malone to NJ?
bizzy, whats the heads up on this article? Who would you trade? Malone in the east would rest his body more than being in the west.
Karl Malone trade rumors refuse to die.
A columnist for the Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., reported Friday that the New Jersey Nets will inquire about the Utah Jazz star's availability this summer.
Citing a "source close to team ownership," columnist Ian O'Connor — writing from El Segundo, Calif., site of the Los Angeles Lakers' practice facility — said you could "bet on (Nets GM) Rod Thorn making a phone call as smart as the one he placed to Phoenix last year. That call will go to Salt Lake City, where the Mailman might be packaged and shipped to an overnight destination closer to the NBA throne."
Thorn declined to confirm that report, saying, "Like all organizations we'll sit down at the end of the year and see what we can do to get better. We're very happy with our team. We've come a long way, but we still have some growing to do."
O'Connor offered the opinion that the Nets will need to improve if they expect to return to the NBA Finals, and that the addition of Malone would give them some much-needed muscle.
Mentioned in the column was the Jazz's interest last season in Nets forward Keith Van Horn, who reportedly was the subject of a trade offer involving Utah's Donyell Marshall and Bryon Russell.
O'Connor quoted one unnamed league executive who said, "I think Utah would definitely be interested in moving Malone and getting younger, with Van Horn as the core of a package. Van Horn's value had been down, but he's made enough big shots in the playoffs now to revive some people's interest."
Malone, meanwhile, in an interview on KUTV-Channel 2 Friday night sounded peeved about comments Jazz owner Larry H. Miller made that gave the impression the team would be reluctant to offer Malone an extension on his current contract, which expires after next season.
"They might tell me how long I'm gonna play here, but they ain't gonna tell me how long I'm gonna play," Malone said.
In unrelated Jazz news, the Denver Post reported that the Denver Nuggets have received permission from Jazz management to discuss the head coaching job with Utah assistant coach Phil Johnson. Johnson apparently told the Post that no interview with Nuggets GM Kiki Vandeweghe has been scheduled yet.
— Rich Evans