Walton Wants Out of Portland: Sixers on his Short List
Bill Walton, star center of the Portland Trail Blazers who has asked to be traded, has selected the Golden State Warriors as his next team. The Warriors were Walton's pick out of seven teams he had indicated he might like to play for. The others were San Diego, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
The Trail Blazers, however, say no deal will be made unless Portland gets a center to replace the National Basketball Association's most valuable player last season.
"They don't have any centers we're interested in," Portland General Manager Harry Glickman said. "They'd have to go out and acquire one.
"We gave them a whole shopping list of names," added Glickman. "We'll tell them what we're interested in and if they can deliver it, we'll work something out and if not we won't."
Walton, who became disenchanted with Portland after discovering earlier this month that he had played in this year's playoff series against Seattle on a broken left foot, has been on crutches since reinjuring the foot in the second game of the series. Walton had a cast put on the foot Friday.
Spokesmen for Walton doubted he would be ready for preseason practice and might not be able to play at all next season.
"Neither the doctor nor Golden State want to get locked in on a time frame for Bill's healing," said Walton's adviser, sports activist Jack Scott.
Scott said he does not feel the Blazers should expect an equal replacement for a healthy Walton when Walton could not played for Portland had he stayed.
Scott said Golden State's financial offer was accepted Friday and more details had been worked out in a meeting between the two teams' managements Saturday before Walton announced his choice of Golden State on Sunday.
Walton's agents have said that a new contract would start at what David Thompson of Denver makes. Thompson signed $4 million contract for a five-year period last spring.
According to Scott, Walton chose the Warriors because of the health treatment their players reportedly receive and because he likes the Bay area.
"I think things are going to be fine and Bill could be gone in a few days," said Scott. "It's not like Bill has teams that are his first, second or third choice and if we can't work out a deal with one he'll go to the second. This is it. Bill's decided where he wants to play and things can be worked out there or we wasted our time getting together."
Scott has said Walton might sue the Blazers if they are uncooperative.
The oft-injured Walton, who missed a total of 78 games in the 1974-75 and 75-76 seasons before leading Portland to the world championship the following year, was sidelined for the final 22 games last season with the foot injury. Before the injury, he had guided Portland to a 50-10 record, the best in the league.
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