Rumor Mill: Aug 5th 2005

Vegas Hosting the 2007 All Star Game

Hawks Owners Fighting Like Spoiled Children over Joe Johnson

Looking more and more like Nick Van Smack signing with Houston

Doug Christie “Waive Bye Bye”

And More

The NBA will announce on Friday that it has selected Las Vegas to host the 2007 All-Star Game, according to Terry Jicinsky, senior vice president of marketing at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which has been bidding for the event.

— USA Today

The bitter battle within the Atlanta Hawks’ ownership group escalated Thursday when co-owner Steve Belkin took his partners to court and got a restraining order against them. The order temporarily prohibits the majority of the Hawks’ owners from removing him as the team’s NBA governor — a position Belkin has used this week to block a trade his partners want to make with the Phoenix Suns for guard Joe Johnson.

— Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Free-agent guard Nick Van Exel apparently is leaning toward signing with the Houston Rockets. Van Exel told a Houston radio station that he considered the Rockets a good fit. Mavericks officials also talked to agent Tony Dutt, but Van Exel has long had an affinity for Houston.

— Dallas Morning News

The Heat has expressed interest in Nick Van Exel, who would fill Miami’s need for another ball-handler and three-point shooter. The Heat continues discussions with point guard Damon Jones and has inquired about free agent guard Derek Anderson, who has been linked to the Lakers.

— Miami Herald

With no trading partners in sight, the Orlando Magic will waive disgruntled guard Doug Christie in the next couple of days under the NBA’s amnesty clause to free up a roster spot and avoid paying $8.2 million to the league in luxury taxes. Although the Magic declined to comment on the waiver, NBA sources in New York confirmed the upcoming transaction.

— Orlando Sentinel

Nets president Thorn would not specify why power forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim did not pass the team physical, but he said that the problem did not involve a pre-existing condition. The sign-and-trade deal with the Blazers will not become official until the Nets are satisfied with his physical condition.

— New York Times

If the Shareef Abdur-Rahim deal falls through. Chubby Wells, the agent for the 14-year veteran, said Thorn had “exploratory” discussions with him last week, but felt the Nets wouldn’t have enough money to sign Davis.

— Newark Star Ledger

The Knicks will be on the lookout for a veteran point guard to ease the transition until Nate Robinson is ready. Possibilities include free agents and a couple of point guards who have played for Larry Brown. One of those is Cleveland’s Eric Snow, who is under contract through 2009 and will earn $21 million.

— Newark Star Ledger

Newly acquired Antoine Walker says he’s “not worried about” whether he’ll be a starter or reserve for the Heat. President Pat Riley reiterated that Udonis Haslem is the team’s starter at power forward.

— Miami Herald

Eddie Jones was at home Sunday night, preparing for a vacation in Barbados, when he heard he was likely going to be traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. He wasn’t bitter at anyone in the Heat organization.

— Miami Herald

-Z

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