Insider - 2/14/2006 Intelligence Report


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Oct 3, 2002
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Updated: Feb. 14, 2006, 10:22 AM ET's Intelligence Report: Feb. 14

[FONT=Arial,Hevetica,sans-serif]EASTERN CONFERENCE[/FONT]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Boston Celtics
Gomes Making Most Of His Time
There is an earnestness about Ryan Gomes that makes you certain he practices hard, whether he's starting or inactive. He is soft-spoken, thoughtful, and ever the team player. When fellow rookie Gerald Green recently made his NBA debut and spoke about being ''anxious," Gomes suggested it might sound better if he said ''excited." From that point on, Green was ''excited" about the opportunity to play a few minutes here and there. -- Boston Globe

Celtics Turn Focus To Playoffs
The Celtics gathered mainly to watch video yesterday, but after two straight wins, their eyes also are on the playoffs. The Green currently are 4 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth postseason spot in the Eastern Conference, and with 31 games remaining, there is ample time to make a proper bid. Or, conversely, to slide further into Lottery Land. -- Boston Herald

Charlotte Bobcats
Felton Scales Rookie Wall
Raymond Felton always believes in the teams he plays on. I watched him play in high school and college. It's his nature. The rookie still has plenty of room to get better. Bickerstaff wants him to go more "north-south" with the ball. "Raymond should always be attacking," the coach said. "Fans love it when you go out and dribble through your legs real quick back and forth, but nothing's happening. You're still in the same spot." But Felton is tough. And he hustles. And -- unlike several of the Bobcats on the floor Monday night -- he always cares. -- Charlotte Observer

Chicago Bulls
Bulls Feel Like It's Now Or Never
Tyson Chandler said the Bulls played with a measure of desperation in surprising the Clippers late Sunday night in Los Angeles. "We put ourselves in a tough spot," Chandler said, referring to the Bulls' mostly dismal showings on their seven-game trip against Western Conference teams. "We needed the game really bad. Now it's about getting these next two games before the All-Star break." A sense of urgency should not be hard to come by against the Kings on Tuesday and the 76ers on Thursday. -- Chicago Tribune

Cleveland Cavaliers
Hughes Needs Second Surgery
Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes will need a second surgery on his right middle finger fracture, and a procedure is scheduled today by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham in Baltimore. ... "No one is more disappointed than Larry is," Danny Ferry said. "He wants to play. He has been very optimistic throughout the whole process, and this is a frustrating time for him. We're hopeful his return can be sooner than later, but more than anything else, we want him to be healthy." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

Newble Returns, Face Still Swollen
After two weeks away from the team dealing with a bizarre and serious facial infection, Ira Newble returned Monday. He's probably still a week or more away from being able to practice. The right side of his face is swollen from the abscess that started in his nose and spread across his face. ... "It was freak-of-nature type stuff. I was thinking I was going to be at the hospital a half day,'' Newble said. "When the whole side of my face swelled and I was in a lot of pain, I figured this was more serious than I thought.'' -- Akron Beacon-Journal

LeBron Gives A Glimpse Of What's Next
By pointing LeBron James to a specific defensive challenge -- by giving his young star something to focus on -- he forced him to become complete. If this keeps up? James will be what he should be. James' future is starry no matter, and some are ready to write it now. This weekend in Houston, for example, TNT will add what it considers the next 10 names to the list of the NBA's 50 greatest players, and James is among the finalists. -- San Antonio Express-News

Detroit Pistons
Dumars Never Has Feared Failure
If Joe Dumars has proved anything since he has taken control of basketball operations in the summer of 2000, it's he's not afraid to take risks. "You know what, I have never been afraid to take chances, because I know I will live with the failure," Dumars said. The rigors of his 14-year playing career instilled that quality in him. -- Detroit News

Billups Not Concerned With Slide
San Antonio and Dallas are closing in on the Pistons for the league's best record, but the Pistons' panic button is stored in a far-off place. Is it that important to head into the layoff with a victory? It depends on whom you ask. "I don't know if it's that important," point guard Chauncey Billups said. "We need to get the win, of course, just need to get back in the winning column, but I don't know if it's that important. -- Detroit Free Press

Saunders Projects Positivity
The Pistons have lost three of their last five games. So is it time to be concerned teams such as the Spurs and Mavericks are getting closer in the race for the NBA's top record? Or time to remember the Pistons are still 41-9, with one game to go before the All-Star break? Perhaps a little of both. "We feel good about ourselves, even with what happened (Sunday's loss in Miami)," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said Monday. -- Detroit News

Trade Talk Irks Arroyo
Florida Today reported Saturday a rumor that had been floating around for weeks that the Magic are interested in Carlos Arroyo and Darko Milicic. Orlando offered Kelvin Cato's expiring contract and a first-round pick in return, but it's unlikely the Pistons will deal Milicic before the trade deadlilne Feb. 23. Arroyo seemed annoyed when asked about the trade talk. "I've always played through rumors," he said. "It's not going to keep me from doing what I have to do on the court. There's only one goal on this team, and that's to win a championship." After speaking to the media, Arroyo met with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars. -- Oakland Press

Indianapolis Star

Miami Heat
Favorable Schedule No Reason To Relax
Offered every opportunity to gloat about Sunday's victory and crow about a potential lengthy upcoming winning streak, Pat Riley and his players stepped back Monday, glad just to be over the hype -- and pressure -- of the Pistons game. "When we keep fighting, we're a hard team to beat," said center Shaquille O'Neal, who is coming off a season-high 31 points against the Pistons, just his second 30-point game of the season. "Now we just have to take that and bottle it up." -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Breakthrough Victory Has Two Sides
You can say that only five teams in the entire league have a better record than herky-jerky Miami, and four of them are in a conference Miami can ignore. You can say, barring injury, Miami is all but assured a spot in the Eastern Conference finals again against a Detroit team it matches up well against. And, as Sunday showed, you can feel really good about Miami featuring the two best players just about any time it steps on a court. Or you can worry. And with valid reasons. -- Miami Herald

Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks Go On The Defensive
The Bucks are yielding 43.1% shooting over the past nine games, compared with 45.9% for the season, and Stotts points to his big men as a major reason for the improvement. "I really credit our big guys," Terry Stotts said. "Our big guys have really shored up our defense. And getting Joe (Smith) back. I think the best defensive teams, for the most part, throughout the history of the NBA, have been anchored by the big guys. -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

New Jersey Nets
Wright's Efforts Begin To Pay Off
The numbers might not show it but Antoine Wright's teammates and coaches know how hard he has worked this season. ... He won't say it but Wright knows he has moved up in the depth chart and Nets coach Lawrence Frank is using him in the primary rotation as the top sub for Vince Carter as he did Sunday against the Bucks. Slowly his confidence is coming as is his understanding of defensive concepts. -- Newark Star-Ledger

Robinson Keeps Rolling On
The Nets' universe is defined by its three brightest stars: Vince Carter, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson. This is indisputable. But while those three luminaries deservedly shine most brightly, there is one teammate's shadow that can cover them all. When Cliff Robinson's 6-foot-10 frame appears, everyone takes notice. At 39 years old and with 17 years in the NBA, Robinson commands respect. Throw in his recent on-court contributions and the respect quotient only intensifies. -- Bergen Record

New York Knicks
Knicks Will Be Nixed
In the last few days, multiple media outlets have reported the Knicks have discussed or are discussing trades involving Malik Rose, Danny Fortson, Reggie Evans, Steve Francis, Kenyon Martin, Earl Watson, Theo Ratliff, Ruben Patterson, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Nate Robinson, Davis Lee, Clyde Lee and Butch Lee. The bulk of the info is completely bogus, the remainder practically prehistoric. -- New York Post

Stephen A. Grades Larry A Very Loud 'F'
For those living by the numbers, this is Valentine's Day. So, on this occasion, you know Larry Brown ain't sending Isiah Thomas a box of heart-shaped chocolates. And Thomas won't be sending Brown a sweetheart bouquet. There is no Garden lovefest. The World's Most Famous Arena is just a court of public opinion. The only future in store for Larry's Brownouts is an empty Garden. For everyone else -- at least those who care -- the only sporting proposition left on the board is seeing who ultimately gets blamed for this mess. -- New York Daily News

Blame Game Is A Waste Of Time
Larry Brown has been frank in his assessment of the Knicks' faults to a point that some players have begun to question the coach's judgment. When it was suggested to Malik Rose that Brown is one of the finger-pointers, he said: "Right, right. Every one of us, top to bottom, is pointing fingers. Every one of us. This is the problem, that's the problem, yada, yada. Everybody is trying to look at the problem as opposed to looking in the mirror and finding out how we can make this team better." -- Newsday

Don't Let Brown Off The Hook
Thirty different starting lineups. Starting fives based on hometown and college affiliations. A team full of players who offer precious little effort, who can't inbound the ball in the final seconds of a one-possession game, and who make mistakes and then immediately and sheepishly look at Larry Brown, like grade-schoolers fearing the wrath of their overbearing dads. That's what happens when a coach rips his roster -- and you think we lost the gold in Greece by accident? By always lamenting what he doesn't have to work with, Brown isn't just running down the same players who are being asked for an unyielding commitment. He's pointing one of those giant we're-number-one fingers at Thomas, the man who was gracious enough to wait out Brown's Vegas-style divorce in Detroit and hand him a five-year deal on the rebound. -- Westchester Journal News

Will Thomas Be Bounced?
Sure, the Knicks have more money than basketball sense. Sure, they can withstand multimillion-dollar gaffes perhaps more comfortably than most other franchises. But as much money as they are hemorrhaging these days, and for so little return on the investment, you have to figure heads are going to start rolling -- and you would think the first head on the block would be Isiah Thomas. -- Detroit News

Orlando Magic
Trade Talk Disrupts Francis, Magic
The Orlando Magic suspended Steve Francis last month for conduct detrimental to the team. They now are considering benching him for conduct detrimental to the outcome. Francis said Monday that he likely won't be able to turn around his lackluster play until the club trades him or not. ... Asked if he thought about sitting Francis, starting tonight against the Miami Heat, Magic Coach Brian Hill paused and said, "That's something for Otis [Assistant General Manager Otis Smith] and I to discuss.'' -- Orlando Sentinel

Philadelphia 76ers
76ers Flunking Chemistry Test
The concept of playing as a team is something that has eluded the 76ers far too often this season. They seem to know it is an important part of being successful, but they still can't get all five guys on the court to do it for any sustained period of time. "If we had that figured out, I think we would be a better team," swingman John Salmons said yesterday. "That's the question that's out there, and we've got to figure it out. If we ever do, we'll be a tough team to beat. But just like you [reporters] are all asking the questions, we're asking the same things." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

Salmons Is One Unhappy Sixer
John Salmons was asked if the reason he was so upset on Sunday was because he didn't feel involved, and he admitted that was part of it, in addition to the fact that they'd lost. "It's just tough to be playing like that," he said. "I was upset during the game and after the game. It shouldn't affect me one way or another. I should still come out with a lot of energy to play great defense on Caron Butler. I probably didn't. That's on me. That's my fault." -- Cherry Hill Courier-Post

Toronto Raptors
Bosh Reminds Casey Of Garnett
Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett dominated his counterpart Monday night. But Toronto's Chris Bosh will have better days in the future. Wolves coach Dwane Casey said Chris Bosh is a younger version of Kevin Garnett. ... As Casey pointed out before Minnesota's 98-94 loss to Toronto, they're both long, athletic power forwards who can shoot from the perimeter. "He was one of my favorites, back when I was in high school, back when I was really starting to get pretty serious about basketball," Bosh said of Garnett. "I guess you could say I kind of modeled my game after him." -- St. Paul Pioneer Press

Babcock Visits Raptors
Less than three weeks after he was fired by the Raptors, ex-general manager Rob Babcock decided to spend a free night watching the team live. The Minneapolis resident made the short drive to the Target Center last night to check out the Raptors-Minnesota Timberwolves game. Before the game, he shook hands and had friendly chats with a number of the players. He said he didn't hesitate in coming to the game. "I'm still pulling for them," Babcock said. -- Toronto Sun

Washington Times
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[FONT=Arial,Hevetica,sans-serif]WESTERN CONFERENCE[/FONT]

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Dallas Mavericks
Mavs Spend Wisely
The Mavericks have methodically begun to carve the monster contracts off their payroll. Keith Van Horn is the only player over $15 million, and his contract expires at the end of the season. Isiah Thomas has cobbled together a mix-and-match roster. Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations, has helped build a roster that is a nice mix of young and old. -- Dallas Morning News
All Fun And Games For Cuban
Just like Bill Veeck is remembered more for the midget, the ivy and the exploding scoreboard than the 1948 World Series championship -- and how he did or did not gloat about it -- Mark Cuban eventually will be applauded for transcending the game. It's just a matter of time providing the perspective. Right now, Cuban is also busy transcending the existing entertainment industry with his work in high-definition TV and movies. As in everything Cuban does, the upheaval is beginning at his own cost, but will end with his eventual profit and society's profit, too. -- Orange County Register

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Denver Nuggets
Martin Receives $15,000 Fine
After looking into multiple incidents last week surrounding Kenyon Martin, the NBA has fined the Denver Nuggets forward $15,000. Martin was fined by the league Monday for inappropriate language, including profanity, during interactions with fans after last Wednesday's game at the Pepsi Center against Chicago. -- Rocky Mountain News

Knee Surgery Sidelines Najera
Roberto Gonzalez, Eduardo Najera's personal manager, said Najera received an MRI exam over the weekend after his knee started to flare up last week. Still, Najera contributed in Sunday's victory, registering a key steal and making a layup in overtime to put his team up by six points against the Sonics. "It's just more to correct it and get back on the court and help Denver make the playoff push," said Gonzalez, who added that Najera was in good spirits after the surgery. -- Denver Post

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Golden State Warriors
Biedrins Hurt In Auto Mishap
The Warriors' already-thin roster was further depleted Monday when Andris Biedrins was involved in a minor car accident before the game. Biedrins' agent, Bill Duffy, said the 19-year-old was rear-ended on his way to the Arena. Biedrins apparently injured his neck and did not dress. His status remains day-to-day. -- San Francisco Chronicle

Let Dunleavy Run The Offense
Don't assume Mike Dunleavy is joining the deafening chorus of NBA players demanding the ball. He wants the ball, but not to inflate his point total. He doesn't want to shoot. He wants to create shots for others. "I'm not saying give me the ball and let me shoot it 20 times," he said. "I'm very unselfish. I'll put the ball where it needs to be and it will give us a new look and make other teams defend (something different)." -- Contra Costa Times

Warriors Think Talent Already Here
Sometimes when a professional sports team doesn't make a move prior to a midseason trading deadline, players take it as a sign that management doesn't think much of their chances to make the postseason. But if Chris Mullin, Rod Higgins and the rest of the Warriors' front-office staff elect to kiss off the $5.3 million salary-cap exception that expires today at 9 p.m., the Warriors' rank-and-file won't take offense. Injuries or no, the current Warriors remain convinced they don't need any additional members to keep the franchise's playoff-less streak from growing to 12 seasons. -- Oakland Tribune

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Houston Rockets
Alston Takes Control Of Rockets
The Rockets' offense for much of the season has needed something, and it certainly missed the touch of a point guard when Rafer Alston was out with a hairline fracture in his left leg. But it is a safe assumption Jeff Van Gundy would not have handed him the keys if Alston were racing out of control in a street-ball show. -- Houston Chronicle

Granik Flexes NBA's Muscle Behind Scenes
More likely however, Russ Granik will go out doing pretty much what he has done the past 30 years, slipping comfortably into his role on the edge of the spotlight, running the NBA for and with David Stern. Granik's resignation as NBA deputy commissioner will not take effect until after the draft in June, when -- Stern has insisted -- Granik will run the second round one last time. By Sunday in Toyota Center, he might not be able to help it. A reminiscence or two, or at least a satisfied moment, would be understandable. -- Houston Chronicle

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Los Angeles Clippers
Sam's The Take-Charge Leader Clips Needed
Sam Cassell is still doing his thing after all these years, making big shots and helping another team reach new heights. The Clippers, off to their best start in 30 years, are the latest to benefit from the point guard's take-charge attitude, and Cassell might be only getting started. A bad breakup with the Minnesota Timberwolves behind him, Cassell, 36, says he's having a blast in his 13th NBA season, bringing his swagger and fourth-quarter heroics to a talented group that needed a closer. -- Los Angeles Times

Kaman's Look That Of A Winner For L.A.
Donning long blond wigs and fake beards, a handful of fans came to a recent Clipper game calling themselves "The Kamaniacs" and emulating their new hero Chris Kaman. The fans cheered every time Kaman touched the ball and had such an outrageous look to mimic him that it could be reasonable to make this conclusion: Not only has Kaman arrived in the NBA this season, but with hair that hasn't been cut in two years and a scraggly beard in perpetual need of a trim, some fans even view him as a cult figure. "I don't know what you're talking about," Kaman said. "I'm not in any cult. I don't know anybody that's in any cult." -- Long Beach Press-Telegram

Maggette Gets Ailing Foot Checked Today
Corey Maggette is scheduled to undergo an X-ray today on his left foot and be examined by team physician Tony Daly. If all checks out fine, Maggette is expected to be cleared for limited court activity that includes running and stationary shooting. Though he had been optimistic in hoping to return to action before the All-Star break, which is this weekend, a more realistic date for Maggette to play again appears to be March 1. -- Orange County Register

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Los Angeles Lakers
Playoff Fever at Staples? Don't Bet On It
I'm not sure it'll get any more exciting than this for Laker fans, playoff basketball Monday at Staples Center, Utah and Los Angeles going head to head for that all-important eighth spot. Goose bumps! It's 5:30, two hours before game time, and Craig Hodges, the old Craig Hodges who used to play for the Chicago Bulls, is warming up. I'd feel a lot better if it were one of the Lakers who is going to play in tonight's game. This might be Devean George's only chance to make a basket. -- Los Angeles Times

The Experience Is Wearing Thin
During his first season as coach of the Chicago Bulls, Phil Jackson had three rookies on the roster in Stacey King, B.J. Armstrong and Jeff Sanders, each of them a first-round draft pick of general manager Jerry Krause. But Jackson said he couldn't remember ever dressing four rookies for a game, as he has with Andrew Bynum, Von Wafer, Devin Green and Ronny Turiaf the Lakers' past three games. "You have to sometimes play inexperienced players in need situations," Jackson said. "If we're playing Devean George as a guard, playing Luke Walton as a guard, that's OK. Our offense can stand that and work with that. But defensively, it does hurt us a little bit at times." -- Los Angeles Daily News

Kwame's Game Is Jekyll and Hyde
Phil Jackson was asked if he was surprised that Kwame Brown's game could be so drastically different from one night to another. "No, I wasn't surprised," Jackson said, raising his voice as he talked. "I wish I could count on Kwame for more consistency. But that's like the alter ego. He was the Jekyll tonight and Hyde on Saturday, or whatever. Which was the mad scientist in that group?" When told that Hyde was the bad person, Jackson laughed and walked away. He didn't have to explain. -- Riverside Press-Enterprise

Memphis Commercial-Appeal


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Minnesota Timberwolves
KG's Prepared For Questioning
Kevin Garnett was nearing the end of his post-game interview session when someone asked him if he was ready for the question he figures to hear from the national press often during All-Star weekend. Namely, when will you leave Minnesota? "Totally," he said, laughing. "One of the themes of when you go the All Star (game) is preparation. I'll be totally prepared. But I won't let that ruin my weekend." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

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New Orleans Hornets
Hornets Get Relief At Point Guard
On Monday, the Hornets acquired reserve Moochie Norris from the Houston Rockets in exchange for reserve center Maciej Lampe and cash considerations. "We've shown in a few games that we need that extra ballhandler," Byron Scott said. "It was real evident the first time (Paul was out of the lineup with an injury) against Atlanta, and we've gotten better. "But we need a ballhandler, a guy we know can handle it and now I know with him (Norris) here, we have three point guards that I know I'm going to keep on the roster anyway. I know he can handle the ball, pass, and run pick and rolls. I know that for a fact." -- New Orleans Times-Picayune

Injury Could Keep Paul From All-Star Spotlight
The bruised tailbone he suffered against New Jersey on Feb. 6 doesn't bother him anymore, but the bruised ribs from last Wednesday's game against Seattle still do, and that was the reason he sat out Monday against Washington. And it could be the reason he sits out of this weekend's All-Star festivities in Houston. ... "I just hope I can be ready," Paul said about his chances of playing in the All-Star events. "I think I will be, but it's about our team and our season. If I can play in Wednesday's game, I should be able to be good for the All-Star stuff." -- The Oklahoman

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Phoenix Suns
First Sprints Leave Amaré 'Fatigued'
Amaré Stoudemire found a wall for his back and put hands to knees. His first day of sprints exhausted him enough to joke about taking an elevator rather than a short flight of stairs. "I'm pretty fatigued," Stoudemire said. "Overall, I feel pretty good. There's still a little discomfort. I'm just seeing what it takes to get back to 100 percent." -- Arizona Republic

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Portland Trail Blazers
Miles Infuses Blazers With Optimism
In a move that even caught the Blazers' locker room by surprise, Darius Miles was activated Monday, and the Blazers' most talented and dynamic player gave the team the lift it had been searching for in a 91-83 win over Charlotte. "He was a spark," said point guard Sebastian Telfair, who had five of the Blazers' 26 assists. "He gave the whole team a certain comfort level. Just seeing him out there gave us a new level of confidence." Miles, who had missed the last 34 games after needing right knee surgery, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. -- The Oregonian

A 'Legend' Far Too Early
I watched the ESPN documentary "Through the Fire," starring Trail Blazer Sebastian Telfair, last week. It was a nice production and an unusual glimpse into the life of a New York City high school phenom as he contemplates a major decision about his future -- college basketball or the NBA? But the film troubled me. Telfair doesn't come off well. He carries himself with a condescending swagger, which is no great surprise since he clearly has been surrounded by sycophants since he was young. -- Portland Tribune

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Sacramento Kings
Artest Effect Tangible, And League Takes Notice
The returns are coming in on how opponents are viewing the Kings following the acquisition of Ron Artest. And they are all good. Artest's defensive abilities certainly are rubbing off on his teammates, but it's his skills, anticipation, focus and strength that stand out above all. Shooting guards and small forwards are amazed by his strength, and Artest is rendering post-up opportunities at these positions as a waste of time. -- Sacramento Bee

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San Antonio Spurs
Duncan, Horry To Film Commercial
Tim Duncan and Robert Horry will film a commercial with Ali G today in Philadelphia. The mock British hip-hop character from the self-named HBO series already has done several ads for the NBA. Duncan and Horry will film one spot together with Ali G and Duncan also will do a solo one with him. Spike Lee is directing the commercials. -- San Antonio Express-News

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Seattle SuperSonics
Sund Working Phones Daily
Sonics general manager Rick Sund declined to respond to coach Bob Hill's plea that management acquire a backup point guard before the Feb. 23 trade deadline. But Sund revealed he's having daily dialogue with NBA executives with the intent of "adding to the core of our team." ... Though Sund declined to identify the core, All-Star Ray Allen and former All-Star Rashard Lewis, 2003 first-round draft picks Luke Ridnour and Nick Collison, young centers Robert Swift and Johan Petro and Damien Wilkins are not on the trading block, according to team sources. -- Seattle Times

Sonics, Murray Low On Options
Nine days before the NBA trade deadline, Flip Murray remains with the Sonics, working to snap out of a prolonged slump that has sapped his value to the team. Murray is no longer the Vinnie Johnson-type spark plug off the bench. He is no longer a solution at backup point guard. And he is no longer a productive option to spell Ray Allen. Murray is one of a handful of players whose numbers and effectiveness have declined under coach Bob Hill. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Allen, Lewis Back Coach Hill
A day after Bob Hill said the team would give up battling for the Northwest Division title and begin developing players if general manager Rick Sund was unable to trade for a backup point guard in the next 10 days, his two team captains said they understood Hill's approach and did not have a problem with it. "The guys that we have potentially may or may not be here next year," Ray Allen said. "Organizationally, if our chances are slim to make the playoffs, we have to focus on who is going to be here in the future. It seems like a logical move. Our young guys have been playing well. It does get frustrating when you feel like you have to play for next season." Sonics co-captain Rashard Lewis concurred. -- Tacoma News Tribune

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Utah Jazz
Jazz Cursed By John Stockton?
The commencement and conclusion of this particular batch of ineptitude quite symmetrically can be traced back to the drafting of point guard Raul Lopez, instead of another point guard, Tony Parker, in 2001, and is loosely punctuated at the other end with a skidding, burning heap of misjudgment -- the Curse of John Stockton? -- by way of the selecting of another point guard, Deron Williams, instead of Chris Paul, in last summer's draft. -- Salt Lake Tribune

Boozer Sells L.A. Home
Much ado was made when Carlos Boozer and his wife bought a 10-bedroom, 13-bathroom estate in the Los Angeles area last year. Word now, however, is that the Boozers have sold their Malibu home and are maintaining their primary residence in Utah. -- Deseret Morning News

All Tests Normal For McLeod
Keith McLeod underwent several tests in Salt Lake on Monday to make sure there was no serious condition present that caused the chest discomfort he experienced in Houston over the weekend. The tests were all normal, Sloan said, though the Jazz's point guard is not quite done with the doctors yet. "Everything turned out fine," Sloan said. "He just has to wear the heart monitor for 24 hours to see if something kicks in." -- Salt Lake Tribune

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