Trade: Not if, but when?

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by nikebasketball, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. nikebasketball

    nikebasketball JBB JustBBall Member

    Dec 2, 2003
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    Owner Paul Allen confirms that the Blazers are considering a deal, but specifics are scarce as Portland loses to Phoenix



    The trade talks involving the Trail Blazers are no longer speculation. Owner Paul Allen on Thursday acknowledged rumors that the team is considering a trade are true and current, as evidenced by his 30-minute meeting with team president Steve Patterson and general manager John Nash during the third quarter of the Blazers' 105-96 loss to the Phoenix Suns at the Rose Garden.

    After the game, Allen said he is contemplating whether he should pull the trigger on a proposed trade.

    "Trade. Not to trade. I don't know," Allen said before walking out of the arena.

    Patterson was equally elusive, saying, "We talked about all kinds of things . . . but I'm not going to talk about it."

    No member of Blazers management would confirm the proposed trade, but sources in Dallas say that the deal involves Rasheed Wallace going to the Mavericks for forward Antawn Jamison and injured guard/forward Tariq Abdul-Wahad.

    If the deal were to include Abdul-Wahad, it would seem to meet Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's criterion that a trade with Portland be a "sweetheart of a deal," because Abdul-Wahad is damaged goods. The 6-foot-6 Wahad is to make $28 million in the next four seasons, but he has not played this season because of a left knee injury that caused him to miss 67 games last season.

    Another rumored trade has Wallace going to the Mavericks for Jamison, Tony Delk and Eduardo Najera.

    Dallas coach and general manager Don Nelson told the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram late Thursday that he had not heard of a trade for Wallace being finalized.

    The trade talk added to an already tense atmosphere around the Blazers (16-21), who have lost seven of eight games.

    The heightened trade speculation of late prompted one starter -- who wished to remain anonymous -- to uncork an animated pregame diatribe that the team's management needs either to sign Wallace to a contract extension or trade him immediately, because the speculation has cast a negative cloud of uncertainty that is affecting the team's play.

    Even coach Maurice Cheeks alluded to the distractions after the game, saying that the team "looked like things were on our minds."

    "There's things in the air," Cheeks said.

    About the only air surrounding the Blazers that is certain now is a stench. They were outplayed by the Suns (13-26) from the start, trailing 35-24 after one quarter as the Blazers shot five airballs -- including consecutive airballs on free throws by Vladimir Stepania.

    It never got better, as the Suns opened leads as large as 14 points in the third quarter while Allen met with his top employees in his private room in the hallways of the Rose Garden. Allen and Patterson did not emerge from the meeting until 2:41 remained in the third quarter and Portland trailed 78-65.

    Wallace, who is in the last year of his contract, which pays him $17 million, did not play for the fourth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle, which by all accounts from Blazers players is truly hurt. Wallace was in warmups on the team's bench, but he declined to be interviewed after the game.

    The anonymous Blazers player said Wallace has been stung by being the subject of recent trade rumors, and he said he wished Wallace and Nash would talk about his future so the ordeal can be settled, allowing the team to know what course the season is going to take. However, the player said that Nash and Wallace do not speak, saying that the two don't even make eye contact when passing each other.

    Nash on Thursday said the team has not determined its plans for Wallace, and he said he doesn't know Wallace's desires. Nash did say, however, that Wallace has not demanded a contract extension or threatened to sit out until he is re-signed.

    "I really don't feel it's proper to discuss private negotiations," Nash said. "But in terms of threat, there has been no threat issued. It's a sensitive issue. Both sides have options. We have had discussions with his agent on and off to try and determine what is best for both parties, but that is the extent of it."

    In the meantime, a season is slipping away for the Blazers. They are 12th in the 14-team Western Conference and are 41/2 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot. The question now is, who will still be here when, and if, the Blazers try to make a playoff push?

    "If you get traded, so be it," said Derek Anderson, who had 14 points in his first start of the season. "But if not, you've got to win. . . . You've got to perform and go out and do your job wherever you're at and whoever you're playing for. The key with us is understanding who we have here and understanding what we have to do."

  2. Henacy

    Henacy JBB The Man like Sam

    Oct 13, 2003
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    If I was Dallas I wouldnt trade Najera, they are going to need his defense come playoff time.
  3. Trip

    Trip 2000000000000000000000000

    Dec 14, 2003
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    London/Mississauga, ON
    <div class="quote_poster">Quoting Henacy:</div><div class="quote_post">If I was Dallas I wouldnt trade Najera, they are going to need his defense come playoff time.</div>
    Yeah they'd need Delk's three-point shooting as well.

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