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NBA

Knicks get Bulls' leading scorer

By wire services
Published August 6, 2004

After signing a seven-year deal worth $55.4-million with the Bulls on Thursday, point guard Jamal Crawford was traded to New York in a six-player deal that was weeks in the making.

In exchange for Crawford and forward Jerome Williams, the Bulls got former Illinois standout Frank Williams, center Dikembe Mutombo, forward Othella Harrington and center Cezary Trybanski.

"Obviously Jamal is the best player in this deal, and it's not easy giving up a young talent like that," Bulls general manager John Paxson said.

The deal saves the Bulls about $18-million in cap space. The contracts of all of the New York players expire after this year, and Jerome Williams has $25-million and four years left on his deal.

Crawford led the Bulls with 17.3 points a game last season. But the Bulls want to re-sign big men Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry, who will be restricted free agents next summer.

Jerome Williams has averaged 6.8 rebounds and 6.9 points in his eight seasons. Frank Williams has played in just 77 games in two seasons, averaging 3.2 points and two assists. Mutombo, an eight-time All-Star and four-time defensive player of the year, averaged 6.7 rebounds and 5.6 points in 65 games last season.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reported Vince Carter has asked Toronto to trade him and is interested in playing for the Knicks. Carter's agent, Mark Steinberg was unavailable for comment, and the Knicks wouldn't confirm trade talks.

Carter, who averaged 22.5 points last season, was reportedly angry the team didn't consult him on the hiring of general manager Rob Babcock and coach Sam Mitchell, who replaced Kevin O'Neill after the Raptors missed the playoffs for the second straight season. The Raptors will play with their third coach in three seasons.

Nets re-sign Olympian

The Nets and Olympian Richard Jefferson agreed to an extension that will pay him $78-million over six years.

Jefferson, entering his fourth season, averaged a team-high 18.5 points and 38.2 minutes last season. He would have become a restricted free agent after next season.

"Richard is a cornerstone player for us," Nets president Rod Thorn said. "We felt it was very important that we reach an agreement with him. We think Richard is a player on the cusp of being one of the top players in the league."

BUCKS: Point guard Mike James signed and will share duties with T.J. Ford, who will be entering his second season. After being traded from Boston to Detroit, he averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 assists in 26 regular-season games and 2.6 points in 22 playoff games. Also forward/center Zendon Hamilton and center Lonnie Jones signed. Hamilton averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 45 games with Philadelphia. Jones spent the past two seasons in the USBL and NBDL.

CAVS: Robert Traylor signed for one year, $1.6-million. The forward, who played with Cleveland in 2000-01 said he wanted to reunite with Paul Silas, who coached him for two seasons in New Orleans. The 6-foot-8, 284-pounder averaged 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds last season.

KINGS: Guard Peja Stojakovic, the league's second-leading scorer last season with 24.2 points, said he told the team he wants to be traded. The native of Serbia-Montenegro is upset the Kings lost countryman Vlade Divac to the Lakers as a free agent and was angered by Chris Webber's offseason comments criticizing unnamed teammates for their lack of toughness. Stojakovic said he doesn't have a preference about where he's dealt. Geoff Petrie, president of basketball operations, was noncommittal.

SPURS: Forward Robert Horry, who turns 34 this month, re-signed. He averaged 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds last season.

EX-BULL CHARGED: Marcus Fizer pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded handgun during a highway traffic stop and was sentenced to a year's probation and fined $2,500. He is a free agent after being drafted by expansion Charlotte.

[Last modified August 6, 2004, 01:00:38]


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