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Kerry Eggers has a piece this morning about the Sonics and their woes right here.  Tucked amid tales of losing streaks, P.J.'s quest for Italian restaurants, and Paul Allen visiting the All-Star game is an interesting (and quizzical) little tidbit:

Shaquille O'Neal to the LA Lakers. Pau Gasol to Phoenix. Jason Kidd to Dallas (maybe). Next up: Luol Deng to Portland for Travis Outlaw?

Not hardly. The chances, though, of a deal involving the Blazers?

"Who knows?" says Portland General Manager Kevin Pritchard. "At this point, we're not aggressively looking. We've taken a lot of calls, because we have a lot of young pieces who are attractive to other teams. But we're not making any. We like our team."

Forget the Pritchard stuff.  That's the same thing he has been saying (and I believe it's the truth).  Back up a minute...Luol Deng?  Where did that come from?  Has anyone heard anything of the sort or did Kerry just make that up out of whole cloth?  Deng certainly doesn't fit the pattern of Gasol, Shaq, and Kidd, being a youngster.  It's an odd comparison if he's just making it up.

I'm going to firmly believe that Chicago would never trade him until I hear different from a reliable (and unequivocable) source.  But what would you give up to get him if he were available?  What if it cost you Outlaw, or Outlaw and Webster?  Or more?

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)