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Why does he keep doing this?

Unstable market

June 26, 2002

Could Jerry Krause's hopes and those of Bulls fans be squashed? Could the Houston Rockets be changing their mind and deciding there's no dynasty to be built with a Ming?

Could Duke's Jay Williams be heading to the Los Angeles Clippers or Golden State Warriors?

Not likely, but …

The stunning quake that was rocking the NBA Tuesday was word the Rockets might back off their pick of China's Yao Ming and trade the rights to the No. 1 pick in Wednesday's NBA draft.

The reported reason was the clearance from China for Yao to play in the NBA next season, expected earlier this week, had hit a snag. The uncertainty provoked nervousness in the Rockets' organization as well as a rethinking of their long-standing plan to take Yao first.

They still want him, but insiders said Tuesday their resolve was weakening amid fears China might put conditions too onerous on Yao and he might remain in China.

"If the Rockets don't take him," one general manager said, "it changes everything."

Especially for the Bulls, who Tuesday were sweating out the Rockets' intentions. It was a subject the Bulls had been reluctant to broach amid Jay Williams' enthusiasm to play in Chicago and Houston's constant refusal even to listen to offers for the No. 1 pick.

The Rockets feared shopping the pick might insult Chinese officials who have talked of the importance of Yao being the No. 1 pick. Visits to China by Rockets officials were positive, so they were shocked Tuesday when negative reports came back from China.

"They won't [give up on Yao]," insisted one general manager who previously had talked to them about a deal for the top pick and tried to gauge their mood Tuesday.

But if the Rockets do blink on Yao, there's a strong chance the Clippers would try to make a deal to pick Williams. They have the eighth and 12th picks and are pursuing Cleveland's Andre Miller, perhaps with Quentin Richardson as part of the bait.

The Warriors are cool on their choices with the third pick. They would like to put together a package of players for Miller. Likewise, Memphis, at No. 4, has put out feelers of interest for No. 1. Would the Bulls do the same with the risk Houston could take Yao anyway.

The provisional debate within the Bulls' organziation Tuesday was whether the club should select Yao or Duke's Mike Dunleavy if they lost Williams. There was a strong contingent of support for selecting Dunleavy, whom some among the Bulls regard as a better long-term prospect than Williams.

But with small forwards Jalen Rose and Eddie Robinson, the Bulls are strong at Dunleavy's best position and there's serious doubt how much impact he could make for a team that hopes to move into the playoff picture next season.

Would the Bulls then go for a comer like Brazil's Nene Hilario, a rough, physical player who could become a dominant big man? Or a classic big man like Drew Gooden? A scorer like DaJuan Wagner, whom Michael Jordan covets for Washington?

The Wizards on Tuesday traded Courtney Alexander for New Orleans' pick at No. 17, setting off speculation the Wizards were seeking a draft pick to deal to the Bulls for Jamal Crawford. The teams continue to have preliminary discussions, though they haven't gone far.

Wizards insiders say the team was getting the second first-round pick for insurance so they could try to move up if it didn't look like they would get Wagner. The Denver Nuggets also tried to get the pick and had offered James Posey to the Wizards.

Also, the possibility increased that Milwaukee might deal Glenn Robinson. Philadelphia was trying to assemble a package with Eric Snow that could lead to a Sam Cassell trade, and Miami also was strongly interested. A bigger possibility remained Cleveland's dealing Andre Miller to the Clippers and the Cavs getting both of the Clippers' No. 1 picks.

Minnesota seemed stalled in attempts to deal Wally Szczerbiak, and New York was seeking almost anything for Latrell Sprewell. The Trail Blazers continued to look for a high draft pick to go after high schooler Amare Stoudemire, while in the draft it seemed Qyntel Woods and perhaps Curtis Borchardt were falling.

Losing Williams would be a blow to the Bulls. But if they did, they could pick Yao second and then assess a market for him. Hello, Mark Cuban.

Moreover, the NBA already has been talking about televising games to China on a weekly basis and the expectation is the league would help a team bring Yao here. But if the Rockets, after six weeks of intense courting, backed off, what chance would any other team have?

The Rockets, however, need Yao. They have been effusive in their praise of him and their indifferent basketball city has become excited about seeing the 7-5 player. It would be hard to imagine the Rockets putting together a package of players from the Clippers or Warriors who could make a big difference with the team or excite the community as Yao has.

So, Jay Williams is almost a Bull. But it's not time to fit him for a jersey quite yet.
Copyright © 2002, The Chicago Tribune

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Over on the other board and even on, Sam Smith was beat like a red-headed step child concerning his inputs regarding the chicago bulls. He was forever looking on the "downside" of all of krause's personnel moves since the departure of MJ, Scottie and Pauxetanny Phil. I do not believe he cares much for Krause and REALLY wants his plans to fall through....Lets wait and see how this draft scenario works out and once again I am confident sam smith will be the one with dried egg on his face.:upset: ;) :eek: :laugh: :sour: :D :mad: :grinning:
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