Monday, January 28, 2008

Chris Webber Joining The Golden State Warriors?

Chris Webber's unlikely but fast-moving return to the Golden State Warriors is on course to be completed by Tuesday, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Barring an unexpected change of heart, sources said, Webber will accept the invitation from former coach Don Nelson and former teammate Chris Mullin to come back to the team with whom he won NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 1994, only for Webber to force a trade to Washington some six months later when his prickly relationship with Nelson collapsed.

"I hope that it happens to be quite honest with you," Nelson told Bay Area reporters Sunday before the Warriors hosted the New York Knicks. "I think our team needs it."

Nelson made his own surprising and triumphant return to Oakland last season, guiding the Warriors to their first playoff berth since they went 50-32 in Webber's rookie season in 1993-94. Sources say Nelson and Mullin, now the Warriors' vice president of basketball operations, are confident that the 67-year-old coach and Webber are ready for this seemingly hard-to-fathom reunion after multiple conversations in recent days.

For his part, Nelson has maintained that he and Webber reconciled years ago, when he chose Webber to replace the injured Shaquille O'Neal -- over Dirk Nowitzki from Nelson's Dallas Mavericks -- as the West's starting center for the 2002 All-Star Game in Philadelphia.

Webber could not be immediately reached for comment Sunday, but sources insist that he would be Golden State-bound now even if the Detroit Pistons made an 11th-hour bid to re-sign him. The Warriors have offered to sign him for the rest of the season for a pro-rated share of the league's $1.2 million veteran minimum.

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