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OutletPass
02-11-2003, 09:28 PM
Sixers shake-up?

Two weeks ago, it looked like the Hawks were the team most likely to blow up their entire roster. But after talking to numerous league sources in Atlanta this weekend, a new contender has emerged. We all know Larry Brown loves to tinker, but is he on the verge of dropping a bomb on the Sixers? Team owner Ed Snider is pushing hard for Brown to fix the problem. Like the Hawks of a few weeks ago, the underachieving Sixers are being mentioned prominently in several major trade rumors.

Here's the lowdown:

Brown still is pushing to swap Derrick Coleman for Theo Ratliff. However, to get it done, he must appease Snider, who wants Brown to cut one of the Sixers' terrible salaries before taking on the final two years of Ratliff's salary. That's lead to ...The Sixers and Knicks apparently are rekindling the Latrell Sprewell-Keith Van Horn talks. If the Sixers made that move, they'd clear $15.7 million in cap room in the long term. Spree has just two years left on his deal, while Van Horn has three. The biggest question is why the Knicks would make that move now, after CEO James Dolan told GM Scott Layden no more bad contracts.

There's no great answer, other than to say Layden is a fan of Van Horn, and Dolan isn't in love with Spree. Layden believes the Knicks have to get taller and younger, and Van Horn is an upgrade in both categories. A lineup featuring Allan Houston, Van Horn and Antonio McDyess probably would fare a little better in the East, especially if it includes the addition of a lottery-pick big man and their 2002 second-round pick, point guard Milos Vujanic. Moving both Coleman and Van Horn would dramatically remake the Sixers front line. But Brown might not stop there. The hottest rumor making the rounds Monday morning had Philly quietly gauging interest in Allen Iverson. The Sixers would demand another All-Star caliber two-guard in return.

One N.Y. Post report hinted that a Vince Carter for Iverson swap could be in the works. Based on numbers alone, it's highly unlikely. Carter is a base-year compensation player this season, making him almost impossible to trade. To get the numbers to work, the Raptors and Sixers would have to put together a massive deal that would send Iverson, Todd MacCulloch, Eric Snow and Greg Buckner to Toronto for Carter, Hakeem Olajuwon, Jerome Williams and Alvin Williams.

McGrady, KG turn up the heat

The Magic are preaching patience as they try to sort through the Grant Hill mess. However, it looks like they're running out of time.

Tracy McGrady told the Sun-Sentinel on Tuesday that his patience with the franchise was being tested. He's giving the franchise one more year to get him some help. "The clock is ticking," McGrady said. "I don't know how much longer. . . I'm still going to continue to have patience. I'm going to give this thing one more shot. Obviously, Grant [Hill] is going to have a lot of time to do what he has to do to get healthy. If he comes back healthy next year, then we'll see what happens. But if not, then something's got to give."

McGrady can opt out of his contract after the 2003-04 season. If things don't get better, he may do just that, leaving the Magic in an even worse position than they were before. While some believe McGrady has the biggest load of any star in the NBA to carry, Kevin Garnett begs to differ. He's been in T-Mac's shoes for a while, and he doesn't even have a healthy Grant Hill to think about. "Hey, damned if you do, damned if you don't," said Garnett. "When you lose, it's your fault. When you win, it's a team effort."

Andy Miller, Garnett's agent, said Monday that he "has a sense that [Garnett's] frustration level is mounting. But who exactly it's focused on or not focused on, I'm not sure," Miller told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The T-Wolves, however, are becoming less understanding about Garnett's woes. His salary is more than double McGrady's.

"We're trying to put a better team together," owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press. "He should understand the difficulties of doing that, what with his salary, and Terrell Brandon's salary and injury, the salary cap.And we've shared all of those [difficulties] with him, and we continue to look for opportunities to do some more. It isn't like the team hasn't tried, and that management hasn't tried. On the other hand, we've done pretty good compared to most teams. We're not down on the bottom."

Peep Show

Nets: Coach Byron Scott is worried that Jason Kidd is going to bolt the Nets this summer. "I think the relationships that he's formed here are important," he told the N.Y. Times. "I think winning obviously is very important and I think family is important. Those three things being said, I think we have still have just as good a chance as anybody, and better, to get him back, or rather, to keep him here."

Lakers: Looks like the Lakers are ready to stand pat as the trade deadline nears. "I'd say we're like maybe 10% or 20% opportunity to make a trade," coach Phil Jackson told the L.A. Times. "Nothing's jumping up right at us now and we haven't knocked anything out of a bush that can help us. We have to be perceptive enough to know there might be something there for us and to be ready. I understand there are players and teams available."

Clippers: Lamar Odom knows what's wrong with the Clippers. "Injuries and negotiations," Odom told the L.A. Times. "That's what I would say the title to our season has been. Injuries, and people are worried about contracts. Plus, bad play and inconsistency and you've got the Clippers for this season." When asked about what changes the future might bring, Odom said, "With everything I've gone through, the [drug] suspensions and the injuries [that sidelined him for 11 months], this team has been loyal to me. I think we have to force the front office into keeping this team together by playing well. You watch all the young teams, they start young and they grow older together. It's like a marriage. Until this team marries somebody, there's going to be ups and downs."

Celtics: Here's the biggest news to come out of Boston in weeks. It's now been medically confirmed that Vin Baker has a heart. Unfortunately, it hasn't been working so well lately. Baker, however, received clearance to play tonight and with Tony Battie out, he'll likely start. "I'm ready to play," Baker told the Boston Globe. "I'm not worried about it. I have no fears of passing out. I'm going to give it 110 percent when I get on the floor. I have no worries about anything. I don't think I lost that much of my conditioning." No word yet on when Baker plans on traveling to Emerald City to get some courage to go along with the heart.

Kings: Chris Webber could return for the Feb. 18 game against Milwaukee, the Feb. 20 game against Boston or the Feb. 23 game against New York, the Sacramento Bee reported. "Webb moved better than I expected him to," coach Rick Adelman said. Guard Bobby Jackson (fractured left hand) and forward Lawrence Funderburke (foot-tissue inflammation, Achilles' tendinitis) could be available Sunday when the Kings host San Antonio.

Mavs: Eduardo Najera is finally back. Michael Finley believes Najera's return will give the Mavericks a much-needed boost in the physical aspect of the game. "Najera gives us something that doesn't always end up in the stats, and that's his garbage type of mentality," Finley told the Fort Worth Star Telegram. "By that I mean his willingness to do the dirty work for our team, get the rebounds, take the charges, be aggressive defensively and just give us that [physical] presence. Unfortunately for him he's only 6-8, so he's doing what a lot of big guys that are 7 feet are doing around the league. So he's very important, and I think he's going to add to our success."

Bulls: Coach Bill Cartwright's decision to replace Jamal Crawford with Jay Williams, Trenton Hassell with Eddie Robinson and Tyson Chandler with Eddy Curry didn't go over well with at least one Bulls player. "Whatever," Crawford told the Chicago Tribune. "Nothing surprises me anymore. I've been through enough this year that it doesn't even matter. I'll just try to help the team, whatever it may be, come off the bench, provide a spark, whatever." Cartwright was more philosophical about it. "It is tough," he said. "Jamal has been doing a good job, and Jay's been doing a good job. I've said this before: I know it matters to them who starts, but it matters to me who finishes the game."

Wizards: Coach Doug Collins has decided to start Tyronn Lue at point guard instead of Larry Hughes. "It's not a demotion," Collins told the Washington Post. "I've got to try to maximize our roster. If T. Lue starts, I want to use him with Michael [Jordan] and Jerry [Stackhouse]. That way I can come in with Larry, Juan [Dixon] and Bryon Russell on the perimeter. This way I can have scoring on the perimeter with both units, I won't have to have two smaller guards playing off the bench with Juan and T. Lue. The thing is, I have to get Larry in the mind-set that this is not a demotion. He's played well and this has nothing to do with that.I'm going to take a look at this. If it works, fine. If not, I'll do something else."

Grizzlies: Has Stromile Swift lost his mind? He has some lofty predictions for the Grizzlies in the second half. "We're going to try to go out in the second half and win games," Swift told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Way to shoot for the stars Stromile. . . . The good news is that Michael Dickerson worked out the entire two hours and without a substitution in the team's scrimmage. "He went hard two hours, and I thought that for a guy who was laid off most of the year, he did well," coach Hubie Brown said. "The main thing for us now is we want to see him compete." He could begin playing by the end of this week."

Nuggets: Here's a shocker; Marcus Camby's ankle still isn't healed. "It's going to be this week, but I'm not sure yet," Camby told the Denver Post. "There is still some swelling. It's getting to the point where I have to play with swelling." Quit teasing us.

ShatteredDestiny
02-12-2003, 12:11 AM
Edit

LRB
02-12-2003, 02:07 AM
Thanks for the article OP.

Blonde Bomber
02-12-2003, 10:41 AM
love those articles...keep em' coming

FlyinGK22
02-12-2003, 11:30 AM
ya keep on posting those articles

centrlpark08
02-12-2003, 04:54 PM
I like the AI for cater deal, thanks again OP.