Sprewell takes hard line on deal with Wolves

MINNEAPOLIS -- Latrell Sprewell says he'll ask to be traded if the Minnesota Timberwolves don't sign him to a contract extension by Wednesday night's opener.

"I think this thing is heading toward me leaving, personally," Sprewell told reporters on Sunday. But on Monday, he said that if no resolution is reached, he'll still play.

"The talks aren't really going good," he said Monday. "[It] doesn't look like it's going to happen. That doesn't mean I'm not going to play. I'll play."

Earlier this preseason, Sprewell said he wanted a contract extension by the Wolves' Nov. 3 opener against the New York Knicks, or he would ask for a sign-and-trade deal or wait to become a free agent. Either way, Sprewell said he didn't want to negotiate during the season.

Neither Sprewell's agent, Robert Gist, nor Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor immediately returned phone messages left by The Associated Press on Monday.

Sprewell, Sam Cassell and league MVP Kevin Garnett formed the NBA's highest scoring trio last year in leading the Wolves to the
Western Conference finals. Sprewell averaged 16.8 points last season and is due to make $14.6 million this year.

Sprewell has said he doesn't want to take a pay cut. But at 34, the Wolves could be hesitant to oblige. Sprewell described the team's latest offer as "insulting."