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Old 02-14-07, 01:33 PM
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Who should be packing their bags? These 10 players

So, Tuesday's Melvin Ely-Eric Williams trade didn't really get your blood boiling, eh?

You expect a little more action, a few bigger names to be changing addresses as we count down the days until the Feb. 22 NBA trade deadline, the day general managers finally get to set down their cell phones and take stock of the elbow tendinitis that comes from holding a receiver to one's ear for 12 hours a day.

Well, take heart, folks. Bigger and better deals are on the way, and Insider has been working the phones and aggravating the elbows, too, to get a handle on who's on the block, who isn't, and what might be in store for the week ahead.

We expect at least 10 players to be relocating by the time next weekend rolls around, but you can never really be sure whether it's going to be a busier-than-usual trade deadline day or a dud along the lines of the deadline day seven years ago when only one trade -- Anthony Johnson going from Orlando to Atlanta for a second-round pick -- was consummated.

With that warning safely dispensed, we present our Week Before The Deadline List of the 10 Players Most Likely to Be Traded.


1. James Posey, Heat
While he has been recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery, Pat Riley has been working the phones trying to find a point guard to relieve some of the burden from the banged-up Jason Williams and the washed-up Gary Payton.

Posey's $6.4 million contract expires after this season, making him the No. 1 chip Riley has at his disposal. Posey isn't enough to entice the 76ers to part with Andre Miller (even with a No. 1 draft pick thrown in), but he'll be enough to get some other team to part with a player who will keep Chris Quinn out of the Heat's starting five for the rest of the year.

2. Mike James, Timberwolves
In the category of "seemed like a good idea at the time" (see Harrington, Al, in Indiana), we point to Minnesota's signing of this free agent last summer as the next mistake the Wolves will try to rectify.

The Heat are very interested, but so too are the Pistons and Cavaliers. And since Detroit (able and willing to move Nazr Mohammed, Dale Davis and Flip Murray) can likely outbid Cleveland and Miami, the educated guess here is that James is back playing Deeee-troit bas-ket-ball by this time next week.

3. Juan Dixon, Trail Blazers
Yes, we know the most popular Portland trade chip to be run through the rumor mill this season has been Jamaal Magloire, but Insider is hearing that Portland is now "begging" teams to take the former All-Star off their hands. Magloire's $8.3 million contract expires at the end of this season, but big expiring contracts clearly aren't nearly the valuable commodities they were in recent years.

That's why we're listing Dixon as the likeliest member of the Blazers to be shipped out. Don't be surprised if he goes to Toronto for Fred Jones.

4. Dale Davis, Pistons
Not all expiring contracts are unmovable, just the bigger ones (Magloire, Grant Hill, etc.).

This graybeard center is pulling down $3.5 million from the Pistons, and Joe Dumars has vowed to break up his big man logjam. Most of the attention has been focused on the Pistons' trying to move Mohammed, but he has a five-year contract that's giving plenty of teams second thoughts.

Davis is a heck of a lot easier to move, and plenty of playoff-caliber teams are in need of an extra big body for the postseason.

5. Corey Maggette, Clippers
If it were up to Maggette or coach Mike Dunleavy, who get along like oil and water, Maggette would already be an ex-Clipper. The problem is that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has a particular fondness for Maggette, and the owner still thinks the two can coexist.

But the most recent tiff between coach and player might make Sterling reconsider, and the Jazz, Heat and Spurs are all still very much interested. The Clips turned down an offer of Morris Peterson earlier this season, and the Raptors are no longer looking to move Mo Pete.

6. P.J. Brown, Bulls
He is one of the main pieces of the package of players the Bulls are trying to send to Memphis for Pau Gasol. If that doesn't happen, he could still be a main piece of any backup deal the Bulls are working on to add a capable low-post scorer.

Brown's $8 million contract comes off the books after this season, but if Chicago can't find a match for him, another option is to trade Michael Sweetney's expiring $2.7 million deal and keep Brown in the Bulls' starting five, where he's been playing fairly well of late.

7. Pau Gasol, Grizzlies
The big fella from Spain doesn't make it any higher on this list because the Grizzlies continue to insist that they'll keep Gasol on the roster and further explore trade possibilities over the summer if they can't get a package of what they're looking for (two good young players and an expiring contract).

Chicago remains the front-runner, but we're hearing whispers that the Nets are seriously in the mix, too. The Knicks stated their interest, too, but Memphis wouldn't send him to New York even if Isiah Thomas was offering both Channing Frye and David Lee.

8. Mike Bibby, Kings
When agent David Falk came out last week and said Bibby would not opt out of his contract after this season, it forced Sacramento to weigh its options with Bibby as he slumps through his worst season in years.

Bibby makes $12.5 million, so there would have to be a lot of lumber, at least salarywise, coming back to the Kings in any deal.

The three teams most desperate for a new point guard (Miami, Cleveland, Lakers) are all interested, but the cost (at least $9.9 million in salary must go back, and Sacramento will want a No. 1 pick, too, which the Cavs don't have) may preclude a deal of this magnitude from going down.

9. Jason Kidd/Vince Carter, Nets
Here's the thing with J-Kidd. He's due to make $19.7 million next season and $21.4 million the year after, and the law of diminishing returns is coaxing Rod Thorn (and owner Bruce Ratner) to give serious consideration to the idea that it might be time to blow this team up.

Like Kidd, Carter has been shopped around the league. But with no one knowing for sure whether he plans to opt out of the final year of his contract this summer (the Nets wanted to give him an extension last summer, but Carter's impending divorce kept him from accepting), there's more risk in acquiring Carter than there is in getting Kidd.

10. Beno Udrih, Spurs
Wasn't it just a few days ago that Gregg Popovich said there would be no trades and no changes to the roster? Well, the Ely trade proved that Pop was merely disseminating some misinformation (he learned that from all his years spying on the Soviets).

Udrih has been in Pop's doghouse more than any player since Malik Rose was on the Spurs, and he's expendable now that Jacque Vaughn has taken over the backup point-guard duties. With so many teams seeking playmakers, Udrih may be the fallback guy for a team that can't land its No. 1 choice.

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. To e-mail Chris, click here.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...t&lid=tab2pos1
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Old 02-14-07, 02:12 PM
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Old 02-14-07, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy from Austin View Post
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Old 02-14-07, 02:45 PM
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OMFG!!!! LMAO!!! Thats classic...
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Old 02-14-07, 03:45 PM
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Now THAT's funny!
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Old 02-14-07, 03:50 PM
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Poor Poor Beno...
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Old 02-14-07, 04:10 PM
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Unless a trade involving Udrih includes Barry, he isn't going anywhere. who are we going to get of equal value who is making $900,000?
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Old 02-14-07, 05:11 PM
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who are we going to get of equal value who is making $900,000?


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Old 02-14-07, 05:17 PM
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^^^
classic
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Old 02-14-07, 05:39 PM
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I hate to see ...

... beno go.
I would rather see him turn his game around and help the Spurs win it all this year.
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Old 02-14-07, 06:49 PM
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I'd take PJ Brown or Dale Davis right now.
Why?
Because small ball is not alive and well. Big ball will go deep into the playoffs this year thanks to Utah and the Lakers (who are expected to have all three of the big men that they have missed during the last month or so).
I think Okur and the gang are going to make plenty of noise during their run and may even make it to the Western Conference Finals.
Write it down!
In the meantime, the Spurs need to learn to rebound.
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Old 02-14-07, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy from Austin View Post

"Sir, did you pack you bags yourself?"

"Sir, has your luggage been in your presence the entire time?"

"Sir, has anyone asked you to carry something that is not yours?"
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