If we're going spend time talking about rumors, let's forget this whole Rasheed Wallace/Flip Saunders business and talk trades. Here's a couple of interesting tidbits beyond the usual Morris Peterson reports, the decidedly blah Marko Jaric news or the unrealistic Earl Watson fantasies:
Nazr Mohammed for Bonzi Wells
This one comes from Bill Ingram on HoopsWorld.com (courtesy of PF.com). We know the Pistons were interested in Bonzi this summer, and we know Nazr would rather be traded than bumped from the rotation. Toss in the fact that Bonzi has an expiring contract and this sounds too good to be true. Ingram writes:
The Rockets don’t need a starting center. They need a solid back-up who can fill the void while the team waits for Yao Ming to return from his knee injury. Mutombo is playing outstanding basketball, but what would happen if he were to get hurt while putting more than 30 minutes per night on a 40-year-old body? The way the Rockets have struggled with injuries over the last few seasons they would do well to bring in another reserve who could start in a pinch.
The Pistons are considering some other deals, but the Rockets have reportedly made it clear that a Nazr-for-Bonzi deal is ready and waiting.
Nazr Mohammed for Matt Barnes and [someone]
This one comes from (started by?) the guys at Golden State of Mind. Barnes is a 26-year-old swingman who's reportedly plays solid defense. He's had some ups and downs this year in terms of scoring but has shown potential in Golden State's high-octane offense (and he comes highly-recommended for at least one DBB reader). Exactly who the [somone] is would be key, though, as Barnes' salary isn't nearly enough to make this work -- he's making less than a million, and we need to take back about $5 million to move Nazr.
Flip Murray for Jason Hart
Hart, who told The Bee in mid-November that [his agent Bill] Neff had requested a trade from Petrie, said Wednesday he backs his agent's actions and simply wants a chance to play for a team that wants him.
"That's just my guy trying to keep me afloat," Hart said of Neff.
As Neff disclosed during his radio exchange, the Detroit Pistons offered Ronald "Flip" Murray for Hart. But whereas Hart is in the final year of a contract that pays him $1.68 million, Murray is being paid $1.75 million this season and $1.89 million if he exercises his player option next year. The Kings, Neff said on the show, didn't do the deal because Murray's contract had a season remaining.
"(Flip's second year) was low money, not like $10 million," said Hart, who has played in only 12 games this season. "I'm in a tough spot, but what made me feel good is that somebody called (about) me. I just want an opportunity. If I can't get an opportunity, I respect that. I'm not crying for minutes. I'm actually just trying to get out of here, you know what I mean?
Hart is a backup point guard who's played in only 12 games this year. His best year by far came in 2004-05 when he averaged 9.5 points and 5.0 assists in 25.5 minutes per game. Honestly, that's the extent of my knowledge about him, and I just learned that by glancing at his career stats. If the Kings already passed once I don't know why they'd re-visit it, but I suppose it's at least worth keeping on your radar.
Flip Saunders for Isiah Thomas
What? Crazy, I know, but someone actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) on this one. From the Bergen Star-Ledger in New Jersey:
Loyalty runs deep for Thomas, especially when it involves his old team, the Pistons. Thomas is adored by Pistons fans, who would love to see him back there in some capacity, perhaps as head coach if the Knicks dump him. Maybe that's why Thomas was so complimentary of the Pistons and president Joe Dumars, who won the Chris Webber sweepstakes by signing Thomas's old protégé on Monday.
Thomas said if he couldn't sign Webber he preferred he go to Detroit -- not Portland or Dallas. "There's definitely big respect on both ends, and also for the Pistons and Joe," Thomas said. "If it's not us, I'd rather it be the Pistons." When the Knicks were in Detroit in December, Thomas was showered with love by the fans, some yelling that they wanted him to coach their team. Thomas, revered for winning two titles in Detroit, still roots for the Pistons, to a point.
"I always want them to do well," he said. "Except when they're playing us."
I like Zeke the Player, but is Zeke the Coach an upgrade over Flip? Holy crap no. But I'd curious to hear if anyone actually thinks so.
Have you guys heard any other good ones? Let's hear them in the comments.