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It's a highly questionable deal for Sacramento's Geoff Petrie, and I can't remember ever saying that before.
You had to assume a GM as shrewd as Petrie -- widely regarded as one of the league's best -- would get Glenn Robinson's expiring contract as part of a Webber package in the interest of salary-cap relief. Instead Sacramento acquired three smallish power forwards (Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson and Brian Skinner) who possess deals that aren't cap-friendly. Worse yet, Stojakovic will still be a free agent after next season, and as long as Vlade Divac remains with the Lakers, Sacramento's hated rivals will have a shot at luring Peja away. There remains a possibility that the Lakers could trade Divac before Thursday's trading deadline, but that's because Divac is injured and can't help them. Chances are Divac will be retired by the summer of 2006, putting him in position to move into a Lakers front-office role and thus putting Divac in prime position to recruit his best friend to Hollywood. At first glance, then, you have to like this blockbuster much more for Sixers president Billy King than Petrie. Look at everything King accomplished here:
There's no disputing Petrie's contention that it'll be easier to rebuild the Kings with three players earning the same salary as Webber does alone. In other words, moving Thomas or Williamson or Skinner separately in future trades will be easier than it was to find a Webber taker. You can likewise agree with the Kings' contention that they have some role-player depth in the short term to complement what still qualifies as a decent foursome: Mike Bibby, Brad Miller, Cuttino Mobley and Stojakovic. Yet that's about all we can endorse from the Sacto end. It's difficult not to focus on how giddy Iverson must be; winning the All-Star Game's MVP trophy was apparently just an appetizer. Sources close to Webber indicated late Wednesday that Webb, too, is happy with the move. Bittersweet as it must be to leave a franchise he lifted to prominence, Webb is said to be pleased to have a chance to win in his new city and leave a club (and an increasingly frustrated fan base) that didn't want him. Yup. The suspicion here is that the biggest smiles Saturday, when the Kings visit the Sixers, will all be on the Philly side. The reality turned out that although Webber had 16 points and 11 rebounds for his new team, the visiting Kings wound up having the last laugh on Saturday.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.