Dating back to the failed ’09 deadline trade that was supposed to send Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City for a package headlined by Chris Wilcox, every rumored deal we heard involving Chandler had the Hornets getting short-changed. Names like Rasho Nesterovic and Didn’t You Used To Be Ben Wallace were among those being thrown around, but if the trade that was reported last night to be close to happening actually goes through, the Hornets would be big winners. The rumor has Emeka Okafor headed to New Orleans in a trade for Chandler, and last time we checked, several sources are saying it’s just about complete … New Orleans seems dead-set on unloading Chandler (who has a $12 million player-option in 2010), and in Okafor, they would get a player who can step right in and start, and is flat-out better than the guy they’d give up. Okafor isn’t exactly Al Jefferson with the post moves, but he’s enough of an offensive threat that he’ll make David West‘s life a little easier. He’s not as athletic and active on D as Chandler, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; Okafor is a good position defender who is just as much (if not more) of a shot-blocking presence and rebounder. The biggest thing New Orleans would really lose is that pick-and-roll chemistry between Chandler and Chris Paul, but Okafor and CP would develop their own thing soon enough. And the only real concern with Okafor is injuries, but he’s been healthy the last two years. He’s not the superstar the ‘Cats expected to get when they made him their first-ever draft pick, but he’s a solid anchor in the paint. Don’t get it twisted; Charlotte would only make this move to save money, since Okafor has a long-term contract and Chandler could come off their cap sooner … And since Monday was apparently the day to trade bookish centers, the Wolves sent Etan Thomas (whom they got in the Randy Foye/Mike Miller deal) to the Thunder for Damien Wilkins, Chucky Atkins and a second-round pick. If he can get on the court, Thomas is decent in terms of frontcourt depth. Wilkins is one of those guys who’s at his best when he’s got a green light to gun — only there aren’t any teams terrible enough that would need him to be a primary scorer. Atkins is a throw-in, but we’ll always remember him for his, “I’m not the GM. Go ask Kobe,” speech that got him sent out of L.A. on the next thing smoking … A few days after the Blazers picked up Andre Miller, coach Nate McMillan said in an interview that his starting backcourt is going to be Brandon Roy and Steve Blake. You know McMillan just had to say that out of respect for Blake, but you also know ‘Dre Miller is somewhere all bent out of shape about it … There was a rumor floating around yesterday about the Celtics and Nets working on a sign-and-trade that would send Big Baby Davis to Jersey for Yi Jianlian. Although we’ve been hearing the Nets are interested in Davis, both teams denied they’d been talking about that particular trade. If it did happen, though, where do the Nets finish in the East with a lineup of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, Big Baby and Brook Lopez? And where would Yi fit on the Celtics? Remember, Danny Ainge was a big fan of Yi the year he was in the Draft, and might have taken him if Boston didn’t trade their 5th pick to Seattle for Ray Allen … After signing Drew Gooden, the Mavs are now allegedly seeing what’s up with Tim Thomas. After the Sixers, Bucks, Knicks (twice), Bulls (twice), Suns and Clippers, does Tim have it in him to piss off another NBA fan base? And these are Dallas fans who have been putting up with Erick Dampier for five years … If Thomas does go to the Mavs, they need to put him, Gooden, Dampier and Shawne Williams in the same house and make a reality show, ASAP. Make Josh Howard, Shawn Marion and Rodrigue Beaubois into regular house guests and it’s winning an Emmy … Turns out Tony Parker‘s ankle injury was only a minor sprain, and he should be OK to play in the FIBA Eurobasket championships in a couple of months … Luol Deng won’t be playing for Great Britain when the tourney comes around, as he’s still getting back from a stress fracture in his leg. We heard Deng has put on 10 pounds of muscle in the meantime and looks good in the gym … It is several weeks away, but let’s start the campaign now. Attention NBA TV: Please do us all a favor and put the Eurobasket ‘chip on the air. We don’t care if you choose to save money and not send any announcers over; we’ll take Andre Aldridge calling the action from a TV production room, or we’ll just deal with the foreign-language announcers. Doesn’t matter. Just give us the live basketball, please … Unfortunately, a lot of the Dime crew missed Shaq hosting WWE “Raw” last night. If you happened to catch it, let us know what happened … We’re out like Chucky A …
Smack / Jul 28, 2009 / 5:48 am
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