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I will merge this later with another Ming thread after we talk this out.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/cs-020619bullsrocketsyaoming.story?coll=cs-bulls-headlines

Rockets New Could Affect Bulls

The Houston Rockets’ team attorney has returned from China with news that could result in Jay Williams becoming the Bulls’ top draft pick next Wednesday in the 2002 NBA draft.

Team attorney Michael Goldberg said Wednesday that he was told that 7-foot-5-inch Chinese center Yao Ming would be able to play the entire NBA season and playoffs if the Houston Rockets were to pick him first in the draft.

If the Rockets go with Yao, which nearly everyone believes will be the case, that’d give the Bulls a chance to pick Williams, the Duke guard who seems to like Chicago as much as Chicago likes him. "He proactively would like to be here, and he'd like to let everyone be aware of that," said Bill Duffy, Williams' agent.

"A lot of places you feel like a stranger," Williams said after working out for the Bulls last week. "When I'm here, I feel like this is where I should be."

Williams has not confirmed a workout for the Rockets.

The Rockets want to take Yao with the first pick, but they had been seeking assurances that he would not be recalled during the season to play on China's national team. The Chinese, meanwhile, wanted to be sure their best known player would be able to play for them in international competition.

And, Goldberg said Wednesday, "We also assured them that he'd be able to play in the Olympics."

With that part of the negotiations completed, Goldberg said the Rockets were now waiting for a release from FIBA, the international basketball governing body.

The China Basketball Association and the Shanghai Sharks, Yao's current team, are also working to complete their approval process, hopefully leading to the release that would allow him to play in the NBA.

"The CBA and the Sharks understand that we have to have the FIBA release in time to make our decisions before the draft," Goldberg said. "The Sharks would be losing their No. 1 player so they wanted to make sure things can be worked out."

Team physician Dr. Walter Lowe accompanied Goldberg to Beijing and performed a complete physical examination of Yao. He found no health problems that would affect his playing.

"This is something that we do with all players," Lowe said. "We couldn't get a complete examination of him at the workouts in Chicago. We wanted this to be a basketball decision and not about health."

Lowe said he was satisfied with the results of the examination.

"He's a very tall guy. He's very engaging and he's healthy," Lowe said. "There were things that worried me on paper that didn't worry me after we saw him in person. The Chinese medical system is super. They allowed me to make a complete examination."

Lowe said Yao had normal injuries and fractures that were related to playing basketball.

While the Rockets moved closer to a deal with China, Yao and agent John Hizuinga were in separate talks with the Sharks over compensation Yao must agree to pay the Sharks if he leaves.

"We are actively exploring every possible creative solution that we can to try to get this deal completed," Hizuinga said. "Each side is looking for things from their own perspective. What we are doing is trying to find something that will work for both sides."

Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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Thanks for the article trueblue.......I was going to post the same article here but I see you beat me to it!

Thats good news but lets hope Houston pick Yao Ming the #1 pick next week in draft day so we can grab Jay Williams!
 
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