A three-way mega trade thought to be dead — involving Patrick Ewing, Glen Rice and Horace Grant — is reportedly still alive.
The scenario calls for Patrick Ewing to go from the New York Knicks to the Seattle SuperSonics, Glen Rice from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Knicks, and Grant from the Sonics to the Lakers.
Four newspapers in three cities — The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer — are reporting the deal today, citing unidentified NBA officials.
The Sonics and Lakers are described as ready to close the deal, and waiting for the Knicks to sign off on it.
Ewing, Rice and Grant were the key players, but as many as five others could be involved to make the trade fit salary-cap requirements.
The New York Times says the Knicks and the Lakers possibly could swap backup centers Chris Dudley and Travis Knight.
The Seattle Times says that for salary-cap purposes, the Sonics would have to ship off such role players as Greg Foster, Vladimir Stepania and Vernon Maxwell.
Neither Scott Layden, the Knicks’ general manager, nor coach Jeff Van Gundy could be reached for comment yesterday, according to The New York Times. Efforts to reach the Knicks today were unsuccessful.
The Los Angeles Times reached Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak in Hawaii, but he declined comment.
Sonics general manager Wally Walker told Grant on Friday a trade was possible, without giving him details.
Grant told the Seatte Times, “If I go to L.A., they might as well fit us for another ring.”
Trade Had Collapsed Last Month
The trade started off last month as a four-team, 13-player deal that would have been the largest in NBA history. But it fell apart when the Detroit Pistons backed out.
Ewing also was headed to Seattle in that trade. The Knicks in return, would have received Vin Baker from the Sonics, along with Rice and Knight from Los Angeles. The Lakers would have acquired Dudley and Detroit’s Christian Laettner.
The Pistons pulled out because of fan backlash and because the Dallas Mavericks offered Cedric Ceballos for Laettner on the day the deal was supposed to be completed. Dallas and Detroit completed that trade two weeks ago.
Ewing was said to have become extremely upset at media and fan criticism; it had become known that he was being used as trade bait. Several league officials say he’s adamant about not returning to New York for his 16th season.
Just days after the four-team trade collapsed, Layden said the Knicks would continue to try to trade Ewing. He said Ewing and his agent, David Falk, had helped orchestrate the possible trade and they would remain involved in future talks.
The Knicks were said to be intent on getting Rice, who also is a Falk client. The Lakers were said to be insisting on a power forward in return.
Ewing will make $14 million dollars this season, his last under contract. He turned 38 last month. Rice and Grant are 35.