The Rumor Mill: Aug 4th 2005

Stephon Marbury “I ain’t going nowhere”

Joe Johnson, NOT a Hawk Afterall???

Nick Van Exel in Houston?

Doug Christie: Michael FinleyReplacement in Dallas?

And More Stephon Marbury believes Isiah Thomas won’t trade him from the Knicks. “I’m still here,” Marbury said. “I ain’t going nowhere, and I’m still going to play the same way I play. [People] can’t deal with knowing that Isiah and I are close.”

— New York Times

The self-proclaimed best point guard in the NBA is ready for a career change. Stephon Marbury revealed yesterday that he is prepared to move to shooting guard under new coach Larry Brown, a switch that Marbury believes is a “scary” proposition for the rest of the league.

— New York Newsday

Atlanta co-owner Steve Belkin won’t say why he hasn’t approved a trade for Suns guard Joe Johnson. Belkin said via e-mail that the NBA has requested that he make no comment on why he has yet to sign off on the deal agreed upon by the rest of the Hawks ownership and Phoenix ownership.

— Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Suns believe by Monday that [Joe] Johnson should be on his way to Atlanta after Phoenix matches the Hawks’ five-year, $69.6 million offer, and trading him for second-year guard Boris Diaw, two lottery-protected draft picks and a trade exception.

— The Arizona Republic

The Rockets moved quickly after the Trail Blazers’ cost-cutting release of guards Nick Van Exel and Derek Anderson with preliminary conversations with Tony Dutt, the agent for both players.

— Houston Chronicle

According to league sources, the Mavericks are trying to sign point guard Nick Van Exel. Van Exel has expressed an interest in playing in Texas, which opens the door for the Mavericks, Houston and San Antonio.

— Dallas Morning News

The Mavericks also are discussing the possibility of signing potential free agent swingman Doug Christie, who might be released by Orlando. If the Mavericks trade Michael Finley or use the amnesty clause to release him, Christie could fill that void. “He’s a [shooting guard/small forward] with some playoff experience,” a source said of Christie. “And that’s what we’re looking for.”

— Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Pat Riley said he has “no concern” about whether Shaquille O’Neal will be worth $20 million when he’s 38. The Heat’s acquisitions from the five-team, 13-player trade — coupled with O’Neal signing his $100 million contract — made Tuesday ”as good a day as I’ve ever had in basketball,” Riley said.

— Miami Herald

New Laker Kwame Brown is ready to put four turbulent seasons with the Wizards behind him. “I just thank God that I’m out of Washington and looking forward to getting here and turning things around for myself and my family,” Brown said.

— Los Angeles Times

Ray Allen entertained offers from Cleveland, Milwaukee, Atlanta and the Los Angeles Clippers, but longed for the comfort of his new home and for the potential of a solid core of young Sonics. Allen signed a five-year, $80 million contract Wednesday.

— Seattle Post-Intelligence

Add Walter McCarty to the list of veteran free agents contacted by the 76ers. “They’ve called, and there is interest, but like a lot of teams they’re waiting to see which players might become available through amnesty,” said Michael Higgins, McCarty’s agent.

— Philadelphia Inquirer

Toni Kukoc is still on the Bulls’ wish list but might re-sign with Milwaukee. Tom Gugliotta and Malik Allen are other options. “We have such a young team,” Bulls general manager John Paxson. “We have to see what we have for another year and let them grow together.”

— Chicago Tribune

-Z

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