Teams Are Interested in Wizards' Navarro
According to team and league sources, a handful of teams have contacted the Washington Wizards with possible trade proposals for guard Juan Carlos Navarro, who recently negotiated a way out of his contract with FC Barcelona of the Spanish Pro League.
The Wizards drafted Navarro in the second round of the 2002 draft and have retained his NBA rights. The Wizards can offer the 6-foot-4, 170-pound Navarro a contract up to their full mid-level exception (a first-year salary of about $5.8 million depending on the new salary cap, which will be released next week.)
One of the top players in Europe, Navarro averaged 17.3 points last season and his style of play has been compared to that of San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili. According to one league source, the Miami Heat has long been interested in Navarro and would consider a sign-and-trade deal involving free agent forward James Posey, an excellent defender who averaged 7.7 points and 5.0 rebounds last season.
Miami recently lost one free agent when shooting guard Jason Kapono signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the Toronto Raptors and may view Navarro as a possible replacement. The Memphis Grizzlies may also be interested in acquiring Navarro, who played on Spain's national team with Grizzlies center Pau Gasol.
Meanwhile, the Wizards continue to negotiate with the agents representing free agent shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson and restricted free agent forward Andray Blatche.
According to league sources, the Wizards are considering possible trades involving centers Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood. However, a source indicated that Thomas's contract contains a hefty trade kicker that would push his salary to about $7.3 million next season, and that has caused several teams to reconsider trade proposals for the veteran center.
-- Ivan Carter