Talks between New York and Seattle about a possible mega trade involving Patrick Ewing and Vin Baker have ended and the deal is dead.
The development capped a days-long trade saga involving Ewing, whose path to the SuperSonics appeared paved on Monday as part of a 13-player, four-team mega deal believed to be the biggest in NBA history.
Efforts to salvage that deal, which collapsed when the Detroit Pistons backed out, have ended, said Sonics general manager Wally Walker.
Knicks general manager Scott Layden said he would continue to broker a deal to trade Ewing, although he said the 38-year-old center would likely be a member of the team when training camp opens Oct. 3.
Ewing retains his no-trade clause and can veto any trade not to his liking.
The talks hit yet another bump Thursday when Seattle balked at New York’s demand for Seattle starter Horace Grant in addition to Baker, ESPN.com reported. The Knicks intended to sign and trade Grant to the Los Angeles Lakers for forward Glen Rice, and the Sonics objected to ultimately giving up Grant to a divisional rival.
The teams now must tally their losses and tend to wounded egos.
Baker, not fond of coach Paul Westphal, had been eager to get out of Seattle and play near his home state of Connecticut.
Ewing, meanwhile, apparently wants out of New York so badly he was willing to accept a trade to Seattle, which lies a continent away from the two places where he would prefer to play: Washington or Miami.
Details of Original Deal
Detroit reportedly backed out because of concerns about not benefiting from the four-team trade to the same degree as their counterparts. The Pistons also were reportedly more interested in Dallas’ offer to send Cedric Ceballos, Erick Murdock and John Wallace to Detroit in exchange for Christian Laettner, a deal that is still in the works.
Under the original deal, the Lakers would have sent center Travis Knight and Rice in a sign-and-trade agreement to the Knicks, with Los Angeles receiving center Chris Dudley in return. Plus, the Lakers also would receive Laettner from the Pistons.
Detroit, attempting to clear room under its salary cap, would have taken on a number of role players, including Vernon Maxwell, Lazaro Borrell, Greg Foster and Vladimir Stepania from Seattle, and John Celestand and Tyronn Lue from the Lakers, and David Wingate from the Knicks, as well as a pair of first-round draft picks (one each from the Lakers and Knicks) and cash from New York.
Trade Was Rumored
Although Ewing, voted one of the top 50 basketball players of the century, has been troubled by injuries in recent years, he remains one of the league’s top centers. He has been a Knick for his entire 15-year career, producing perennial play-off berths, and two trips to the NBA Finals.
He is entering the final year of a four-year, $60 million contract and wants an extension for at least two more seasons. He has said he plans to play for three more years.
Baker, 28, a 6-11, 250-pound power forward, is due to make $10 million next season — meaning other players would have to be included in a deal to make it work under NBA salary cap guidelines. Ewing’s salary for the upcoming season will be $14 million.
ABC affiliate WABC-TV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.