NBA RUMOR MILL – Curry To Knicks?
The Rumor Mill is updated every Saturday, and covers the latest NBA trade rumors, NBA news and commentary from in and around the National Basketball Association.¿0a¿0a
RUMOR HAS IT…
In a new weekly section geared exclusively towards the latest rumors floating around… Here is this week’s “Rumor Has It…”¿0a
Eddy Curry To The Knicks: Despite John Paxson downplaying interest in trading Eddy Curry, the New York Post is reporting that talks have heated up, and an extension has been granted on whether Curry will sign Chicago’s one-year offer. The Knicks are supposedly offering Tim Thomas and Michael Sweetney for Curry and even offering up a 1st round draft pick – The Bulls supposedly want Trevor Ariza or David Lee in the deal. It’s being said that the Knicks would guarantee $40 million to Curry without a DNA test, in a contract with incentives that could boost the total deal to $70 million. The Grizzlies, Nuggets and Blazers are said to have inquired about Curry – Bulls sources say if a trade is made, the Bulls would prefer send Curry West, not East…¿0a
Latrell Is Assed Out: In the “it just goes to show you” file, Latrell Sprewell has run out of options. Rumor had it the Lakers were talking with the Wolves about a sign and trade deal for Latrell – a deal Phil Jackson said is unlikely, and a deal Mitch Kupchak listed as a long shot. To make matters worse Wolves owner Glenn Taylor said to media last week, that his club had a full roster, and would not be looking at sign and trade options for Spree at all – It just goes to show you that talent alone doesn’t keep you in the NBA, ask Isiah Rider. A league source indicated several teams would have interest in Spree at the NBA minimum, but that was likely the largest contract he’d get – with Bob Sura on the shelf in Houston with his 2nd knee surgery, maybe Spree’s July prediction of being a Rocket will come true…¿0a
Is Oklahoma Permanent?: Its politically correct for the New Orleans Hornets to stand boldly next to their old market and say “We will rebuild” – but the reality is Oklahoma City may sell out the Hornets, something they have never seen in New Orleans, and something the NBA can not over look. Admittedly the New Orleans move was a downgrade from Charlotte. If the City and the State had not guaranteed so much revenue and support, there is no way the NBA would have approved New Orleans on its own – the Hornets got a sweetheart deal, which will never been seen again – Louisiana cannot buy blocks of tickets now, they have bigger issues. How many corporations will return to New Orleans and buy skyboxes? Not many. With the instant success Okalahoma City is having selling the Hornets, its gonna be nearly impossible to justify moving the team back to New Orleans. No one will say Oklahoma is permanent, but it’s hard to believe the NBA moves a financial winner, back to New Orleans to be a financial dog. This move may never be made permanent, but you can bet more than 37 NBA games are played in The Ford Center…¿0a
The Last Ride Of The Stan Van: Its hard not to look at the Miami Heat and not say, wow – that’s a massive roster. The burning question becomes can Stan Van Gundy control this group, and the answer is – yes. He’s got Shaq on one side and Gary Payton on the other, and both have pledged allegiance to Stan – Wondering why Payton was pursued over others – his willingness to support Stan. This could be Stan’s last ride, but he’s got some “soldiers” that will back him up.¿0a
ON THE HOT SEAT
There are five NBA coaches coming into the season that have to win now… here are the guys on the Hot Seat going into training camp…¿0a
Byron Scott: The word on Byron was his success in New Jersey was due to quality assistants, not his own style. Coming into New Orleans the playoffs were expected, and the club has gone backwards since his arrival. Everyone agrees he’s a solid coach, but will his style translate to his very young roster and how much longer will the Hornets be patient with losing? If The Hornets come out flat, and are not aggressive – don’t be surprised to hear Byron’s name on the chopping block.¿0a
Sam Mitchell: Sam is a great coach – the problem is the Raptors have to start winning, they traded away their marquee asset last year, and losing will kill the franchise. Sadly Mitchell may be on the hot seat due to the decisions of Rob Babcock – not his ability to coach. Toronto is a combustible situation, a string of strong games could change the course, but if the Raptors come out flat a change is inevitable.¿0a
Lawrence Frank: There will be some patience with “Coach Doogie”, but the Nets want to win and feel like they have a strong playoff team. Coach Frank has done an amazing job, but if the team falls off from last year, or if there is internal friction between his stars – his name will surface. Rod Thorn knows this business all too well; he’s got to keep the Nets in the playoff picture to keep running things his way – and there are tickets to be sold in Brooklyn amd Coach Frank does have the name power.¿0a
Mike Dunleavy: This is Mike’s year – playoffs or bust. The Clippers have spent a ton of money to give Dunleavy the tools he said he needed. The Clippers want the playoffs badly and believe that they have a window to make a splash in LA while the Lakers retool – no one can steal the luster of the Lakers, but the Clippers want to try and be world-class and if Dunleavy can not get it done, the Clips say they will get there by “any means necessary”¿0a
Stan Van Gundy: If The Miami Experiment does not work, and work out of the gate, Stan will be roasted in the media daily – and once that starts its only a matter of time. Stan Van Gundy is a great NBA coach, substantially better than his brother, and this team could catapult him into stardom. Pat Riley is waiting in the wings to relieve Stan if the wheels come off, so all the chips are on black – spin that wheel and lets see what happens.¿0a
EDDY AND THE BULLS
Eddy Curry’s battle with the Bulls over their rights to DNA test him is not going to go away with a trade. David Stern told media this week that he believed a team should have the right to request medical information on players, while being clear that he supported medical privacy, Stern said he felt the rookie draft process would be the perfect place for this type of testing – in the past 16 months, we have seen at least five NBA players diagnosed with sever life threatening heart conditions, whether is was Fred Hoiberg needing a pace maker, Eddy Curry and the irregular heart beat, Juwan Howard with a heart condition last year, or Ronny Turiaf enlarged aortic root. NBA teams have an obligation to themselves to insure a player does not die on their floor – and while Eddy Curry believes the Bulls are using his heart condition to reduce his value, the truth is that no team wants to be a contributor in a player’s death. Its pretty safe to say Eddy wouldn’t buy a $40 million house that he wasn’t sure would be livable in 4 years, he’d probably bring in some experts to look the place over, and if any of them said – you know you should do a termite test – he’d do the termite test, not to find a way to reduce the value of the house, but to insure the house that he wants in a long term deal, is gonna stand up to the price tag. DNA testing is going to become a stand in the NBA – its gonna become a requirement. If a team can not legally test you, they will make you supply the results. If you do not supply the results, your not gonna be drafted. Some teams may look the other way, but Eddy is not going to be the last player expected to prove he’s healthy. There is too much at stake, that is not about money.
Here are some of the random stories from the week…
- DICKAU TRADE FINAL: Dan Dickau is finally a Celtic, after weeks of delays related to Hurricane Katrina’s forced relocation of the Hornets – The C’s and Hornets consummated the deal sending Dickau to the Celtics for a second-round choice in 2006. The Celtics used their trade exception, to ink Dickau to a three-year contract worth an average of $2.5 million per year according to reports.
- CLEAVES GET A SHOT: The Seattle Sonics have sign Mateen Cleaves to a contract this week. Cleaves was a heralded draft pick coming into the NBA, but has struggled to make a splash at this level. “He had an excellent summer for us in Utah and last season was a pleasant surprise. We’d like to give him another opportunity,” general manager Rick Sund said in a statement.
- THE TRIALS OF GRG: Portland Trail Blazers assistant Tim Grgurich, has filed suit against the team in his summer long bid to coach elsewhere. The suit explains that “Grg” was contacted by new Blazers coach Nate Macmillan and told he would not be part of his staff so “Grg” stopped delivering services and did not participate in the Blazers summer Program – The Blazers viewed this as breach of contract and withheld his pay. The suit asks for Grg’s release and also asks for $114,583 that Grgurich claims the team has withheld since July. The Blazers maintain he is under contract. Grg’s role with the Blazers has always been a development coach working with young players, not part of the game day coaching system.¿0a