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Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Steve, Aug 10, 2000.

  1. Steve

    Steve Member

    Jul 13, 2000
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    when dis happens

    Grant coming to Heat

    By Ethan J. Skolnick, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, August 10, 2000

    Free-agent power forward Brian Grant is headed for Miami, though his official arrival will be delayed until the end of the month.

    The Heat, Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed in principle to a trade that would send Grant to the Heat. According to multiple NBA sources, Cavaliers forward Shawn Kemp will go to Portland, and three players will be sent to Cleveland.

    Miami is set to contribute forwards Clarence Weatherspoon and Chris Gatling, and Portland will throw in Gary Grant, after signing him to a three-year contract. Brian Grant is expected to sign a long-term deal, which would pay him as much as $9.2 million this season and as much as $87 million over seven years.

    "Obviously there's a lot of interest on both sides," said Heat General Manager Randy Pfund, who attended the Sol season finale Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. "We've inched a lot closer, but because of the timing, the situation cannot be resolved right now."

    That, according to sources, is because Gatling's inclusion means the trade cannot be declared official until at least Aug. 26. Gatling cannot be included in another trade less than 60 days after his previous trade. This rule was created to prevent teams from trading for players with the intent of filling a salary slot in another trade. The Heat acquired Gatling for Mark Strickland and Voshon Lenard on June 27.

    If the deal goes through, Miami will have only four players from last season's 15-man roster under contract. The rest of the league has taken note of the changes, with one prominent Eastern Conference official declaring Wednesday the Heat are the new conference favorite.

    The trade was possible for two reasons. Blazers owner Paul Allen was willing to take on the talented Kemp's enormous salary -- $11.7 million next season, $21.5 million in 2002-2003 -- despite its possible implications on the luxury tax that takes effect after next season. And the Cavaliers, frustrated by Kemp's lazy play and conditioning, were willing to do just about anything to avoid the same.

    Gatling and Weatherspoon have only one year remaining on their contracts. Gatling has already been traded six times in his career, and played on seven teams.

    Though Riley said on June 27 that Gatling would be a valuable part of the front-court rotation, the Heat needed a young rebounder to replace P.J. Brown in the starting lineup. Grant, 28, has had injury problems in the past, has never averaged more than 31.8 minutes per game, and had a subpar 1999-2000 season, averaging just 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds as a front-court reserve. He played brilliantly against Karl Malone in the 1999 playoffs and finished 12th in the league in rebounding in 1998-99, with 9.8 per game.

    Adding Grant allows the Heat to start arguably the league's best defensive lineup, with Grant, Anthony Mason and Alonzo Mourning up front, and Eddie Jones at shooting guard. Either Anthony Carter or the unsigned Tim Hardaway will start at point guard, and Bruce Bowen and Dan Majerle still are available off the bench. Hardaway attended the Sol game Wednesday, but declined to answer questions about Grant.

    Grant spoke publicly Wednesday, telling KXJM-FM in Portland that he needed to move on his terms, "because if I stay, then I could end up in a place like Cleveland." Portland had tried to trade him directly to Cleveland for Kemp, but Grant rejected a seven-year, $93 million contract that would have made that deal happen. He then rejected a six-year, $70 million offer from Portland, fearful the Blazers would hold onto him until Dec. 15, when they could trade him to Cleveland without his consent.

    He visited with the Heat before heading to Jamaica last week, and decided on Miami when it was clear the Knicks could not offer cap space in the future, or an attractive package in a trade with Cleveland. The Cavs had only limited interest in forward Marcus Camby, and the Knicks would not part with shooting guard Allan Houston.

    Grant said on radio that he "never officially turned down the Blazers. They asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I thought it was time for me to move on. And when I say it's time for me to move on, I don't mean that in a bad or negative way because Portland knows how I care about the community there."

    Two seasons ago, Grant received the J. Walker Kennedy Citizenship award for his work in the community.



    • Pacers sign Miller: Reggie Miller, the NBA's all-time leader in three-point attempts and baskets, signed a new contract with the Pacers, becoming the fourth of the team's six free agents to re-sign.

    Miller has played more games and scored more points than any player in franchise history. The 6-foot-7 guard earned $9 million last season and was eligible to receive up to $14 million next season. ESPN and The Indianapolis Star reported Miller had agreed to a three-year, $36 million deal.

    • Noteworthy: Nate Johnson, an undrafted 6-foot-6 forward from Louisville, has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson played for the Lakers' summer league team, averaging 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in eight games.

    Heat lineups 1999-2000

    C -- Alonzo Mourning, Duane Causwell

    F -- P.J. Brown, Jamal Mashburn, Clarence Weatherspoon, Harold Jamison, Mark Strickland, Otis Thorpe, Tim James

    G -- Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle, Anthony Carter, Bruce Bowen, Rodney Buford, Voshon Lenard


    C -- Alonzo Mourning, *Duane Causwell, *Ernest Brown

    F -- Brian Grant, Anthony Mason, Dan Majerle, *Harold Jamison, Dale Ellis

    G -- Eddie Jones, Anthony Carter, *Tim Hardaway, Bruce Bowen, Ricky Davis, *Eddie House

    (*unsigned, bold is new)

    "And Raul missess the Penalty in the 89th minute of the Euro2000 and Spain is sadend again" by Spanish Fan

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