[Update: Paxson talked to the media after practice today, and I couldn't transcribe Pax's exact words but Pax more-or-less said they talked to the Lakers but the talks are done for now. Or kindof done for now. I guess your interpretation depends on how much you want to believe it's done, one way or another.]
I'm so turned around on this that I have no sense of when to roll it into another thread so I'll leave that up to our omnipetent lourde, Matt. And just to satisfy him, I offer the latest from Chris Sheridan and what he "has learned" from the crafty ESPN "Sources"....
This is like attack of the CHUD (that's the espn link) in that it is seedy, ill-conceived and just won't die. Now, ESPN.com has done us the favor of clarifying the 'true' state of the matter further....Deng is very much in play in the conversations between Chicago and Los Angeles, ESPN.com has learned.
As ESPN.com reported on Saturday, the Lakers have asked for Deng, Thomas, guard Ben Gordon and rookie Joakim Noah as the core parts of any trade for Bryant.
Contrary to most reports, the Bulls remain ready and willing to deal Deng, the source said. But if they're going to include Deng in a deal, they will not part with more than one of the other three, said the source.
I don't know how believable that sounds all though I'm encouraged by the fact that we won't give up half of our team and frontrow seats to "Wicked" for Kobe. The other part that I liked?The Bulls can afford to sit back and wait for the Lakers to cave, knowing that when a team trades a superstar, it rarely gets equal value in return. (See the Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson and Vince Carter trades, for example.)
It surprises me that the Lakers' brass hasn't taken more heat for their misguided notion of Kobe's "worth" and what they need to get for him. They dealt Shaq for Lamar Odom and Caron Butler for sh!t's sake!!!!
Anyways, sit back, drink in the wonder that is major network journalism and try not to gouge your eye out with a spoon.