In pre-draft NBA moves, and in anticipation of a much bigger trade, Christian
Laettner and Jerry Stackhouse and the #5 pick in the draft leave Washington for
Dallas, who gives up Antawn Jamison in return. Apparently, Laettner
and Stackhouse, who once had an altercation in a jet when they were both
Pistons, are joined at the hip: this is their third team together.
There are so many moves being attempted this year that it makes your head
spin. It's a combination of this draft being called "the worst ever"
by at least one observer, and some big-time talent possibly on the move with
Shaquille O' Neal and Tracy McGrady both looking to relocate.
Charlotte has been angling to get Emeka Okafor and now, barring a trade by
are they will: Okafor's back, as it turns out, is a bit more of a problem
than people realized. He'll have minor back problems throughout his
career, and a possible knee problem resulting from compensation for the back
Still, he's a guy you can't turn away from: works hard, addresses his
weaknesses, and you know he's going to continue to improve. So expect Charlotte
to take him. Plus you have to know, as much as everyone loves Grant Hill
as a person, Orlando management would be crucified if Okafor also had serious
latest mock draft has Shaun Livingston going to the Clippers, as is widely
anticipated, and Luol Deng falling to fifth, the pick which Washington traded to
Dallas. So he could end up playing with Shaquille O' Neal, Dirk Nowitzki,
and, for a Duke connection, Christian Laettner. Life is sweet if it happens.
For what it's worth, NBAdraft.net
concurs on Livingston, but sees Deng dropping to eighth and Toronto.
Canadian taxes! No Hummer for you! Gregg
Doyel thinks the Bulls will pass on Deng also. He has Deng ending up
with the Hawks: what a sad fate that would be.
NBADraft.net also has Chris Duhon going to Orlando in the second round.
In a related note, the NBA Player's Union refuses to negotiate on an age
limit. Fine for the high school players. But that's lost jobs for
somewhere between 10 to maybe 25 guys next year. In a union with less than
400 members, that's a big chunk of dues-payers who just lost their jobs.
We're not talking about the Shaq's and Duncan's; they'll leave when they are
good and ready. But for guys like Robert Horry, Juan Dixon, Scott
Williams, Mitchell Butler, and Michael Doleac, who also may have to compete
against free agents, what sense does it make to not have an age
limit? We tend to think of them as minor players, but come on, a five-year
contract in the NBA is worth a lot of money.