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Details Of The Deal That Wasn't

Shira Springer reports on the details of the mega 4 team deal that ended when Ainge walked away.  Sounds like Steve Bulpett was right about the opinion in Boston of Jermaine O'Neal.  I get the feeling Ainge would be interested if the price was very low, but he's not about to overpay.  And speaking of overpaying, Kevin McHale still seems to be asking for the moon.  He wants Al Jefferson and that #5 pick badly.  My take is that all the teams (including the Suns, Lakers, and Pacers) are drawing lines in the sand trying to get each other to budge.  The big question is who will blink in the next 2 days.

(Quotes after the jump but the whole article is worth the read)

There are ongoing discussions concerning a four-team trade that could send Pacers forward/center Jermaine O'Neal to the Celtics, according to league sources. But those same sources said that it is extremely unlikely that O'Neal will ever play in a Boston uniform. Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge has never been a big fan of O'Neal's, and there remains the not-so-small matter of O’Neal being able to opt out of his contract after next season.

But the teams involved in the talks — Boston, Indiana, Minnesota, and the Lakers — and the players and picks involved are worth noting because they could reappear in reconstituted trades. The Celtics could revisit a deal with Phoenix, among other teams.

With less than 48 hours until the draft, teams are hustling and compromising in an effort to come to terms on trades.

If the four teams involved agreed to the deal as discussed yesterday, the Celtics would send Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, and the No. 5 pick to the Timberwolves and receive just O’Neal in return. Kevin Garnett would go from Minnesota to the Lakers. The Timberwolves would receive big man Kwame Brown and the No. 19 pick from the Lakers. The Pacers would take Lakers forward Lamar Odom and young Lakers center Andrew Bynum to complete the transaction.

But if the ill will between O’Neal and Boston did not present enough of a stumbling block, Minnesota vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale was prepared to add another. According to league sources, McHale doesn’t want to do the deal unless Al Jefferson is included in the package sent to the Timberwolves.

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