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The Latest Nocioni Rumor

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Marc Stein give us the following scoop on TrueHoop.

There is some hope, according to NBA front-office sources, for a three-way deal that is currently in the exploratory-discussion phase.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings, in considering the feasibility of a Samuel Dalembert-for-Kenny Thomas swap, have discussed expanding that concept with Boston by trying to draw in the Celtics on a potential three-way deal that would land Andres Nocioni with the Celts.

Sources further stressed over the past 48 hours that this should be classified as an ongoing conversation as the teams involved decide how much they like what's on the table.

But the full deal as it stands, if it eventually gets that far, would send Nocioni to Boston, Kenny Thomas, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to Philadelphia and Dalembert and J.R. Giddens to Sacramento.

Taking the teams one by one:

*Boston has had interest in Nocioni from the minute Sacramento acquired him in February in the deal that dispatched Brad Miller and John Salmons to Chicago. That said, Boston has also been hesitant since February about acting upon that interest because Nocioni has three years and more than $20 years left on his contract after this season. That's a lot of long-term cash for the Celts to take on -- even if Nocioni turned out to be a James Posey-style Mr. Versatile for them -- after they just signed Rajon Rondo to a lucrative extension and with decisions about the futures of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen looming. So Boston pulling out because of financial concerns likely ranks as the biggest impediment to this deal.

Very interesting.

As Stein stresses, this sounds like an ongoing discussion rather than something imminent, but it is good food for discussion on a non-game day.

I've detailed the pros and cons of such a deal in the past. It only makes sense to discuss it and we know a similar deal was discussed last year.

Personally I think I'd roll the dice. He's a hard nosed competitor that needs a winning environment to really shine his brightest. His deal is rather large, but the cap number actually decreases each year and the price of picking him up is dirt cheap (expiring deals). He's even on the south side of 30, so he'll be a good piece for the present and near future.

Still, that's a big check to cut, so I wouldn't be shocked or dismayed to see the team pass.

What do you think?

Update: Via the Herald

On another front, a team source denied that the Celtics are in discussions to join a three-team deal that would land them Sacramento swingman Andres Nocioni. The team simply doesn’t have the flexibility to absorb Nocioni’s contract, which pays him $20.5 million over the next three seasons.