Nuggets GM hopes to talk Van Exel into wanting to stay in Denver

Posted: December 10, 2001

Nick Van Exel and team officials will meet today to discuss the possibility of a trade, which Denver Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said might not happen.

Van Exel, frustrated by an 0-4 road trip capped by Saturday's 109-99 loss to Cleveland, said he was tired of losing and asked to be traded.

Vandeweghe told the Denver Post he plans to keep Van Exel and "take it as a challenge to make him happy."

Van Exel, 30, is averaging team bests of 25.1 points per game and 6.7 assists for the 7-13 Nuggets.

He is in the third year of a $77 million, six-year contract that will end after the 2005-06 season.

Since being acquired by Denver in 1998, Van Exel has not experienced a winning regular season.

He said he and Vandeweghe have spoken about a trade. He said he promised Vandeweghe he wouldn't quit on his teammates.

In yesterday's games:

* At Toronto, Penny Hardaway had 27 points, including the winning layup at the buzzer, as the Phoenix Suns beat the Raptors, 91-90. The Suns overcame Vince Carter's 42 points.

* At Auburn Hills, Mich., Ben Wallace had 10 points and a season-high 18 rebounds as Detroit handed Houston its 10th consecutive loss, 105-77. Pistons star Jerry Stackhouse sat out with a nagging groin injury.

* At Los Angeles, Elton Brand had 22 points and 19 rebounds as the Clippers beat Charlotte, 89-78.

* At Sacramento, Chris Webber scored 18 points and had six rebounds in his first game this season as the Kings sent Miami to its 13th loss in 14 games, 95-88. Webber missed the first 20 games with a sprained ankle. *

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