The Seattle SuperSonics, desperate for a defensive-minded point guard as an alternative to Luke Ridnour, will receive Watson, swingman Bryon Russell and a future second-round pick from Denver in a three-team deal. NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that the trade has been forwarded to the league office for approval before Thursday’s 3 p.m. trading deadline.
The Nuggets, after unsuccessful bids to make a splashier move for Ron Artest and then Steve Francis, will instead import Sonics rebounding specialist Reggie Evans (above), Portland swingman Ruben Patterson and the Blazers’ Charles Smith as a salary-cap throw in.
The Blazers joined in on the Seattle-Denver talks in its ongoing quest for salary-cap relief and receive Nuggets guard Voshon Lenard and Sonics center Vitaly Potapenko. Lenard carries an expiring contract ($3.5 million this season) and Potapenko has only one season left on his deal at $3.7 million in 2006-07. With Patterson due next $7 million next season, Portland saves just over $3 million in salary.
Patterson will be reunited with former Cincinnati teammate Kenyon Martin in Denver ; the 8 year vet credits God with making the trade happen, surely the first time anyone has refered to Kiki Vandeweghe in such glowing terms in a very long time.
Stephen A. Smith claims in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer that the Sixers seriously contemplated sending Allen Iverson to Denver in exchange for “a bunch of garbage” (ie. Nene Hilario and Voshon Lenard’s expiring deals, and the gimpy Kenyon Martin) because A.I.’s camp was pushing for a trade. Which would seem to contradict Iverson’s public statements over All-Star Weekend that he dearly wanted to stay in Philly.