Harrington, Jackson at heart of Pacers-Warriors deal

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Almost every player involved in the
Indiana Pacers' eight-man trade with the Golden State Warriors on
Wednesday is likely to welcome the change of scenery.

Al Harrington Harrington

Stephen Jackson Jackson

The Pacers traded Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson to Golden
State for forwards Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy in a large, bold
deal to shake up two struggling teams.

The Pacers also sent guard Sarunas Jasikevicius and forward
Josh Powell to the Warriors, who gave up forward Ike Diogu and guard
Keith McLeod. According to Chris Mullin, the Warriors' vice
president and a former player for both teams, the wholesale shuffle
will benefit everyone involved.

"This is a situation where both teams feel good about what's
going to happen," Mullin said. "They're all key components. All
these guys that are in the deal, they're going to have good roles
with their new teams."

Murphy, Dunleavy and Diogu had been reduced to high-priced
backups for failing to produce more in new coach Don Nelson's
offensive-minded system. Both Murphy and Dunleavy have hefty
contracts that allowed Golden State to finish the deal with
significantly less financial impact than the Pacers.

Harrington, the most accomplished player in the trade, struggled
to get comfortable alongside Jermaine O'Neal in his first season
back with Indiana. Meanwhile, Jackson has been dogged by legal
troubles and attitude problems all season, embarrassing the club
with an early season fight at a strip club and a spat with coach
Rick Carlisle last month.

"I think he was in a difficult environment for him," Pacers
CEO Donnie Walsh said of Jackson, who averaged 14.1 points this
season. "No matter what he was going to do, he wasn't going to
outlive that environment. So I think it's good for him to go to
another city and start fresh, and I think it's good for our team as

The deal left injury-plagued Golden State with just six healthy
players on its roster for Wednesday night's game against the Los
Angeles Clippers -- two fewer than the NBA minimum required to avoid
forfeiting a game. The Warriors quickly signed NBA Development
League forward Renaldo Major a 10-day contract, and they planned to
suit up injured center Adonal Foyle to avoid the forfeit.

Harrington was one of the Warriors' top targets in free agency
last season, but went back to Indiana -- where he started his career
-- in a sign-and-trade deal with Atlanta. He averaged 15.9 points
and 6.3 rebounds this season, second on the team in both categories
to O'Neal, who plays much the same position.

"That's the heartbreak in it," Walsh said. "He would have fit
in here, but he was playing [small forward] more than he was
playing [power forward]. I'm not sure he's a good fit at [power
forward] with Jermaine. When you really looked at it, I don't know
if the two players complemented each other as well as we thought
they could."

Murphy, a former Notre Dame star battling injuries this season,
is averaging 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds -- both his lowest totals
since his rookie year. Dunleavy, the No. 3 overall pick from Duke
in 2002, has scored 11.4 points in another disappointing season, so
the deal rids the Warriors of three players who didn't fit with
Nelson's ideas.

Mullin signed Dunleavy and Murphy to contract extensions -- still
worth more than $80 million -- before he hired Nelson.

The Warriors pursued Harrington because the rangy forward should
fit their new style of play.

Mike Dunleavy Dunleavy

Ike Diogu Diogu

"Al is a guy we've looked at for a while," Mullin said. "Al
is a guy that's probably a lot stronger than people know. He can
guard his man in the post if need be. He's gotten better over the

Jackson has a sharp outside shot, but has been almost nothing
but trouble for the Pacers since his involvement in that infamous
brawl in the stands at Detroit two years ago. He was involved in a
fight outside an Indianapolis strip club on Oct. 6, and is
scheduled to go to trial Feb. 12 for firing a gun during the

"We feel strongly that a lot of those things are behind
Stephen, and he's looking to come here, win games and focus on his
basketball career," Mullin said.

Matthew Symons, spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor, said
the trade will not affect Jackson's court case. Mullin said the
Warriors will support Jackson's legal needs.

Last month, the Pacers briefly suspended Jackson for a heated
exchange with Carlisle, who kicked him off the bench during a loss
to Cleveland. The Warriors' last look at Jackson was impressive,
however: Earlier this season, Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 1 second
left in a 108-106 victory at Golden State.

The Warriors were keen to acquire Jasikevicius, a Lithuanian who
failed to meet high expectations in Indiana. Powell was traded to
Indiana last summer after his rookie season with Dallas, and his
smooth game also could fit well with Nelson's up-tempo style.