With the NBA trade deadline closing in at 3 p.m. ET Thursday, the New York Knicks are looking to make the biggest news, but the day could be even bigger if the names involve superstars Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace.
Wallace wore an Atlanta Hawks uniform for the first time — and perhaps the last — while Iverson made it to practice Wednesday with folks in Philadelphia debating whether it was time to trade him.
Wallace, acquired by Atlanta last week, was being sought by the Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks — although the Hawks were listening to other teams with the hope of getting a more enticing package of players and draft picks.
"We'll probably do something," Hawks general manager Billy Knight told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday night. "It's whittling down to two teams. We'll see what happens."
The newspaper said Knight has made his criteria for a trade clear. He wants young talent that he'd be interested in developing, expiring contracts or draft picks -- and nothing else.
“All that trade rumors stuff, hey, it’s ain’t nothing. I’ve been in it before,” said Wallace, who made his Hawks debut in a loss against the New Jersey Nets. “Been there, done that. So I’m not getting all geeked up and this and that."
The hottest rumor has Wallace going to Detroit for Corlis Williamson, Zeljko Rebraca, Bobby Sura and a No. 1 pick.
The Mavericks also have offered either Antoine Walker or Antawn Jamison in a package for Wallace.
“I’m getting sick of (reporters) asking about it. I’m getting sick of my family and friends’, ’Yo, what are they going to do?”’ — Wallace said after scoring 20 points in a team-high 42 minutes. “In a couple more hours it’ll be over with, so that’s all I’m looking forward to.”
Iverson, upset after being fined and kept out of the starting lineup by coach Chris Ford for missing practice Monday, did not speak to reporters after practice in Seattle. Sixers general manager Billy King was unavailable for comment.
“Time hasn’t expired yet, so the clock’s still running. Until that time, anything’s possible,” Ford said.
So while the 76ers weren’t specifically ruling out a trade of Iverson, they were listening to what other teams had to say. A far more likely scenario would be a deal sending Eric Snow or Aaron McKie elsewhere.
“Anything to make the team better,” Ford said. “If there’s a trade possibility that would make the team better, that’s what the organization is looking to do.”
There has been chatter of an Iverson deal to Houston for Steve Francis or to Los Angeles for Kobe Bryant. The Lakers, however, said they won't trade Bryant and are hoping to re-sign the potential free agent after this season.
Besides the fear of Bryant being convicted of sexual assault in his pending trial in Colorado is no doubt scaring many teams off.
Iverson told the media Tuesday night that he doesn't want to be dealt, but if the 76ers think it's best for the team, then he will gladly move on.
The Knicks could make the biggest noise of the day were they to acquire Wallace and then complete a deal with Golden State. The Knicks are hoping to acquire center Erick Dampier and guard Nick Van Exel from the Warriors for Dikembe Mutombo and Kurt Thomas. The Knicks also are willing to include guard Penny Hardaway in deal with Atlanta or Golden State.
The Knicks also are looking to sign Vin Baker to add some depth. Baker would be a great addition should the Knicks have to deal a front-court player.
Besides the Knicks, the Memphis Grizzlies also are making a strong play for Dampier.
Other names being mentioned in trade rumors included Brent Barry of Seattle, Donyell Marshall and Morris Peterson of Toronto, Juwan Howard, Jerry Stackhouse, Shammond Williams, Tyronn Lue and Steven Hunter of Orlando, Chucky Atkins of Detroit, Marcus Fizer of Chicago and most anyone on the Utah Jazz with the exception of All-Star Andrei Kirilenko.
The Hawks would want a package draft picks and players with expiring contracts for Wallace, whose $17 million contract expires at the end of this season.
“I think everybody is approaching it like this is our team today,” Hawks coach Terry Stotts said. “If something happens within the next 24 hours, we’ll deal with that.”
The Sonics are looking to deal Barry because they are not sure whether the guard will re-sign with the team in the offseason. The Pacers are interested in acquiring Barry, Vladimir Radmanovic and Calvin Booth for Al Harrington, Austin Croshere and Primoz Brezec.
Another rumor has Barry and Radmanovic going to Toronto for Marshall and Peterson.
The Chicago Bulls are interested in acquiring Stackhouse from the Wizards and are willing to part with Jamal Crawford and Fizer.
Minnesota is contemplating whether to deal injured center Michael Olowokandi for Howard.
There has been one major trade made on deadline day each of the past three years, with last year’s major move sending Ray Allen from Milwaukee to Seattle for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason.
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