Bucks: Victims of insider trading?
SI.com's Marty Burns is reporting that the Bucks attempted to acquire Atlanta F Al Harrington but their efforts may have been thwarted by a somewhat unholy and highly suspect triangular arrangement between the Pacers, Hornets, and Hawks.
Here is the crux of Burns allegation. The Bucks reportedly offered the Hawks Jamaal Magliore for Al Harrington. The Hawks turned them down. Now the Hawks appear poised to accept the Pacers offer of cash plus a future draft pick instead.
Why the Hawks consider the Pacers offer superior to the Bucks is a bit mysterious. What is clear, as Burns reports, is that current Hawks GM Billy Knight is a former associate of Pacers GM Donnie Walsh, and that may have been decisive. While Knight's decision is arguably a breach of his fiduciary duty to the Hawks, there's nothing really illicit about rejecting the Bucks offer and accepting the Pacers. After all, its his job he's putting on the line.
The more nefarious transaction is the one that allowed the Pacers to obtain the "trade exception" in the first place. The Hornets traded it to them for little consideration in a deal that has "curious" written all over it. Speculation around the league is that Hornets owner George Shinn gifted the trade exception to the Pacers as grease money for his anticipated permanent relocation to Oklahoma. (Pacers owner Herb Simon serves on the association's relocation committee). The generosity of the Hornets offer even took Walsh by surprise. "I think (Shinn) did us a favor, but I am not exactly sure why".
Its pretty obvious why, and the whole thing is crass and unethical. Especially when it leads to a situation where bread is taken out of the mouth of my Bucks.