No deal on table, but Blazers talking Wallace trade
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers have been talking about trading Rasheed Wallace and Ruben Patterson to the New Jersey Nets for Dikembe Mutombo and Kenyon Martin, according to a newspaper report.
"There have been some discussions, but there is not a trade on the table at this moment," coach Maurice Cheeks told The Oregonian.
The Blazers apparently are hesitant to make the trade because Portland general manager John Nash does not want to inherit Mutombo's salary, which is $17.9 million this season and $19.7 million next season.
Wallace is in the final year of a contract which will pay him $17 million.
Nash, who was the Nets' general manager from 1996-2001, was noncommittal when asked about the trade.
"I'm not at liberty to discuss that," Nash said. "As a general policy, I won't confirm or deny that we are involved in a trade."
Nets president Rod Thorn was traveling to West Virginia for his son's wedding and could not be reached for comment.
Although Cheeks said he wants to keep Wallace, he said the team has continually looked to trade him this summer.
"There have been a lot of things going on about Rasheed," Cheeks said. "And not just about Rasheed, a lot of other players, too. And there have been some deals on the table."
Although Wallace has led the Blazers in scoring the past four seasons, he also has come to symbolize a poor team attitude that owner Paul Allen and new managers are attempting to change.
Wallace led the NBA in technical fouls from 1999-2002, setting a record with 41 in 2000-01, and he has been suspended for 11 games during the past three seasons for incidents ranging from attacking a referee to throwing a towel at a referee to throwing a towel at a teammate. He was cited for marijuana possession last season.
"I know Rasheed has not been the best soldier," Cheeks said. "But I think he is trying to change. Right now, he is working out in Las Vegas, and for Rasheed to be doing that at this time of the year is a very positive sign."
As general manager of the Nets, Nash picked Martin with the No. 1 choice in the 2000 draft. The 6-foot-9 power forward averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, but like Wallace he has received suspensions for his conduct, primarily flagrant fouls.
Mutombo is a 12-year NBA veteran who was injured much of last season, limiting him to 24 games with an average 5.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 21.4 minutes. A 7-2, 265-pound center, Mutombo is the only player in NBA history to win the league's Defensive Player of the Year award four times.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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