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Thursday, February 23, 2006
UPDATED: Denver, Seattle, and Portland in a Northwest Three-Way


It's not official yet.

Here's how Marc Stein tells it: Expiring contract Voshon Lenard and one-year center Vitaly Potapenko to Portland, Ruben Patterson and Reggie Evans to Denver, and Earl Watson to Seattle. ESPN has more.

Denver gets the best ball-players out of the deal. They just got downright feisty. But everyone fills needs. I hope Earl Watson blossoms in Seattle. I like it.

Portland gets rid of Patterson, and gains cap space down the road. Also, I suppose Potapenko gives Portland a little insurance if a trade or injury costs them a center, which seems to be happening a lot.

UPDATE: ESPN is now reporting some new wrinkles. Reportedly guard Charles Smith is also headed to Denver, and Seattle is getting a second-round pick from Denver. The upshot is this:
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, 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.


ANOTHER UPDATE: Ooh, this is getting fun. The Blazer Blog has news that Sacramento is reportedly getting in on the action, essentially taking Vitaly Potapenko and Sergei Monia from Portland for Brian Skinner. Eric Marentette quotes Ian Furness of Portland's SportsRadio 1080:
My sources (both in Seattle and Denver) telling me it is now a 4 team deal.... I just reported this on the air about 15 minutes ago.
Seattle, Sacramento, Portland, and Denver
Portland: Brian Skinner, Voshon Leonard
Sacramento: Potapenko, Sergei Monia
Seattle: Watson, Bryon Russell, 2nd round pick
Denver: Ruben, Charles Smith, Reggie Evans

There are still about ten minutes before the deadline. Let's see if we can get a fifth team involved just for fun.