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Spurs deny shopping Tony Parker. Of course they do.

Jun 22, 2011, 4:44 PM EDT

French NBA player Tony Parker walks on t Getty Images

And now we bring you the story that we all knew was coming today like we knew the sun would rise in the East and that Wednesday would be national chocolate éclair day. (What, you didn’t know about that?)

The San Antonio Spurs have denied they are shopping Tony Parker around.

This is required to be said, even as GMs pick up their cell phone calls to pitch a trade for that very player. It’s part of the trade dance. But here is the official report from the Express-News Spurs Blog.

“We’re not shopping anyone,” (Spurs GM R.C.) Buford said, via text message. “We’ve received calls on a lot of our guys and we’ve answered the phone….

But even in the same post, the Spurs writer shows that they are talking about a Parker trade.

An executive of a team not involved in the discussions said he had no knowledge that the Spurs were seeking deals for Parker, but confirmed the belief they were “gauging the interest” of teams that called about him.

A basketball executive of another team said the Spurs were unwilling to discuss trading Parker to the Raptors unless they agreed to also consider taking small forward Richard Jefferson.

That may be the real motive here (and likely the poison pill for any deal). Jefferson is due three years, $30.4 million left and the Spurs would love to get out from under that deal. Parker for a lottery pick never made a ton of sense to me because they could do better than that in this down draft year, but if they could shed Jefferson’s salary, too, things might look different.

Bottom line, don’t expect Parker to be moved, but don’t by they are not talking trade, either.

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