Bobcats Make Deal With Clippers

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Bobcats Make Deal With Clippers

Postby Jake » Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:07 pm

Bobcats Near Trade for Clippers' Pick

By CHRIS SHERIDAN
The Associated Press
Monday, June 21, 2004; 4:26 PM

The Charlotte Bobcats were close to finalizing a trade Monday with the Los Angeles Clippers for a swap of first-round draft choices, giving the NBA's newest franchise a chance to select Dwight Howard or Emeka Okafor with the No. 2 overall pick.

Charlotte would send the No. 4 overall pick, along with a second-round pick (No. 33 overall), to Los Angeles for the No. 2 choice and the rights to center Predrag Drobnjak, four league sources told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The Bobcats have made no secret of their desire to obtain one of the first two choices in the draft, believing Okafor or Howard could be one of the main building blocks for the league's 30th franchise.

The Clippers are interested in selecting Peoria prep star Shaun Livingston with the fourth overall pick, believing the Chicago Bulls will pass on him at No. 3 because they would not want to use their lottery pick on a point guard for a third consecutive year.

Howard, a power forward, and Livingston, a point guard, are two of the top high school players available in Thursday night's draft.

The Orlando Magic hold the first selection, and team officials say they remain undecided on whether to select Okafor or Howard. Orlando also is listening to trade offers, but if the Magic work out a trade it would most likely involve Tracy McGrady.

Charlotte will select 14 players from existing NBA rosters Tuesday night in the expansion draft, although the Bobcats expect to choose only two or three players who will end up on their opening night roster.

Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff acknowledged Monday that the team has had extensive discussions with Orlando and the Clippers, saying Los Angeles was more receptive to doing a deal.

"That is something we have spoken about. There are obstacles to surmount," he said. "I can't speak to their end, we're working on it and we've done everything we can do."

Drobnjak, a three-year NBA veteran, averaged 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds last season for the Clippers, who acquired him in a sign-and-trade deal with Seattle during training camp. He has one guaranteed season remaining on his contract for approximately $2.8 million.

© 2004 The Associated Press


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