stoudemire about it.
#4- JARVIS HAYES: Hayes is averaging 17.2 points a game, and has started in 18 of 18 games for the Georgia Bulldogs. He's an 80% free throw shooter, and isn’t bad from the 3 point line either, hitting better than .470 of his 83 attempts. He’s a proto-typical 2/3 at 6’7 and 220 pounds, he’s on the Naismith and Wooden Awards watch lists, an could be one of the best players in the nation.
#5- DARIUS RICE: This one will hit many of you with a big fat WTF, but there are so many things I like about Darius’ game, the fact that he’s 6’10 and plays like a poor mans Kevin Garnett has nothing to do with his appeal, but it doesn’t hurt either. He’s coachable and very long and in the draft, especially the top five its about potential, and I love D-Rice’s upside. He's averaging 18.9 points and 5.6 rebounds, shooting .441 from the field and .368 from three on 114 attempts. He is also on the John Wooden National Player of the Year Award watch list.


SOME SHOTS
Here are some of the random stories from the week…

CAN’T TRADE HIM NOW: The Chicago Bulls found out yesterday that forward Marcus Fizer
has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, he will miss the remainder of the season. While the Bulls have not made an official announcement, Bulls GM Jerry Krause told reporters that he felt bad for Marcus saying "He's handled everything like a pro and worked so hard. I feel bad for him. And I feel bad for us too. This takes away one of our best players. I think he would've been Sixth Man of the Year." Fizer himself said he had always feared something like this, but vowed that this injury would not be the end of his career.


GONNA GET UGLY: With the All-Star game set for next week, NBA players,
executives, owners and agents will converge on Hot-Lanta for a weekend of play time. But while most of the league will be playing at the Atlanta hot spots, the NBA Players Union will have their annual mid-season meeting. One of the topics planned will be the state of Collective Bargaining Agreement, the contract between the players and the owners, which can end at the league’s discretion after the 2003-2004 season. Union head Billy Hunter told media that if it were up to the players, they’d opt to re-negotiate right now saying that very few players were happy with the escrow tax system and the luxury tax. The owners, according to league sources may not opt out simply to avoid the union led bloodbath that will occur next time both sides sit at the bargaining table.


WHERE’S FIN?: Have you heard this one? OK The Mavericks sent out e-mails to their season ticket holders prompting them to vote for Maverick forward Dirk Nowitzki and not Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett. Both made the All-Star team, but Mavs swing man Michael Finley did not. This did not sit well with the owner of the Mavs, and he has made every conceivable case possible about how his guys were slighted. This culminates in a billboard in Atlanta, baring Michael Finley’s face asking “Where’s Fin?”. Kevin Garnett commented on the Mavs push, to push him out saying to media "I think that's a little shystie. Guys dictate their place in this league. They've got the best record in the league, and you still have to degrade or downplay another player to get one of your players in? I didn't understand it. But sometimes to be an owner doesn't necessarily mean you've got class."


DRUNK?: Yao Ming has now played
the most consecutive games in his life, and told media that he likened the experience to getting drunk for the first time saying "I've never been through something like this before. I don't know if this is what you'd call tired or not. It's like if you've never been drunk before and get drunk for the first time, you don't know that you're drunk. But I'm definitely pretty exhausted in some games." It might also have something to do with all those commercials he’s been shooting… Yo?… no Yao!


CAP COULD DOWN AGAIN: Mark Cuban has been telling media that based on his projections, he thinks the NBA salary cap will go down next summer, not up. The cap currently sits at $40.3 million; The Cube thinks the cap may drop as much as $1 million. This doesn’t bode well for teams like Orlando and Miami that were angling for room to play this summer. Miami Heat president and head coach pat Riley has already started telling media his club was more focused on 2004, than 2003.







Jordan Ruined the All Star Game
by StevieFranchise

best player under 6'5
by 1more4

Isiah Thomas stupid .
by Iverson3


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LRB
02-10-2003, 09:35 PM
Interesting how KG blames cubes for standing up for his players, but also in other articles had complained about TWolves management not standing up for him after criticism was laid on him after last years playoff losses. I guess if its nothing in it for KG, then its low class.

centrlpark08
02-10-2003, 09:42 PM
Well they showed a little class by giving him all that money?

LRB
02-10-2003, 09:52 PM
Money will never equal class. Rewarding loyalty and good play is classy, but money by itself will never equal class IMO.

jayC
02-10-2003, 09:53 PM
Money talks, still wouldn't mind seeing KG in maverick blue. Have you heard the amount of an extension . If you have the latest issue of ESPN the Magazine it also talks about KG and is unhappiness with his contract and the fact that the Twolves might be ready to rebuild with some crazy trade with chicago.

LRB
02-10-2003, 10:43 PM
Gee don't blame anyone for not wanting to go to Chicago. Jerry Krause is the worst GM in all of basketball IMO. He treats his players like crap.

centrlpark08
02-10-2003, 10:51 PM
look at crawford now............