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Old 06-09-2002, 09:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AWOL Mav could cause Bulls woes

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune....ls%2Dheadlines

Wang ZhiZhi may have thrown a big monkey wrench into the NBA draft. Dallas newspapers reported last week that Wang had missed some mandatory Chinese national training and the dreaded "D" word, defection, was being tossed around. Spend some time around Mark Cuban's Mavericks, and with your government dipping into much of your salary, suddenly America looks awfully good.

"We have called and gone to Wang ZhiZhi's house every day, at least twice a day to try to locate him," owner Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. "We have been unable to do so for the past several weeks. We do not know where he is or how to get a hold of him."

Wang is a free agent, and everyone knows he's a 7-foot shooting guard. So there's not much excitement. That's saved for Yao Ming. He likes the 20-footer, too, but he's nearly a half-foot taller and more skilled. The Houston community has fallen for him, and seemingly, so have the Rockets, who have the No. 1 draft pick. But the government of China might get nervous about all the restrictions it has put on Yao's future earnings. And once Yao gets a load of the big city, it may be tough to get him back to the farm. China wants Yao in the NBA as it opens its borders to put on a better face for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But if anyone begins to worry he might defect so he can keep his millions, then the government may be in no hurry to allow Yao to come here. That might scare off the Rockets, who then might take one of the big offers—from the Clippers or Warriors, mostly likely—for Jay Williams and get a package of players plus one or two lottery picks to fill out their roster.

Which is what is keeping Bulls GM Jerry Krause up nights.

If that occurs, the Bulls get the choice of the prospects: Mike Dunleavy if he stays in the draft, though he supposedly doesn't want to play for the Bulls because of all the small forwards the team has; Drew Gooden, a good looking player who doesn't quite have a position (either small forward or power forward); Caron Butler, a smallish power forward; Dujuan Wagner, a scoring guard trying to play the point; or Chris Wilcox, perhaps the best athlete, but a raw talent.

None of those players are going to help the Bulls win many more games next season. If that happens, the Bulls probably have to pick Yao and hope he comes to the U.S. at some point so they can trade him. With Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, the Bulls really don't need him.

Some league insiders believe Cuban is starting a misinformation campaign to scare off the top teams, see Yao drop and then scoop him up in a cheaper deal. There's also some thought that Houston could then deal with Golden State, get the No. 3 pick and perhaps next year's Warriors pick or a package of players, and take Yao at No. 3 inasmuch as the Warriors want Duke's Williams. Then the Rockets would be willing to wait for Yao, believing the Bulls cannot afford the risk of getting nothing out of this draft after four straight losing seasons.

"From a league perspective, either we sign [Yao] or we won't," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "And if we don't, it will be like Arvydas Sabonis. He'll be here eventually. It'll be more interesting [next season] if we have Yao, but if we don't, it's either now or later. I have no doubt about that. We'd love to have him, but one additional 7-footer does not a league make."

Though it could ruin the Bulls' future.
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Old 06-09-2002, 09:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To go along with Sams article this is what they are reporting at clutch city.

I just saw on both Channel 11 (CBS) & 13 (ABC), Houston's local TV sports saying that things are going very well in China with Yao Ming's representatives.

1- Carroll Dawson was interviewed by phone real quick and one of the clips said Rudy T was being noticed by alot of the Chinese NBA fans because the Rockets get coverage over there and he is kind of a semi-star.

2- The Rockets lawyer had a productive 2-hour meeting with the Shanghai Sharks representatives.

3- The Rockets arrived there late last night and overall nothing but good news to report so far.

*I think another future meeting to be conducted sometime tomorrow was mentioned in passing. Sports Sunday should have some good info in the next few minutes so I will try to relay what I hear if there is anything new!

http://bbs.clutchcity.net/showthread...threadid=35171
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Old 06-09-2002, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is one time I am not taking Sam Smith that seriously. As you memtioned on another board, this sounds like 3 or 4 day old news. It is an opinion piece and I don't always agree with his opinion. Ming is a lock to go to Houston and I am not about to change my mind.
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Old 06-09-2002, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Copy for copy's sake
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Old 06-10-2002, 05:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We all know Sam Smith has been stumping for the Bulls to select Jay Williams for months. Now I have no doubt that Smith has numerous contacts throughout the league. Somehow he got wind of Cuban's little game with Wang Zhi Zhi. So as a loyal member of the Bulls faithful (he is, afterall a Bulls fan, albiet a very critical one) he felt it was his duty to expose Cuban's little scam to the public and most importantly to Ming's keepers in China. Having planted reasonable doubt in the minds of those who control Ming's future, it appears that all is going well for the Rockets in China:

June 10, 2002, 12:31AM

Rockets brass rubs elbows with Yao's crowd
By JONATHAN FEIGEN
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
The Rockets on Sunday began talks in Shanghai, China, with officials from the Shanghai Sharks that they hope will end with clearance for drafting Yao Ming.

The Rockets delegation in China also received the invitation it had been seeking to meet with China Basketball Association officials in Beijing this week.

On Tuesday, the Rockets, who have the first pick in the June 26 draft in New York, are scheduled to meet with Yao Ming's parents, Li and Bai, at the Shanghai television network studios.


But Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis said Sunday's start of negotiations between Rockets general counsel Michael Goldberg and Sharks general manager Li Yaomin were encouraging, with a lunch meeting and more talks scheduled with Li and a dinner with Sharks owner Bai Li.

Li met the Rockets delegation of Goldberg, Luis, Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich and general manager Carroll Dawson at the airport. Li and the Rockets representatives were to hold a lunch meeting before visiting the Shanghai Museum and getting together for a dinner meeting regarding the 7-5, 21-year-old center.

"Yesterday upon our arrival, we had a very pleasant exchange with Li Yaomin, and we're looking forward to beginning discussions later today," Luis said. "The fact he picked us up at the airport and had a good meeting with Michael was obviously a good sign. Things are going well.

"We plan to tour a museum today and get acquainted with one another over dinner. We look forward to learning about the Chinese culture and developing a relationship with the Shanghai Sharks."
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