NEW YORK — Aside from the obvious downside of relocating communications major, Rasheed Wallace, to the media capital of the world, his acquisition by the Knicks would force the NBA’s Competition Committee to reposition them in the Western Conference.
Before Isiah Thomas can begin to fantasize about beating out the Rockets, Mavericks, Spurs, Pistons, Grizzlies, Nets, Pacers and Sonics, any deal for Rashweed ($17 million), Kurt Thomas ($5.394 million) must be featured in the package.
Creativity and compromise come into play after that.
Considering the Blazers’ hardcore stance not to take back a long-term contract unless an All-Star or a young, established stud is attached, there seemingly isn’t enough of either component on tap.
Besides Kurt Thomas, a tentative free agent (his option) come July 1, Michael Doleac is the only remaining Knick whose pact is about to expire and his salary ($1.54 million) is relatively insignificant.
Meaning the Blazers must pinpoint higher paid players on other teams they would accept if the Knicks had the wherewithal to get them, or accept deals that extend into next season and beyond.
Portland was prepared to obtain Dikembe Mutombo ($4.087 million/$4.496 million) as a throw-in before the season in order to lock up Kenyon Martin, so he’s certainly a potential second piece.
Which brings our head trip to a skidding halt. It’s useless to strain the brain a moment longer unless Shandon Anderson ($6.7 million/$7.3 million/$7.9 million/$8.5 million) is vaguely appealing to the Blazers as the third element. And you’ve gotta believe one Anderson (Derek) already is one too many.
More importantly, there are much tastier morsels to be had on other team’s dessert plates.
If, ahem, reporters insist on making a livelihood of lifting revelations in this space and using it as if they actually have a source, the least they can do is get it right.
Contrary to counterfeit reports, the Knicks did not use Frank Williams and Othella Harrington to proposition the Cavaliers for Darius Miles; it was the other way around.
Williams is not available in a trade unless it’s one of maximum magnitude in which the Knicks would get Rashweed, Tracy McGrady or Kobe Bryant, you catch the drift.
Naturally, Miles intrigues the Knicks, but not at the expense of Williams, ultimately the third guard in a three-man, interchangeable rotation; shades of the old Pistons with Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Vinnie Johnson.
Meanwhile, Rashweed has expressed, to management, a desire to remain a Blazer past this season. So far, I’m informed, no offer or request has been made. Perhaps because business is booming for his scarcely tainted, barely devalued unselfish services.
From what I’m told, agent Bill Strickland has made it clear to Portland and the converging crowd, his client is looking for a legit, long-term arrangement, in the $10 million to $15 million per year range. Anything less isn’t worth talking about.
If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art contract comparison, Kevin Garnett recently signed a five-year extension with the Timberwolves that kicks in next season starting at $16 million and rising to $23 million before terminating after the 2007-2008 season.
“This is tricky deal,” said an intimately involved trickster. “The only teams with any money next summer are unattractive o him (Wallace). So, staying in Portland or being traded before the (Feb. 19) deadline is best financially.”
Why shouldn’t there be a kilo, er, ton of interest in Rashweed? “Hey, it’s not as if he sexually abused or shot anybody. All he’s done is shoot off his mouth,” one of his many admirers kindly noted.
Getting pulled over for tokin’ while speeding?
Menacing referees on and off the court?
Setting a technical foul record?
Throwing a towel in the face of Arvydas Sabonis during a huddle?
Nearly coming to blows with coach Mike Dunleavy afterward in the locker room?
You know, kid stuff.
Several days before Stephon Marbury was acquired, Isiah Thomas presented the Hawks with a moderately similar offer they had no trouble rebuffing.
According to an hospitable Southerner, Atlanta was asked to relinquish Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jason Terry and Chris Crawford for Antonio McDyess, Doleac, Charlie Ward, Michael Sweetney, New York’s first round pick in 2004 and the rights to Milos Vujanic.
Oh, yeah, and the Hawks were supposed to release McDyess so the Knicks could re-sign him when he cleared waivers.
Thomas refused to comment on the info except to say, “What’s wrong with being greedy?”
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