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Anderson looks to get out from behind Payton

©Associated Press
October 27, 2002

SEATTLE -- Kenny Anderson isn't happy with limited minutes behind SuperSonics point guard Gary Payton and has asked his agent to investigate a buyout.

"Seattle is a great city, a great organization, but I'm in a situation where I've got to play," said Anderson, a 12-year veteran traded to Seattle over the summer. "Gary Payton is here, a great player who has been here his whole career. Whatever is going to benefit me in the long run, I'm all for it."

Anderson's agent, Jeff Wechsler, didn't return phone calls. Seattle general manager Rick Sund declined comment.

The 32-year-old Anderson is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $9.185-million this season. He started last season during Boston's run to the Eastern Conference final but went to Seattle in the deal that sent Vin Baker to the Celtics.

The SuperSonics are considering whether to buy out Anderson's contract for $6-million, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.

Wechsler reportedly is looking for a team to pay Anderson $3-million to make up the difference. Another option, though less likely, would be for Anderson to accept the buyout and sign with another team for the 10-year veteran minimum of $1-million.

"I don't think I'm giving up money," Anderson said. "I'm not doing that."

Playing mostly with Seattle reserves during the preseason, Anderson averaged 4.5 points on 27 percent shooting. Last season, he averaged 9.6 points and 5.3 assists with the Celtics.

Sonics coach Nate McMillan believes Anderson and Payton can coexist, even saying there are situations when both could see action together. But he'll make the decision when it's appropriate.

* * *

HEAT: Returning point guard Anthony Carter will start ahead of newcomer Travis Best for Wednesday's opener against Orlando. Carter lost the starting job a year ago after a 3-15 start but has outplayed Best this preseason, coach Pat Riley said.

PACERS: Guard Reggie Miller probably will miss Wednesday's opener against the Rockets as he continues to recover from a deep bone bruise to his right ankle.

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