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http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1642156

I don't get this one...

Associated Press

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks bulked up an already strong offense Monday, acquiring All-Star forward Antoine Walker from the Boston Celtics in a five-player trade.

Walker and LaFrentz can still battle, after they switch uniforms.

The Celtics agreed to take center Raef LaFrentz and the four years remaining on a $69 million, five-year contract signed before last season.

The Celtics also get Jiri Welsch and Chris Mills, players the Mavericks got in an offseason trade that also brought Antawn Jamison from Golden State, and Dallas' first-round pick in 2004. The Mavericks will get guard Tony Delk from Boston.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed the deal to The Associated Press, saying it was pending league approval.

"It's not every day that a 27-year-old All-Star becomes available," said Donnie Nelson, Dallas' president of basketball operations. "We feel we've got one of the most versatile coaches in the league. To add a player of Antoine's ability just gives [coach Don Nelson] more options to work with."

Nelson struck the deal with Danny Ainge, who became Boston's head of basketball operations in May. The two are close friends, with Nelson having been an assistant to Ainge in Phoenix.

Between his jobs with the Suns and Celtics, Ainge was a TV analyst and he said on the air he did not like Walker's game. Since joining Boston, he's said he had no intention of trading Walker.

Now Walker, a three-time All-Star who averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds last season, goes from playing alongside one high scorer in Paul Pierce to being joined by four: Dallas' nucleus of Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley, plus Jamison, who was added in August.

The Mavericks, the NBA's highest-scoring team the last two years, have now upgraded a roster that won 60 games and reached the Western Conference finals last season. It also counters the changes made by fellow Western Conference opponents San Antonio, Sacramento and the Lakers.

Walker has size (6 feet 9, 245 pounds) but can run the offense. His dribbling and passing skills make him the prototype "point forward" coveted by Don Nelson.

Walker led the Celtics in assists the last three seasons, and he and Pierce combined to average nearly half of Boston's points during that span.

"We see Antoine as a triple-double guy," said Donnie Nelson, the coach's son and an assistant coach. "I know in some form or fashion at the end of the game you're going to see the Big Three and Antoine Squared."

Donnie Nelson said Nowitzki will get more minutes at center. Shawn Bradley and Danny Fortson, also acquired in the Golden State trade, will help man the position. Eduardo Najera could play there, too.

Delk will be a backup swingman, with Travis Best still the primary relief for Nash. Nelson said Delk may be able to provide some of the intangibles lost when Nick Van Exel was sent to Golden State.

"He's not afraid, he's tough and experienced," Nelson said, referring to Delk. "He's got a knack for making big shots and big plays."

LaFrentz was acquired from Denver at the trade deadline two seasons ago, then re-signed last summer. He was mostly a disappointment last season, averaging just 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds.

The Mavericks had coveted Welsch in their trade with the Warriors but were willing to give up on the project to upgrade their roster now. The 6-foot-7 swingman from the Czech Republic was a first-round pick last season but saw limited time as a rookie with Golden State.

The oft-injured Mills was seen as a trading chip from the time Dallas acquired him. The forward played only 112 games the last four seasons but has a big contract that expires after this year, which will help the Celtics clear room under the salary cap. He hasn't played this preseason.

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Will Dallas every score under 100 points? Also who on Dallas will guard the big men in the West?

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Will Dallas ever get an offensive rebound?

I don't understand this from either teams perspective. Dallas didn't give up much to get Walker, but now they have even less in the paint then they had previously and I now see a very dangerous chemistry problem because I know Walker will demand touches and he doesn't deserve them, especially in Dallas.

As for Boston I can't believe they couldn't get more than Raef Lafrenz for Walker. Sure he's overrated but Raef has yet to prove he can be anything but an average center.

I can't imagine either team stays pat with their currnet rosters. Boston needs another scorer desperately and Dallas really needs a center.

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complete and total agreement from me, I think he is the most overrated player in all sports right now. I still have absolutely no idea where people get that he is a good player.

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I think they're counting on Danny Fortson to get their rebounds and even guard the big men of the west. It's sad that with a giant like Bradley, and another 7 footer in Nowitzki, they have to rely on an undersized power forward at center. I think they gave up on Raef too soon.

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They didn't give up on Raef, they got rid of that ridiculous contract to a team stupid enough to take it. Danny Fortson won't get any minutes either, especially with Jamison supposedly coming off the bench. What a ridiculous concept of team basketball that's suppose to be. They're still not as good as the Spurs in the playoffs.

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I think they're the fourth best team in the west, that is if the TWolves come together and look as good in real life as they do on paper. But, i'll bet whatever that Fortson gets A LOT of minutes in the middle on that team.

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Here are the teams that either are better for sure, or might be better:

Spurs

Kings

Lakers

TWolves

The Suns and Trailblazers are two teams that have a shot at beating the Mav's too.

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I think the Kings have missed their chance and won't be as dominant this season as they have the past few. They need a good Vlade, and he's now past his prime. They're still a good squad, but in my opinion, they aren't contenders in the west anymore. I think if the Mavs get someone like Fortson to be that presence in the paint and grab some rebounds, they could easily beat the Kings in a best of 7 series. The Suns went to the finals riding an undersized Barkley. I'm not comparing Fortson to a hall of famer, but i'm saying it can be done if they have that role player with all that offense. I think the TWolves look good on paper, but i'm very curious to see how they actually play together.

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It's not impossible for him to have a presence, but what i'm saying is he'll probably be the toughest presence the Mavs can put in the paint. He's the only one who'll go for every rebound, and try to defend Shaq. Now, i know he can't defend Shaq, but who in the league really can? Like i said, this formula worked for the Suns in 93 or 94, i can't remember which, and i think the Mavs can do it again.

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Not only is Vlade Divac better than Danny Fortson but so is the Kings back-up center, Brad Miller. As a side note the Mavs are trying to get Sabonis out of retirement so they can have a presence in the paint who is also a good ball handler and great passer. If they put Sabonis and Dirk in the low post the opposing team can guard them one on one and give them a lot of points or double team and pray that it doesn't make it to one of their many sharpshooters.

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Are there centers in the league better in the paint than Fortson? OF course. Are there Forwards in the league better than Fortson in the paint? Of course. All i'm saying is that with as much offense as they have, they might be able to get away with what he'll give them in the middle. A big, agressive body to grab rebounds and put a body on those bigger bodies that always seem to beat the Mavs. He's the best player for their team they got from that trade with Golden State, in my opinion. Jamison is the most talented player in that trade, but they've got three or four players like him already.

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They'll have to take turns to see who gets to score 30 points each night. I would advise them to make another trade using what they already have. They'd get a better return than the Boston deal because they have so much talent. Just in case anyone is still thinking about a Ben Wallace trade, that would probably be the best candidate.

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