Monday Morning Rumors – Feb 15, 2010

Where do the Wizards go from here?

Knicks remain in hunt for McGrady

Jerry Colangelo open to an NBA return, possibly to New Jersey Nets

Heat Owner: We’re Not Shopping Beasley

Where do the Wizards go from here?

Michael Lee

Of course, the Wizards could also buy out other players on expiring deals, such as Mike James, who has been unable to get moved since asking for a trade after the first preseason game.

There are a lot of reports out there that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns are closing in on a deal that would send Amaré Stoudemire to Cleveland. The Suns, according to reports, are said to be mulling an offer of Zydrunas Ilgauskas’s expiring contract, second-year forward J.J. Hickson, and a draft pick.

The discussions between Cleveland and Phoenix make sense since Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry and Suns general manager Steve Kerr are former teammates with the San Antonio and close friends. They’ve also collaborated on deals in the past; most notably the Shaquille O’Neal deal last summer.

But there is also speculation that the talk is actually a smoke screen to get the Wizards to give them Jamison. As I said before, there is a lot of posturing at this time. The Wizards did the same thing with Cleveland with all of those rumors about sending Butler and Jamison to Boston.

It’s almost like a girl flirting with somebody in order to get the guy they want to get jealous and make a move. This dance is played a lot in the days leading up to the deadline, but as one NBA executive told me recently, "Nobody can make anyone do what they don’t want to do."

I’ve been told that the Cavaliers aren’t the only team interested in Jamison. Miami has also expressed interest of late, according to a league source.

The Wizards definitely need to start over. No need to call it rebuilding, because in order to rebuild you have to something that you have stripped down. This is a 17-win team headed for another trip to Secaucus, N.J., in May. The Wizards would love to keep Jamison for his professionalism and character, but they also know that there is no reason to half-step through this process.

Knicks remain in hunt for McGrady


Despite the death of a potential Knicks’ three-way deal with the Wizards and Rockets for Tracy McGrady, two sources told The Post last night team president Donnie Walsh spent All-Star Sunday in talks with the Rockets about McGrady in a deal expected to center around Al Harrington.

All along, the Rockets have held firm that teams will pony up as Thursday’s trading deadline drew closer. They were looking to get one of the Knicks’ rookies, Jordan Hill or Toney Douglas. The Bulls also have talked to Houston about McGrady.

Larry Hughes figures to be part of any deal to match McGrady’s $23 million expiring contract. There’s also a possibility the Knicks may have to throw in $3 million in cash as sweetener.


"There’s still a chance," one source said, regarding a McGrady-to-New York scenario without a third team involved.

One source also said there is a "50-50" chance of a deal happening, and it could include a third team.

The Knicks’ first shot at McGrady was nixed after the Mavericks acquired Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood from the Wizards on Saturday, while Dallas dealt forwards Josh Howard, Drew Gooden and two other players to Washington. The Mavericks also got guard DeShawn Stevenson and cash considerations.

Harrington also is in play in another scenario that first came to light in December with Bulls young forward Tyrus Thomas, being vigorously shopped by the Bulls again, according to

Walsh seems itchy to pull the trigger on something to revive the dead 19-32 Knicks, who will return from the All-Star break tomorrow in Chicago, where they will face Thomas.

The Knicks’ insistence on including Jared Jeffries’ multi-year contract to open more cap space appears out of play. That always has been a stalemate in any potential deal. Though the Rockets don’t view Harrington as a rotation piece, they still would get much more value with him than having McGrady training in Chicago.

"I know him a little, we shot a commercial together," David Lee told The Post during All-Star weekend before making his All-Star debut last night at Cowboys Stadium. "He’s an unbelievable talent."

The Knicks are desperate to add to the backcourt, where they are thin at both shooting guard and point guard and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with McGrady. Sources say Walsh is interested in having the former superstar audition for next season.

Jerry Colangelo open to an NBA return, possibly to New Jersey Nets

Frank Isola

Jerry Colangelo revealed Sunday that he would consider running an NBA team again, including the Nets, but only if he is given full control of the organization.

"I would have to have full autonomy," Colangelo told the Daily News. "I’m not looking to become a general manager. But if the right job came along I’d be willing to talk to anyone. Life is all about opportunities."

Colangelo, a highly respected power broker within NBA circles, says he had not spoken with Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who will become the Nets’ new owner. There have been various reports that Colangelo is Prokhorov’s first choice to run the club. Moreover, there is a belief that Colangelo, the director of USA Basketball, would then hire USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski to become the Nets’ coach and GM. Krzyzewski, who once turned down the chance to coach Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, recently said he has no interest in the Nets job.

That could change if Colangelo is installed as the president of the team. The presence of Colangelo and Krzyzewski could be a dynamic combination for a Nets team that could have between $25 million and $30 million in salary cap space this summer. Several star potential free agents in the class of 2010 have played for the national team under Colangelo and Krzyzewski, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. "I’ve heard my name being mentioned for jobs but I can tell you I haven’t had any contact with any teams," Colangelo added. "But if there is something out there that I find intriguing I would certainly listen."

Heat Owner: We’re Not Shopping Beasley

The Heat have been involved in trade discussions with several teams, but owner Micky Arison said that second-year player Michael Beasley has not been a part of the various proposals.

"We’ve never put him out there," Arison told The Miami Herald. "I know I’ve read about him being put out there. I can tell you this: We have not put him out there. The media has. We like Michael and see him as a part of our core going forward."

Arison didn’t name specific deals he’s discussed with other teams but said "there are a lot of interesting things going on." He also noted that if the Heat don’t make a move now, they’ll have flexibility over the summer, when they’ll have several expiring contracts coming off the books.

According to reports, the Heat have had trade discussions
with the Suns, Grizzlies, Rockets, Blazers, Bobcats, Kings and Celtics.

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