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Van Exel trade bait?

Brad Weinstein, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, January 30, 2004

Nick Van Exel's agent said Thursday that there was a better than 50 percent chance that the Warriors will deal the high-priced point guard before the NBA's trade deadline.

Tony Dutt put the odds at 60-40 that Van Exel, the centerpiece of the team's offseason makeover, will be moved before Feb. 19.

"My gut feeling is that they're going to try to make a deal that makes sense for Nick and makes sense for them,'' Dutt said in a telephone interview from Houston, where Van Exel has spent the week dealing with a family matter. An injured Van Exel is expected to be in the Bay Area today, but when he plays again is uncertain.

Warriors general manager Garry St. Jean did not return a call seeking comment.

As the deadline approaches, Van Exel figures to be the subject of several trade rumors. His playoff success with the Dallas Mavericks last season and reputation for hitting clutch shots make him attractive to championship contenders. Also, his hefty contract is close to expiring.


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Van Exel wants to play for a contender.

The Warriors need younger players for their continued rebuild.

A trade of Nick the Quick seems eminently logical.
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