New Jersey deals Keith Van Horn and Todd MacCulloch to Philadelphia for Dikembe Mutombo. Mutombo gives New Jersey a much more authoritative presence in the post. Philadelphia, meanwhile, gets perimeter shooting from Van Horn along with a young center in MacCulloch.
Sacramento signs Keon Clark. The Western Conference has been looking for a way to stop Shaquille O'Neal. Kings GM Geoff Petrie's solution this summer was to sign 6-11 Clark from Toronto, who will supplement Vlade Divac for a heavy one-two punch at the Lakers' big man.
Washington sends Richard Hamilton and Hubert Davis to Detroit for Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse's career average is 5.6 points better than Hamilton's, and his occasional tendency to not share well with others should be kept in check by the tall shadow of fellow Tarheel Michael Jordan.
Clippers swap with Cavaliers, get Andre Miller for Darius Miles. Last year's league assists leader, Miller should bring some stability and direction to the youthful Los Angeles lineup.
NBA's offseason woes a parade of problems
The NBA offseason is supposed to be a happy, cheery time for the men who make millions throwing a ball into a hoop. A time of rest. A time of contemplation. A time without excessive police activity.
Yet as officials prepare for the 2002-2003 season to tip off in Orlando Tuesday night, they will be looking back on a summer marked not by lemonade and lounge chairs but a seemingly unending parade of problems.
Nearly a dozen players were arrested on offenses ranging from drunk driving to spousal abuse, and another, Sacramento's Chris Webber, was indicted for lying to a federal grand jury. When the law wasn't pushing players around, the rest of the world was -- at the World Championships in Indianapolis, an all-NBA American team staggered to an embarrassing sixth-place finish, two spots behind a New Zealand club with just one NBA player, career backup Sean Marks.
Upon further review: Instant replay is added
For the first time in NBA history instant replay is implemented:
Will be used at the end of every quarter (including overtime) only after made shots at the horn with no time showing on the clock.
Will be used to determine the validity of baskets deemed good or no good.
Can determine whether a shot was a two-, or three-pointer, whether the shooter was out of bounds or if a called foul happened after time expired, in which case the foul would be waved off. A foul can not be called if replay shows there was contact before time expired.
Reviewing plays at the buzzer will be automatic. The 24-second clocks that rest above the baskets will be triangular instead of flat-faced so they can be visible to television cameras from various vantage points. And instead of a singular red lamp above the 24-second clock illuminating at the sound of the quarter-ending horn, the entire outline of the backboard will light up red at the end of quarters.
Five players to watch while you still can
Michael Jordan is in the final year of his contract with the Wizards and could be coming off the bench this season. He also turns 40 in February. Yeah, this may be the last chance to catch the best player in league history.
Karl Malone has hinted that he may retire after this season. He just won't announce it until after Utah's season is over. Sounds like a farewell tour.
David Robinson's role for San Antonio continues to be secondary as Tim Duncan is in control of the middle for the Spurs. The Navy product has his NBA championship ring and a pair of Olympic gold medals. The end may be near.
Reggie Miller, 37, is the most prolific three-point shooter in league history, but he's on an Indiana team where the average age is 25.3 and average experience is 3.8 years. That can lead to early retirement.
John Stockton is the all-time leader in assists (15,177) and steals (3,128) and has played more games (1,422) than any active player. But if Malone leaves Utah after the season, to whom will Stockton deliver pick and roll passes?
Five players who have plenty to prove
Vince Carter returns from left knee surgery which had him on the bench as Toronto snapped a 13-game losing streak with Carter and made a late-season run into the playoffs. However, the Raptors have only advanced past the first round of the postseason once in Carter's four seasons. Expecations are high.
Grant Hill joined Orlando in 2000 and has played in a grand total of 18 games. The Magic have made the playoffs both seasons but exited quickly in the first round. Hill claims his left ankle is healed after two years of surgery and rehab. Can a third comeback attempt be the charm?
Darius Miles was never asked to do it all when he played for the Clippers. Now he is expected to be Cleveland's go-to guy after being acquired in a trade for all-star point guard Andre Miller. Will he be up to the task?
Larry Hughes, 24, is in his fifth season in the league and with his third team. He never seemed to fit in Philadelphia or Golden State. But if the preseason is any indication, he's could provide the Wizards with an added scoring threat and energy.
Four rookies who could make an impact
Yao Ming. No other No. 1 draft pick has begun his NBA career with as much mystery. How will the Rockets center handle the speed and athleticism of his teammates and opponents? How will he handle Shaq in the paint? Stay tuned.
Jay Williams arrives from Duke with expectations of filling the Bulls leadership role once held by No. 23. There will be growing pains, but if anyone can do it, Williams has the pedigree.
Drew Gooden could give Memphis its second Rookie of the Year recipient (Pau Gasol last season). He should make an immediate impact on the offensive boards and teamed with Gasol and Shane Battier give the Grizzlies a formidable front court.
Amare Stoudemire, 19, was the only high school basketball player selected in the draft in July. Phoenix hopes he could become a player in the mold of the Nets' Kenyon Martin. If starter Tom Gugliotta doesn't stay healthy (knee), he'll get his chance.
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