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Old 02-21-07, 04:35 PM
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Talkin' the trade talk

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailyd...ilydime-070221


Talkin' the trade talkBy Marc Stein
ESPN.com

There was an Allen Iverson blockbuster in December, followed by an eight-player megadeal between Golden State and Indiana in January, after which we were treated to the unexpected free-agent availability of Chris Webber, Eddie Jones and now a 41-year-old comeback kid named Scottie Pippen.
Want more?

Sure you do.

The following, then, is the latest trade chatter dribbling in to Stein Line HQ as of 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, just over 36 hours away from NBA's Thursday 3 p.m. trade deadline:

Unless one side budges from their respective hard lines in the next day-plus, New Jersey won't be trading Jason Kidd to the Lakers.

The Nets, as you've surely heard by now, are holding out for 7-footer Andrew Bynum, who happens to have Jersey ties in addition to his prodigious potential.

The Lakers refuse to include Bynum -- as well as obvious untouchables Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom -- and thus can't offer the Nets much more than cap relief, future draft considerations and role players like Kwame Brown, Luke Walton or Jordan Farmar.

Who blinks? My sense is neither side will, at least not between now and the trade buzzer.

The Lakers aren't parting with Bynum, and the Nets, according to one insider, are well short of certain that parting with Kidd and/or free agent-to-be Vince Carter this week is the best course for their future.

They're still in the East, after all. Who says New Jersey can't try to sign and trade Carter in the summer or move Jefferson as part of a smaller shakeup that surrounds Kidd and injured center Nenad Krstic with a new supporting cast that keeps the Nets in the East elite?



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Sources close to the situation say Kidd never asked Nets owner Bruce Ratner to trade him. But Kidd got excited, I'm told, when informed that the teams were talking and that a move to the Lakers was a possibility.

Kidd did not respond with the same excitement, sources say, when word leaked of possible interest from his hometown Golden State Warriors. He apparently isn't itching to leave Jersey unless it's clearly a more attractive situation.

It's likewise believed that the Nets will take Kidd's wishes into account to some degree after he chose to re-sign with them in the summer of 2003 despite strong interest from San Antonio.



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One of the more interesting scenarios I heard Tuesday came from my ESPN colleague Ric Bucher, who reported on NBA Coast to Coast and SportsCenter that the Lakers recently had a deal in place to acquire Mike Bibby from Sacramento before Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof vetoed it, unable to stomach the thought of helping their playoff rivals of yesteryear.

Had that deal gone down, there would be no Kidd-to-the-Lakers talk.



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Bibby going to Cleveland, however, remains a possibility. The Cavs lack the trade assets to complete a trade for Bibby, but one scenario in circulation Tuesday had Minnesota joining in on a three-team deal that would potentially send Mike James, among others, to Sacramento as Bibby's successor at the point.

The Wolves, according to NBA front-office sources, have committed to trying to move James before the deadline after he lasted just a half-season as the No. 1 point guard in Minnesota before ceding his starting spot to rookie Randy Foye.



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Of course we haven't forgotten Pau Gasol.

But there's a reason we haven't mentioned him until now: Gasol-to-Chicago, by all accounts, is less likely to happen at this point than anything involving Kidd, Bibby or Carter.

The Bulls, according to NBA front-office sources, are the only bidder at the moment, but the Grizz have abandoned hope of convincing Chicago to part with Luol Deng. Ben Gordon, sources say, is the only member of Chicago's core four youngsters -- along with Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Andres Nocioni -- who has been made available.

Chicago simply isn't convinced that Gasol, who has never won a playoff game in this league, is an over-the-top acquisition, even in an Eastern Conference seemingly there to be won and in spite of its obvious need for a low-post scoring threat. The Bulls also believe that this won't be their only shot at Gasol, assuming the Spaniard is shopped again around the draft.

It seems clear, furthermore, that teams like Memphis, Chicago and Boston -- pretty much anyone with any sort of shot at a top-two pick in June -- has incentive to wait until the draft lottery in May before making major moves. Landing one of those first two picks, provided Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are both declaring for the draft, can change a club's long-term outlook in a hurry.



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The Clippers never looked more like a (miserable) team waiting for a trade than they did in their humbling home defeat to Phoenix on TNT.

Yet the signals I'm getting from Clipperland continue to suggest that Maggette -- still a Donald Sterling favorite, remember -- isn't going anywhere.

I should note, however, that the most recent of those signals came before Tuesday's debacle of a loss to the Suns. The word at that hour was that Sterling has made it clear he expects coach Mike Dunleavy to reach a truce with Maggette and start getting this group playing the way it did in the franchise breakthrough of last season that suddenly seems forever ago.

It's too soon to say whether L.A.'s surrender in the Suns' 115-90 cruise in the first game after the All-Star Game might alter that position, but I do know that the organization considers making the playoffs imperative after Sterling spent money on players (and his coach) like he's never spent before.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.
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Old 02-21-07, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
One of the more interesting scenarios I heard Tuesday came from my ESPN colleague Ric Bucher, who reported on NBA Coast to Coast and SportsCenter that the Lakers recently had a deal in place to acquire Mike Bibby from Sacramento before Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof vetoed it, unable to stomach the thought of helping their playoff rivals of yesteryear.

Had that deal gone down, there would be no Kidd-to-the-Lakers talk.
The fans in Sacto would have been very angry. They dodged a bullet.
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