I don’t if you’ve been following the talk since late yesterday about the Stephen Jackson trade rumors, but apparently, there are a handful of teams hoping to get their hands on the Warriors’ talented, disgruntled forward.
All of the rumors are originating from an ESPN report on their True Hoop blog stating that the Warriors are possibly closing in on a deal to trade Jackson. Jackson, who played well (17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 35 minutes) in the Warriors’ 108-107 season-opening loss to the Rockets on Wednesday night, could be headed to any of the following teams: Cavaliers, Nuggets, Bobcats, or possibly the Hornets. According to the latest ESPN report, the Spurs, Clippers and Mavericks are not interested.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Cavaliers are the most likely destination, and that Cleveland’s 0-2 start this season might be intensifying the trade talks. What’s holding up a possible deal is the Cavaliers’ reluctance to trade center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his expiring contract ($11.5 million) and the Warriors’ reluctance to include Ronny Turiaf in the deal with Jackson.
Here’s a link to the full article by Stein: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/10119/the-overnight-latest-on-stephen-jackson
After last night’s game, Warriors coach Don Nelson denied the trade rumors, saying, “I speak to (Warriors General Manager) Larry (Riley) every day and I haven’t heard that. This is the first I’ve heard about it, so it would surprise me if it’s true.”
Granted, Nelson’s not going to spill the beans here, so asking him about the rumors is kind of an exercise in futility. But I really don’t think there’s much to get excited about here. There are at least 5-10 reports out there on the Web about Jackson and these trade talks heating up, but they’re all drawing from the same ESPN report (kind of like I’m doing with this blog entry). The ESPN report states that Cleveland is interested in Jackson and that LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal are down with the idea, but also reports that the talks have hit a snag because neither side will give up what the other side is asking for.
So, it seems we’re back where we started. The Warriors know Jackson wants a trade. Other teams know it, too. Because of that, there will be talks (and rumors), but until a team is desperate enough to offer something of value to the Warriors, I don’t see anything happening. At this point, right now, Jackson is playing hard, saying the right things (more or less), and is still a good player, one of the Warriors’ best. I don’t think he’s a problem in the locker room or on the court right now, so I don’t see the Warriors giving him away.
If they’re smart, they’ll wait this out and only make a deal if one that makes sense falls in their lap.