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According to sources, the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets have had advanced discussions about a trade that would send center Marreese Speights from Philly to Denver for a future second-round pick. However, the trade has not been completed and may not occur, depending on whether the Nuggets are able to retain their free agent center Nene.
Denver is still hopeful it can re-sign Nene, but the Rockets, Pacers and Nets are all in hot pursuit of the 29-year-old center, who averaged 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds last season. Each has significant cap room, though the Rockets would have had more had they been able to complete the three-team deal with the Lakers and Hornets that would have sent Chris Paul to Los Angeles. Houston would have taken Pau Gasol and his $18 million salary this season, but it would have dealt Kevin Martin ($12 million this season), Luis Scola ($8.5 million) and Goran Dragic ($2.1 million) to New Orleans, clearing even more room to go after Nene.
Speights, 24, was Philadelphia’s first-round pick in 2008, averaging 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 16 minutes a game his rookie season. But injuries the last two seasons have caused him to fall out of favor, and the Sixers have put him on the trading block.
The Nuggets, however, have other big man options on the table if Nene departs, and will explore those before returning to the potential Speights trade, a league source said. The Sixers, another source said, have other possibilities on the table as well for Speights as they assess his trade value.
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A league source said Sunday afternoon that the potential sign-and-trade deal between the New Orleans Hornets and Boston Celtics which would have sent forward David West to Boston is dead, and confirmed that West is likely headed to the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers have more cap room to offer the 31-year-old West than the Celtics could generate in the sign-and-trade proposal, which developed late last week while the Hornets were also working on the Paul-to-LA trade. But that trade fell through Saturday night, with Los Angeles opting to send Lamar Odom to Houston for a 2012 first-round pick.
ESPN.com first reported West’s progress toward a deal with Indiana.
UPDATE: David West’s agent is saying his client has indeed agreed to a two-year, $20 million-dollar deal with the Pacers.