Phoenix general manager Bryan Colangelo hinted for weeks that he hoped to pull off one last deal before the Suns opened training camp.
No one had any idea he would be able to get so much for so little.
Colangelo maneuvered a three-team deal that landed Antonio McDyess in the Valley of the Sun. Acquiring a young, athletic power forward can be considered a coup at almost any price.
In fact, the Suns prying McDyess loose from Denver by sending a couple of shooting guards (Wesley Person and Tony Dumas) to Cleveland and throwing a bevy of draft picks the Nuggets’ way qualifies as criminal.
Phoenix hasn’t fleeced a franchise like this since … well, since 10 months ago, when former Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd found himself fast-breaking to the desert.
Kidd. McDyess. Small forward Cliff Robinson, a refugee from Portland, who took less money in free agency this summer to sign with Phoenix. The Suns should feel guilty about building this team at the expense of their Western Conference brethren, but it’s doubtful they do.
The Suns won’t win the most games in the league this season. But they should score the most points, and their future is bright.
“You add McDyess to a nucleus of other players, Jason Kidd in particular, and we’re very thrilled about the prospects of this team,” Colangelo said. “I would like to think we’re on the doorstep, knocking.”
McDyess and the Nuggets agreed that neither side would bad-mouth the other in the event of a trade.
The truce lasted only a few hours. Allan Bristow, Denver’s vice president of basketball operations, said the club traded McDyess rather than give him the six-year, $100 million extension he sought because they didn’t project that he would be a superstar.
“Now he’s saying I’m not this and I’m not that,” McDyess said. “When he wanted to sign me, I was all that. If I had signed with Denver, then I wonder what he would have said?
“I know he’s got two faces. You can print that.”
When it rains
Shawn Kemp disrupted Seattle’s training camp last season because he was unhappy with his contract. Ownership thought it had avoided a repeat performance when it shipped Kemp to Cleveland last month.
Think again. The SuperSonics hadn’t even dribbled the first ball of camp when coach George Karl announced at media day that he was unhappy that he hadn’t received an extension.
“I’m very disenchanted and disillusioned about this,” said Karl, who is in the final season of a contract that will pay him $3.5 million. “Why did they put me in this position?”
Why? Because Karl chose that option during negotiations last season.
“He was given an opportunity to sign a multi-year extension last summer and chose to go for a oneyear extension,” club president Wally Walker said.
At the news conference to announce it had traded Kemp, Walker said the Sonics had acquired Vin Webber. A few minutes later, after making the same mistake again, Walker conceded Seattle had been talking to one other team.
Somehow, you get the impression that team was Washington and the player was Chris Webber.
Walker, however, has company on the Freudian coach. At Thursday’s media day, Chicago coach Phil Jackson slipped and said this would be his last season as coach of the Knicks.