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Economy keeps most big names from being traded

Orlando gets point guard Rafer Alston from Houston, but Shaquille O'Neal, Amare Stoudemire and Vince Carter stay in place.

February 20, 2009|Associated Press

Shaquille O'Neal and all the other big names stayed put Thursday on trade deadline day, with owners perhaps scared of making moves that added salary in an uncertain economic climate.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were among the suitors that reportedly reached out to the Phoenix Suns to inquire about O'Neal, but they couldn't close a deal for him or any other big man they sought.

The Suns' Amare Stoudemire and the New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter headlined the stars who had space on the rumor mill in recent weeks but went nowhere, with teams having to balance a player's impact on the court with his effect on the wallet.

"If anybody hasn't figured out that the economy is hitting every company in the country and in the world, they're not very bright," Dallas owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday.

The only top contender to make an upgrade was the Orlando Magic, which landed point guard Rafer Alston from the Houston Rockets in a three-team deal that also included the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Rockets got Magic forward Brian Cook and Grizzlies guard Kyle Lowry.

The Magic got Alston on the day that the team announced All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

In other notable moves:

The Chicago Bulls traded unhappy guard Larry Hughes to the New York Knicks for Tim Thomas, Jerome James and Anthony Roberson. Chicago also traded guard Thabo Sefolosha to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2009 first-round draft pick.

The Knicks also acquired Chris Wilcox from Oklahoma City for Malik Rose.

Ginobili hurting

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will be sidelined two to three weeks with a stress reaction in his right ankle.

It's not the same ankle that Ginobili had surgery on last summer after the Olympics, forcing him to miss the first 12 games of the season.

Granger out

Indiana Pacers All-Star swingman Danny Granger will miss up to three weeks with a partial tendon tear in his right foot, the team said.

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