Cavs discuss deal for Shaq

The Phoenix Suns discussed a potential trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers which would have paired Shaquille O’Neal with LeBron James for a run at the NBA title, two NBA executives familiar with the talks said Thursday morning. A Cavs official, however, said any talks regarding O’Neal have since ended.

With less than an hour before the trade deadline, one Western Conference official said the Cavs were still trying to make a late bid for Milwaukee forward Richard Jefferson. The Cavs would send back the expiring contract of Wally Szczerbiak.

One East executive said the Bucks now seemed more inclined to try to trade Charlie Villanueva.

One agent said the Suns told him they weren’t doing a deal. The Cavs’ discussions with Phoenix centered on sending Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to the Suns.

Sources say the two teams talked about the potential trade for two days now. A Cavs official didn’t deny the teams have talked, but made it clear they were no longer in active discussions.


The Sacramento Kings acquired Raptors point guard Will Solomon and cash in a three-team deal including the Boston Celtics. The Celtics sent center Patrick O’Bryant to the Raptors, and the Kings sent a future second-round pick to the Celtics. The Kings also waived veteran center Mikki Moore.


Wilcox headed to Knicks

One day after Oklahoma City voided its trade for Tyson Chandler, the Thunder have reached an agreement to send center Chris Wilcox for forward Malik Rose, an Eastern Conference executive said.


Hughes traded to Knicks

The Chicago Bulls have reached agreement to trade guard Larry Hughes to the New York Knicks for Tim Thomas, Jerome James and Anthony Roberson, two NBA executives said.


McCants traded

The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached agreement on a deal that sends Rashard McCants and Calvin Booth to the Sacramento Kings for Sheldon Williams and Bobby Brown.


Hornets keeping Chandler

After losing out on Joe Smith and Wilcox in the voided Chandler trade, the Hornets tried but were unsuccessful in finding some bargain frontcourt help to solidify what’s been the worst rebounding team in the NBA season this season.


No Camby for Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs have been unable to pry Marcus Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers, a Western Conference official said.

Nocioni remaining with Kings

Despite interest from several teams, including the Boston Celtics, the Sacramento Kings decided to hold onto forward Andres Nocioni, an Eastern Conference official said.

The Kings acquired Nocioni in Wednesday’s trade with the Bulls.


Nets a Thorn in Blazers’ side?

A proposed Vince Carter-to-Portland deal appears unlikely because New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn is opposed to giving into the Trail Blazers about including the 2011 No. 1 draft pick that the Nets own from a trade with the Golden State Warriors.

The Dallas Mavericks still loom as a potential trade partner for the Nets, but the market has increasingly dried up for the pricey guard.

“It feels like Dallas has 100 different scenarios juggling in the air,” one Western Conference executive said Thursday.


League distributes financial warning

The NBA sent out an ominous memo to its teams on the eve of the league’s trade deadline to outline dramatic projected drops in salary-cap and luxury-tax levels for the next two summers, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

Because of rapidly declining revenues, the league office delivered a sobering warning to teams trying to free cap space for the historic free-agent class of 2010: Owners and executives will likely have to strip more payroll than initially planned.

At a time when most of the league’s teams are trying to shed salary, these stark projections did nothing to encourage the absorbing of top talent and pricey contracts in the final hours leading up to Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

“They’re scaring the crap out of the people,” one Western Conference executive said Wednesday night. “There were already not enough buyers in this market, and after seeing that [memo], there are even less now.”

One West GM predicted the market could become even more flooded after the season.

“You’re not going to believe the number of players that will be out there [on the trade market],” he said. “But I don’t know how many teams will be willing to take them on.”


Stoudemire still drawing some interest

Since firing head coach Terry Porter, the Phoenix Suns have insisted they’re unlikely to trade Amare Stoudemire or make any other major roster changes. That hasn’t stopped some teams from continuing to call with offers for Stoudemire, one team official said.

Even so, it’s hard to find a league executive who thinks the 26-year-old Stoudemire, who scored 42 points in the Suns’ victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, will be traded.


Jefferson on the move?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have talked to the Bucks about acquiring Jefferson, two league executives said Wednesday afternoon.

Cleveland is dangling the expiring contract of Wally Szczerbiak for Jefferson, who has two years and $29.2 million left on his contract. The Cavaliers have been active in seeking talent to surround LeBron James for a title run and are one of the few franchises willing to bring on bigger talent and more salary, league executives said.

Cleveland also has inquired about Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison and Stoudemire.

“Money is no object for Cleveland right now,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “They’re willing to spend what it takes to win a title. They understand that this is just pennies compared to the hit they would take losing LeBron [James].”

So far, Washington wants no part of such a deal. Wizards executives aren’t completely averse to trading Jamison, a league executive said, but they would want value back for him.

The Bucks have been engaged in talks with the Trail Blazers about a package that would include Jefferson for Travis Outlaw and LaFrentz’s expiring contract.


Source: Ginobili injury not season-ending

The San Antonio Spurs’ delay to release any specific information about Manu Ginobili’s right ankle injury has led some opposing GMs to speculate that the injury could be serious. Delaying the announcement until after the Thursday trade deadline would help keep the Spurs from losing any leverage in their ongoing talks.

One Spurs source said the team is still waiting on additional test results. When asked whether the injury was potentially season-ending, he said, “No, not at all.”

Spurs officials publicly announced only that Ginobili won’t join them on their road trip.

Ginobili injured his left ankle in last season’s playoffs and underwent surgery in August. The injury to his right ankle, while still potentially significant, is not believed to be as serious as his previous injury.

In addition to their failed pursuit of John Salmons, the Spurs expressed interest in the Nets’ Carter and the Bucks’ Jefferson. One Western Conference executive acknowledged they have little chance of landing Jefferson.

Bruce Bowen has been offered in nearly every trade discussion because he’s guaranteed only $2 million next season. Center Fabricio Oberto also has a partial guarantee of $1.9 million next season.

The Spurs didn’t announce Ginobili’s absence on their trip until Monday, when they were already in New York. Though Ginobili scored 32 points in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Spurs’ final game before the All-Star break, team officials say he had been experiencing pain in his right ankle for a while.


Kings talked deal with Nets

Before the Sacramento Kings shipped Brad Miller and Salmons to the Chicago Bulls in a three-team, seven-player trade on Wednesday, they also had serious discussions with the Nets.

The Kings would have sent Miller and Salmons to New Jersey for Ryan Anderson, Stromile Swift, Eduardo Najera and Trenton Hassell. The Nets’ deal would have provided more financial relief for the cash-strapped Kings, but Kings executives were said to have coveted Bulls forward Andres Nocioni as part of the package that included Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmons, said an Eastern Conference official.

To make room for the four players they acquired, the Kings waived guards Quincy Douby and Sam Cassell.


Wizards discuss Jeffries

The Washington Wizards still have interest in bringing back New York Knicks forward Jared Jeffries, an Eastern Conference official said. Jeffries played for the Wizards his first four seasons in the league.


T’Wolves like Hinrich

The Bulls and Timberwolves have discussed a variety of scenarios which would send guard Kirk Hinrich to Minnesota. The Bulls want expiring contracts and draft picks to dump Hinrich.

Sources say the Wolves and Bulls discussed swapping Hinrich and Thabo Sefolosha for Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal. The Wolves are intrigued by Hinrich’s ability to play the point and off-guard and see him as a good complement to Randy Foye. Collins and Cardinal have shorter-term contracts which bring Chicago payroll relief.

The Bulls also had discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding center Chris Kaman, one Western Conference executive said.


Pistons eye Boozer for summer

When the Detroit Pistons sheered nearly another $1 million in salary-cap space with the trade of Alex Acker to the Los Angeles Clippers this week, GM Joe Dumars further solidified his franchise as the favorite to sign Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer as a free agent this summer.

The Pistons expect to have nearly $23 million available to spend this summer on free agents. Boozer has said he will likely opt out of his contract with the Jazz this summer.

Most believed that Boozer was destined for the Miami Heat, but Heat president Pat Riley chose to take on Jermaine O’Neal’s $22 million contract for the 2009-10 season. The Jazz and Boozer have grown tired of each other, and league executives believe Utah is more inclined to re-sign power forward Paul Millsap to a long-term contract.

Boozer has played just 12 games this season with a knee injury. His inability to stay on the floor has clouded teams’ opinions about him, but Boozer makes sense as the replacement for pending Pistons free agent Rasheed Wallace.


Bell yet to toll for Celtics

The Boston Celtics reached out to the Charlotte Bobcats about trading for proven playoff performer Raja Bell, a league source said. So far, the Celtics don’t have anything in return which appeals to Charlotte.

The Bobcats are telling people that they have a possible two-for-one trade percolating and need to keep a hold on a roster spot.

Boston lost guard Tony Allen to thumb surgery on Tuesday, and he could be out until the playoffs. For months, the Celtics have unsuccessfully tried to trade 2008 first-round pick J.R. Giddens for a draft choice.


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Updated Thursday, Feb 19, 2009