"As hard as I played with the Nets, as much class as I showed there, I knew it came down to a business decision for them," Williams said after the Blazers' practice yesterday. "And no one in this business is untradeable, including Charles.
"Charles is doing a noble thing, playing very hard, being one of the hardest players in the league. Other teams always want to trade for a guy who plays hard. Until he's traded, he has to set himself apart that way."
Whatever the Sixers ultimately have in mind for Barkley, Lynam said yesterday that there was no truth to swirling rumors of trade talks involving Golden State and Washington.
Barkley and Hersey Hawkins to the Warriors in a deal involving Billy Owens and Tim Hardaway? Barkley going to the Bullets in a trade for Pervis Ellison and other considerations?
"I don't even like to address rumors that are totally untrue," Lynam said, "but sometimes the level of frustration gets very high. I've been hearing about a 'monster deal' with Golden State, and that's ludicrous.
"I'll say the same thing about the Washington rumor. We talk back and forth with a lot of teams, just like everybody else in the league. But that's not the same as saying we're having trade talks. There's nothing to it."
The Sixers, who have Arkansas guard Todd Day coming in for a predraft visit Friday, have finalized an appointment with North Carolina State forward Tom Gugliotta the same day. The 6-10 Gugliotta scored 1,536 points and swept 820 rebounds in four college seasons and averaged 22.5 points and 9.8 rebounds as a senior. "He's an outstanding passer, particularly at his size and position, which is small forward or power forward," Jim Lynam said . . . Charles Barkley (surprise, surprise) was the leading vote-getter on the NBA's All- Interview team. He joins Karl Malone, of Utah, Kevin McHale, of Boston, Glenn "Doc" Rivers, of the Los Angeles Clippers, Clyde Drexler, of Portland, and former Phoenix coach Cotton Fitzsimmons.