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Chronicle: No progress between Rockets & Hakeem

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by The Cat, Jul 27, 2001.

  1. The Cat

    The Cat Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/sports/bk/bkn/982577

    Roundup: No progress reported between Rockets, Olajuwon

    Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle News Services

    Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson returned home from Salt Lake City on Friday unable to report any progress in the ongoing contract negotiations with the agent for Hakeem Olajuwon.

    After talking face-to-face with Dan Fegan, Olajuwon's agent, for more than an hour Thursday at the Rocky Mountain Revue, the two sides talked briefly over the phone Friday, but are no closer to striking a deal to keep the free-agent center in Houston for an 18th season.

    "Nothing new," Dawson said. "We're still at a point where we were (Thursday). It was a good meeting (Thursday) and we've had some phone conversations since, but we're still pretty much where we were."

    Olajuwon, 38, has turned down a proposed two-year deal from the Rockets worth about $4.5 annually, and Dawson said he's running out of ways to free up more money under the salary cap.

    "There's a few things we can still look at and try and that's what I'm going to do," said Dawson, who wouldn't go into specifics. "We've kind of exhausted most of the ideas most of us had as far as what it would take to make both sides happy. We'll start looking Monday to see where we are again."

    Dawson insists his top priority remains re-signing Olajuwon, though he said several teams have contacted him about acquiring the future Hall of Famer through a sign-and-trade deal. The New York Post reported Friday the Rockets had an interest in the Knicks' Glen Rice, but Dawson reiterated he's not ready to talk sign-and-trade.

    Most of the teams interested in Olajuwon -- a list that includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, and Miami Heat -- still have their $4.5 million cap exception. But the Knicks used theirs on Clarence Weatherspoon and would need to work out a sign-and-trade to obtain Olajuwon.

    "The money, even on a sign-and-trade, is not where (Fegan) wants to be," Dawson said. "But I haven't even started talking to people about that yet. I want to be sure it's not possible for us to wind up with him, and I still think we will.

    "Both sides are still trying, and Dan is working as hard as we are, so we'll see. I think (Olajuwon) wants to be here and we want him and that's a good start, so we'll see how we'll do."

    Although the Rockets are committed to settling the Olajuwon issue before turning their attention to any of their other free agents, they're not going to hurry into a decision on Olajuwon.

    "With a guy like Dream you try every way possible before you put a timetable on it," Dawson said. "I would exhaust everything before that would happen."



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  2. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    Beat me to it. [​IMG]

    Man, does CD sound whipped or what?

    "The money, even on a sign-and-trade, is not where (Fegan) wants to be," Dawson said. "But I haven't even started talking to people about that yet.

    GEEZ!

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  3. The Cat

    The Cat Member

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    Jeff,

    That is hard to believe. Fegan may be a bigger jackass than any of us thought, if Dream still hasn't been offered the amount Fegan wants in a sign and trade. If Hakeem is demanding anywhere near that original 10 million dollar figure over 2 years (per year), it's time to let him go. That is ridiculous.

    By the way, if Olajuwon were to leave, I did read the other day on the Sporting News that if some team were to offer Marc Jackson near 4 million a season, the Warriors were unlikely to match it, since they already have 14 players under contract. Nothing linking him to Houston, but a thought worth noting.

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  4. grummett

    grummett Member

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    Jeff,

    As I was scrolling through The Cat's post, that was the quote that jumped out at me also. That speaks volumes about where the negotiations stand. Not a good sign for the "Hakeem should be retained at all costs" contingent.

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  5. RodneyMcCray

    RodneyMcCray Member

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    I will be the first to boo Hakeem next year if he stays, and Mo Taylor has to leave. This article is very disheartening.

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  6. Colby

    Colby Member

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    So how much money is Hakeem holding out for? If no one else is offering more than 5mil, whats the hold up?

    Is Hakeem really ready to leave Houston over 3% of what he made last year. I am so close to opening the door for him on his way out. This is starting to insult me, as a person who didn't even qualify for all $300 tax relief. [​IMG]

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  7. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    I can only assume from this story that Hakeem is wanting $8 to $10 million per season. The hold up is obviously the attempt to trade away players for cap space, but that seems like an almost impossible task at this point considering most everyone is capped out.

    I just don't get this at all. Unbelievable.

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  8. tariq

    tariq Member

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    I am all for Hakeem staying in Houston. I would like Hakeem to make the money he wants, but considering that many cities are offering just a little bit over Houston's offer, I think Hakeem should keep in mind the tax situation and living expenses there as well.

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  9. Behad

    Behad Member

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    The thing that jumps out at me is the fact that CD says he has to "find" more money for Hakeem, meaning that he has to trade someone. But Olajuwon can be re-signed for any amount the Rockets are willing to give.

    To me, this means that the rest of the money has already been allotted for the other free agents the Rockets plan on keeping.

    Or the Rockets are simply playing hardball, knowing that no one else can go above the $4.5 exception.

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  10. Bingo

    Bingo Member

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    This deal will take all summer long.
    Screw this! I'm going to the beach!!!

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  11. haven

    haven Member

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    I love the way that Hakeem wants to keep the team together and then makes salary demands that make that impossible. What a joke.

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  12. chievous minniefield

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    something I hadn't considered before. . . it seems to me like hakeem may be considering not playing this year more seriously than he's letting on.

    before you dismiss that option, hear me out. since CD's implication is that hakeem is asking for way more than anyone can pay him, that sort of makes it sound to me like hakeem wants to play for 6, 7, 8 mil. and if he can't play for that amount, he's content to just wait it out and see if someone will give him that amount.

    if they don't, it may not be worth it to him to play for the 4.5. I guess all I'm saying is that maybe hakeem feels like the option of not playing at all anymore gives him more leverage.

    either that, or he really could give a rat's ass about what happens to the rest of the rockets' free agents. I have no desire to drag his name in the mud, but it really seems like he wants the rockets to give him about 8 mil and let moochie, shandon and mo have the scraps.

    I wish CD would bring hakeem in on their negotiations [hell, fecal already is] and say, "okay, dream. here's the amount of money we have. here's how much you want. now tell me how much maurice should get, how much shandon should get, how much moochie should get, and how much bullard should get."

    what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall of that conversation, not that it would ever happen.

    deal in reality, hakeem.

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  13. RichRocket

    RichRocket Member

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    It's time to say it again: renounce the guy!

    Even if we just do it as an object lesson. The guy has been treated well during his stay here: well overpaid for the last 3 years.

    Now, he wants to be overpaid for the next two as well? Ridiculous.

    I wish Les, Rudy and CD would have enough guts to walk away NOW. I think the fear about public backlash is not legitimate.
    Olajuwon is the ingrate here not the Rox.

    Nothing is more certain than the fact that NBA fans think NBA players are overpaid and pampered. What's to fear?!!!!!

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  14. NJRocket

    NJRocket Member

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    This is getting ridiculous. Apparently, Dream saw what the Admiral got after flirting with other teams for a while and probably figures, "Hell, i could do the same!"

    Maybe a solution is to pay him a ton of money THIS year and this year only and then let him ride off into the Nigerian sunset next June. Maybe a 1 year deal worth 10-12 mil ( i think we are allowed to do that as long as Les wants to pay the luxury tax). I mean, its not like we are going after any free agents who aren't our own so we can basically give everyone (Dream, Mo SA and Mooch) what they want and pay the tax for a year.

    As far as NY goes..does he have a friggin clue how many different taxes we pay up here!!!! He should stay in Houston where you get the most bang for the buck.

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  15. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    I'm with Newbie. I don't read these comments as a sign that CD is knuckling under. They look much more like what you'd say if you were holding the line in private but didn't want to embarrass the player or his agent in public.

    CD says he's trying to find more cap space. Are you kidding? He could do that instantly, by reducing his (presumable) offers to Mo and Shandon, unloading Kenny for a song, letting Bull walk, etc. The problem isn't that CD is unable to make more space. The problem is that he's unwilling. But part of the art of negotiation is that you never say you won't do something, because that implies it's in your power to do it. Instead, you say you can't do it.

    I also agree with Chievous that Hakeem might end up sitting out the season once he realizes he won't get Robinson money. You know what's really funny? The Rockets paid him millions more than he was worth for the last three years, as a way of saying "thank you." Instead of being grateful, Hakeem has concluded that that's his market value, and he seems astonished to discover this offseason that nobody's willing to pay him anywhere near it. He looks at the drop from $16M to $4M and is outraged. Earth to Hakeem! The discrepancy isn't caused by paying you too little next year. It's caused by paying you too much last year. That was a $10M gold watch Les just gave you. If you want to play another year or two, great. But if you think you're going to get a gold watch every year, you're misunderstanding the ritual.

    Do you think it's outrageous that you're being offered less than Cato got? Well, you're right. The Cato contract was what we in the NBA like to call a "mistake." But you'll find that teams generally aren't receptive to the argument that because they just made a mistake with one player, they owe it to the next player to do the same. Should you be paid more than Cato? Absolutely. And if you can figure out a way to cut his contract in half, we'll be happy to rectify that injustice.

    The reason this is taking so long is that 1) the great Hakeem Olajuwon is finally being forced to come to terms with the yawning gap between what he still thinks of himself and what any NBA team is now willing to pay him, and 2) to the relief of hardliners like me, Rockets management isn't budging.

    I see a substantial risk that Hakeem will retire or leave, out of anger and pride if nothing else. But I see little risk that we'll lose Mo, Shandon, or other free agents. It sounds to me like CD has worked out with those guys what he's going to pay them, is keeping his finger on their pulse, and will pull the plug on the Great Wait For Hakeem if they get too restless. The only reason those deals haven't been announced, IMHO, is that it would embarrass Hakeem to leave him out there as the last guy to get his money. This whole thing is being staged to soothe the ego of an aging lion. And it won't be over till he faces up to that fact.
     
  16. rock

    rock Member

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    My sentiments exactly.


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  17. RocksMillenium

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    That's a great point Newbiehad and Will. This is getting ridiculous, and Dream is overrating this market value by comparing it to his overinflated Rockets contract instead of comparing it to his TRUE market value.

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  18. Dubious

    Dubious Member

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    As I said yesterday ,the sh*tty part of this is that while playing hardball with Fagen on Hakeem ; you still have to deal with him with your other free agents (mooch and Shandon right?)
    Well I had a new thought, somebody needs to get to Mooch and Shandon and explain to them that the dollars he is trying to put in Hakkem's pocket is coming out of their pockets. There is a cap on the total money available, and the players we have under contract generate little interest in the league as far as trading for cap space (future draft picks or exceptions, capologist?).
    I believe Fagens emphasis on Hakeems contract is a breech of his fiduciary duty to his other clients. Certainly worth firing him over and quite possibly worthy of a league investigation.
    At the very least he is costing them money by delaying their signing bonuses. (1.2 mi @8% for 30 days is $8,000, chump change in their league but still)
    So, let's start the SHANDON AND MOOCH DUMP FAGEN MOVEMENT !

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  19. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    I seriously doubt that there are "offers" on the table for Anderson, Norris, Taylor, etc. I do think that they and the Rockets have discussed what their position is and what they could likely expect IN GENERAL. I'm sure that's why they feel comfortable where they are.

    As a result, the Rocks are stuck because they don't want to back off of the structure they have set up for themselves. The only reason, IMO, the Hakeem situation is a priority is because of the timing required to sign the others. If it weren't for that, they'd probably all be signed by now.

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  20. Band Geek Mobster

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    Whoa, back to back posts from crispee and ChrisP...
     

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