Sam Smith speculates

Sam Smith spins a fairly plausible rationale for moving Tim Thomas for Antonio Davis. Tim Thomas is useless, if Toronto agrees to this trade, I'd say go for it.

Chicago Tribune | Antonio Davis' strange journey
Because Davis lives in the Chicago area, wants to return to the Bulls and hopes to work for the organization after his playing career is over, here's a likely scenario: The Bulls trade Thomas to the Raptors for Davis because their salaries are almost equal. It doesn't seem likely the Bulls will get a better offer for Thomas, who also was in the Curry trade, after all this time.

and I don't recall hearing of supposed bad blood between the league office and the Bulls, but who knows. I will say that the announcing team on WGN-TV is probably one of the worst. Almost as bad as the Celtic's announcers.

But the Bulls never have been league favorites because of the team's long-ago suit against the NBA to stay on superstation WGN-TV and the organization's lack of interest in a WNBA team.

I do know that while Antonio Davis is getting a bit old, and his wife is a loose cannon, the Bulls were better for having him on the roster last year.

The Raptors don't necessarily need Thomas with a young team and might release him so he can catch on with a contender. Perhaps they could pick up a few hundred thousand dollars from a buyout. Thomas makes about $100,000 more than Davis, so the Bulls could make that up and throw in a second-round draft pick.

With two first-round draft picks this year and a young roster, the Bulls hardly need second-round picks. The Bulls would love to have Davis back to fortify their front-line defense and lend support to Tyson Chandler. And the Raptors could come away with a savings of about $14 million (the difference between Rose's 2006-07 contract and about $3 million in cash to the Knicks), cash from the Bulls and a draft pick.

Davis could be in a Bulls uniform as early as next week because the Bulls have an open roster spot.

Though this could be one of those “all's well that ends well” deals, Davis' saga is a classic NBA insider's take of intrigue in the sports world.

Davis had to be included in the Curry trade to make the contracts match under convoluted league salary-cap rules even though the Bulls didn't want to give him up. When it got out that Davis said he was hoping to return to the Bulls because the Knicks were a young team and his family was settled in Chicago, the league interpreted media reports about it as a prearranged deal between the teams. There was no proof or evidence of any such deal or even such discussions.

But the Bulls never have been league favorites because of the team's long-ago suit against the NBA to stay on superstation WGN-TV and the organization's lack of interest in a WNBA team.

So, despite denials from both teams, the league quietly informed the Knicks there would be penalties if they released Davis and he returned to the Bulls. The league couldn't officially stop it and Davis is president of the players' association, so he likely would have won a grievance.

But at the time Davis didn't want to move yet again and the Knicks, under one of Davis' former coaches, Larry Brown, assured Davis they wouldn't uproot him against his will. The Knicks wanted to play their younger interior players more and didn't want Davis on the roster, but they feared league retribution.

But things change, and with the Knicks in a downward spiral amid losing, charges of sexual harassment against team President Isiah Thomas and Brown under assault from the New York media and inside the team, the Knicks were motivated to add a veteran like Rose. Rose can handle the ball, and he comes with a first-round pick that can replace the one the Knicks gave up to the Bulls to acquire Curry. That pick originally was Denver's, which New Jersey had before dealing it to Toronto in the Carter trade with protection believed to be top five.

The Knicks-Raptors deal had been talked about for months, but Toronto, under previous general manager Babcock, was demanding draft protection up to 25. All of this means the Knicks almost certainly will get the pick this year. The Knicks had been offering Penny Hardaway instead of Davis. But the Raptors had to know there's no market for Hardaway, but they can get something for Davis. And they should soon from the Bulls.

But Vecsey disagrees:

No one in Toronto is familiar with the rumor floated by the Chicago Tribune that the Bulls are contemplating a Tim Thomas-Davis swap. It's also extremely doubtful the Raptors will buy out Davis of his remaining $7 million and waive him so he can return to Chicago and play (where would Kendra sit?) for the Bulls.

“Sounds to me like Antonio doesn't have any objections to returning to Toronto for the final 34 games,” said a Raptors source. “He and Sam Mitchell have a good relationship from their days as teammates.”

and throws in:
This just in, Part I: Upon hearing the news, Kendra Davis said she'd now be throwing her coffee to go. This just in, Part II: The Knicks have changed their name to Sans Antonio.

I guess that'll teach Davis to ask Brown to simplify the defense.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on February 4, 2006 5:09 PM.

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