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bigted

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Steve Francis goes from the Magic to the Knicks for Penny Hardaway, Trevor Ariza:

Francis dealt to Knicks for Penny, ArizaBy Chris Sheridan

ESPN Insider

Steve Francis is headed to the New York Knicks, who acquired the three-time All-Star from the Orlando Magic on Wednesday for Penny Hardaway and Trevor Ariza.

Francis

The deal will pair Francis with Stephon Marbury as the highest-paid backcourt duo in the NBA. The Knicks were still talking with several other clubs as team president Isiah Thomas worked at remaking a roster that has stumbled to the league's second-worst record, 15-37.

For the Magic, the trade will provide salary cap relief in 2007 (once Grant Hill's $16.9 million comes off the cap) when they can drop further beneath the cap than any of the league's 30 teams. That will be particularly attractive that summer when a bumper crop of free agents -- including Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter and Mike Bibby -- will be on the market, giving Orlando several options in figuring out exactly how to rebuild around 20-year-old power forward Dwight Howard.

Ariza

Hardaway

Francis is owed $49 million over the next three seasons, while Hardaway's $15.75 million contract comes off the cap at the end of this season.

Ariza, who fell out of favor with Knicks coach Larry Brown, was averaging only 4.6 points in 36 games for New York. He was a second-round pick by the Knicks (43rd overall) in 2004 after spending just one season at Southern Cal.

Francis, who turned 29 on Tuesday, had been on the trading block since refusing to re-enter a game against Seattle on Jan. 11. The Magic suspended him and sent him home before he was reinstated following a meeting with coach Brian Hill and team executives. He was averaging a career-low 16.2 points this season, a drop of more than five points from last season.

The arrival of Francis could mean the impending departure of Jamal Crawford or Quentin Richardson from New York, where Thomas is willing to try almost anything to reverse the fortunes of a team that has failed to meet even the lowest of expectations. Already with a league-high payroll of more than $120, the Knicks will now be above $130 million next season. But while other owners and general managers have been shocked by the Knicks' free-spending ways (they took on a $34 million obligation when they traded Antonio Davis for Jalen Rose two weeks ago), Thomas has been given the go-ahead by owner James Dolan of Cablevision to spend whatever it takes in an effort at making Madison Square Garden the basketball mecca it once was.

The Knicks began the day 10 games behind Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot, and only a miraculous turnaround could get them into the postseason this year. Still, it was a virtual certainty that New York would make a deal of some kind, and Crawford even polled the team's beat writers after Wednesday morning's shootaround to ask them where they believed he would be headed (Insider was the only one who told him Denver).

The Francis trade, first reported by ESPN.com, came on a day when the Knicks awoke to rumors of a possible trade with Minnesota for Kevin Garnett, a rumor that made its way around the league late Tuesday night -- possibly as a piece of disinformation that was disseminated in order to force the Magic's hand. Garnett's future in Minnesota seems secure through the end of this season, but all bets are off once the summer arrives -- especially if Garnett tells ownership he'd like to be traded.

Hardaway was also shopped to the Portland Trail Blazers, who had been unwilling to part with Darius Miles in a deal that also would have brought Theo Ratliff to New York.

Hardaway, a 12-year veteran, will be reunited with the team he broke into the NBA with in 1993 when the Magic acquired Hardaway and three first-round draft picks from Golden State for Chris Webber. Hardaway left Orlando after six seasons to sign as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns, who traded him to New York 4½ years later in the deal that brought Marbury to the Knicks.

Hardaway played in only four games for New York this season and had been away from the team for several weeks, ostensibly to rehab his arthritic knees. It was not known if he planned to play for Orlando this season, nor was it certain whether Francis was to be available for the Knicks on Wednesday night for their home game against the Miami Heat. Francis was expected to at least be in the building, however, as the trade happened while the Magic were in the New York area for a road game against the New Jersey Nets.

"This is a trade that we all feel makes us a better basketball team for both now and in the future," Thomas said in a news release announcing the deal. "In Steve, we add an All-Star caliber player to our team without giving up core assets that are key to our future."

Francis had career averages of 19.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 452 career games for the Rockets and Magic entering the 2005-06 season. He was the 2000 NBA Co-Rookie of the Year and was selected to start for the Western Conference All-Stars from 2002-2004.

"Acquiring a player of Steve's level and talent is very exciting for this team," Brown said. "In him, we have added a veteran that could help us in many areas, and assist with our young players' development."

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I don't know about this one...

Wow, they just showed on the Halftime Report.....Marbury/Francis ALONE are making 30 Million +...The Entire pistons starting 5, makes about 34 million...The entire bobcats TEAM makes aobut 33 Million.

That's insane. 2 Players are making as much as a 4 all stars + 1...The knicks need to find some way to cut the pay roll man...It'll be though, but it's possible.

Edited by Vipa
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Well Penny was making basically the same amount as Francis and he didn't play much this year since he's been injured so at least they'll get somebody who's gonna play now but that's not a good move for the Knicks' future 'cause at least if they didn't make the trade Penny's contract would expire so that'd help the Magic out in that since he'll probably retire along with Grant Hill pretty soon, they'll be getting those large contracts off the books and be able to add to their young team, they could be a force in the East pretty soon.. The Knicks'll probably gonna have to trade Crawford, Richardson, Rose, Francis, or/and Marbury eventually 'cause there ain't enough balls for all of them, it was a stupid trade 'cause they're gonna miss the playoffs anyway, plus I think they're still paying Allan Houston too even though he retired, the Knicks are f'd for years...

Edited by bigted
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Portland Trail Blazers General Manager John Nash announced today that the club has acquired G Voshon Lenard from the Denver Nuggets and C Brian Skinner from the Sacramento Kings.

The Nuggets received F Ruben Patterson and G Charles Smith in a four-team deal that includes the Trail Blazers sending G Sergei Monia to the Kings. In addition to Patterson and Smith, the Nuggets obtained F Reggie Evans from Seattle. The Sonics also acquired G Earl Watson, G Bryon Russell and Denver’s second round draft pick in 2008 while sending F/C Vitaly Potapenko to Sacramento.

“These moves provide our organization some salary cap flexibility,” said Nash. “While helping balance the roster, today’s trade adds another big man and gives us a player who is a proven shooter in this league.”

Lenard, in his 11th NBA season, has played in 12 games this season with six starts for the Nuggets, averaging 8.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg with a season-high 17 points versus the Trail Blazers on November 4. For his career, the 32-year-old Lenard has averaged 12.1 ppg and shot 39% from three-point range.

Skinner has played in 38 games this season with the Kings and has averaged 2.3 ppg and 2.7 rpg in 11.3 minutes. During his career the 29-year old Skinner has played in 340 games, averaging 5.7 points and 5.2 rebounds. His best NBA season was 2003-04 with Milwaukee when the 6-9, 265-pounder averaged 10.5 ppg and 7.3 rpg.

Patterson played in 44 games this season for Portland, averaging 11.2 ppg and 3.0 rpg. Signed by the Trail Blazers as a free agent on August 2, 2001, Patterson has career averages of 10.2 ppg and 4.0 rpg over eight seasons with the Lakers, Seattle and Portland.

Smith was signed by the Trail Blazers on August 5, 2005, his second stint with the club – he was traded to Portland from San Antonio along with Antonio Daniels and Amir McCaskill on August 5, 2002 in exchange for Erick Barkley and Steve Kerr. Smith, a Ft. Worth, Texas, native, played in 22 games this season with four starts, averaging 3.8 ppg.

Monia played in 23 games for Portland this season with 15 starts, averaging 3.3 ppg, and 2.2 rpg. Originally drafted by the Trail Blazers with the 23rd pick of the 2004 draft, the 22- year-old Monia is in his first NBA season. Before joining Portland, the Russian native played for CSKA Moscow the past three seasons.

http://www.oregonlive.com/weblogs/blazersb..._02.html#115492

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I was watching ESPN this morning and they were saying that the Spurs and Pistons are both trying to sign Latrell Sprewell

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I hope we can get Penny up here in Boston. He could likely play point or 2 guard for us. Delonte West has been playing well, but having three big swingmen... Paul P., Szcerbiak, and Penny would really help us. The question remains, can Penny still play? He hasn't played much at all this season, but he's been working out.

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The Bulls cut Tim Thomas and the Suns're expected to pick him up, there's quite a bit of other players that got cut recently like Jim Jackson from the Suns, Byron Russell by the Sonics, and Derek Anderson by the Heat, playoff contendors'll probably pick them up soon

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The Bulls cut Tim Thomas and the Suns're expected to pick him up, there's quite a bit of other players that got cut recently like Jim Jackson from the Suns, Byron Russell by the Sonics, and Derek Anderson by the Heat, playoff contendors'll probably pick them up soon

A lot of quality players will have a chance to play for teams vying for a title.

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Penny is probably done. I don't see him coming back to a team. He might retire when the year ends. But who knows, maybe he'll prove me wrong and play again.

I don't think he's done. I hear he's been working out all year in Houston. He may still have a little something that he might want to show us. Penny used to be my favorite player back in the day, so I'm rooting for him to do well.

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Some team might sign Penny down the stretch for the playoff run but I think those other guys that got cut'd get signed before he would at this point, he did say he wanted to still play in the NBA though after he got released so he might try out for a team next year... btw anybody see that Bulls-Cavs game? That was a great 4th quarter finish

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Yeah, I saw that, the Cavs finally came through, they really have been struggling of late. Flip Murray hit a lot of big shots in that fourth quarter, as well, including the game winning 3.

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Yeah, I saw that, the Cavs finally came through, they really have been struggling of late. Flip Murray hit a lot of big shots in that fourth quarter, as well, including the game winning 3.

Yeah, Cleaveland had lost 5 straight... There's been a lot of talk concerning whether they'd fall apart like they did last year, but we'll see.

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They had a 25 point lead earlier in the game so if they lost, that'd been devasting

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