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#1MavsFan
08-21-2002, 05:58 PM
Nets exercise option on Martin
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets decided Wednesday to keep Kenyon Martin around for at least two more seasons.

Martin, a 6-foot-9 forward, was the Nets' leading scorer and played a key role in leading the Eastern Conference champions to their best NBA season ever.

New Jersey had until Oct. 31 to exercise its option on Martin's contract but didn't need the time.

"He is a vital component of our team," Nets president and general manager Rod Thorn said.

Martin, 24, is among the NBA's best forwards. He averaged 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 73 games last season. He shot 46 percent from the field and 68 percent from the line.

The No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft, Martin averaged 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 20 playoff games as the Nets advanced to the NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers. Martin scored a career-high 35 points in Game 4.

Martin was whistled for six flagrant fouls last season. He was suspended for seven games and fined $347,057.

Since the playoffs, Thorn signed Rodney Rogers and Chris Childs, and acquired Dikembe Mutombo in a deal with Philadelphia for Keith Van Horn and Todd MacCulloch.

#1MavsFan
08-21-2002, 05:59 PM
Lopez needs exploratory surgery on re-injured knee

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Associated Press


SALT LAKE CITY -- Prospective Utah Jazz point guard Raul Lopez needs exploratory surgery so doctors can determine the severity of a damaged ligament in his reconstructed right knee.

The injury is believed to be a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, Utah vice president Kevin O'Connor said Wednesday. Surgery is planned, but O'Connor didn't know when or where it will be performed.

"We're simply trying to establish the extent of the injury," O'Connor said. "We would need to do an arthroscopic procedure to take a look at it."

The 22-year-old Lopez was with the Spanish team, preparing for the upcoming world championships, when he was hurt Saturday.

He remains overseas, and Jazz officials are trying to determine where to perform the procedure. The team wants it done in Salt Lake City, but Lopez told Spanish media outlets he prefers to stay home in Spain.

Also undetermined is who will pay for the exploratory operation, plus any subsequent procedures. Lopez passed a physical during a visit to Utah last month but hasn't signed an NBA contract.

"We'll worry about that only if there's a problem," O'Connor said. "We've got a Plan B and Plan C, D, E and F."

He wouldn't say if or when Lopez would be able to join the Jazz. Lopez borrowed $1.5 million to buy out the balance of his European contract so he could play in Utah next season.

If another reconstructive surgery is required, Lopez would almost certainly miss the 2002-03 season.

Lopez was taken in the first round of the 2001 NBA draft, the 24th overall selection. Jazz officials had hoped to pair him with NBA career assists and steals leader John Stockton, who is returning for a 19th season.

Lopez first tore the ligament last season and needed a six-month rehabilitation. He returned for Real Madrid in the Spanish league playoffs and said during his visit to Utah last month that the knee felt fine.

#1MavsFan
08-21-2002, 06:00 PM
Cavs match T-Wolves' offer sheet for Davis

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Associated Press


CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers have matched the six-year, $34 million offer Ricky Davis received last week from the Minnesota Timberwolves.


The Cavs had 15 days to think about whether they wanted to re-sign the 6-foot-7 guard after Minnesota made its offer last Friday. But after receiving the official contract Tuesday afternoon, Cavs general manager Jim Paxson quickly matched it.

"We felt it was important to send the right message to Ricky that we want to keep him,'' Paxson said Wednesday.

Davis' agent, Dan Fegan, had said his client would rather play with the Timberwolves and that the Cavaliers would be making a mistake by locking Davis into a long-term contract.

Paxson said he hadn't talked to Davis since matching the offer.

"They got an offer sheet. We chose to match it. We're moving forward,'' Paxson said. "If there are any issues, we'll overcome those and Ricky will be here and playing.''

With the 22-year-old Davis joining rookie guard DaJuan Wagner and forward Darius Miles -- who was acquired in the Andre Miller trade -- the Cavs should be bring considerable energy and fans to relatively quiet Gund Arena. The club also is counting on the trio to get Cleveland back to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 1993.

"Keeping Ricky, we'll have a young group of versatile players that we can put in a number of different roles,'' Paxson said.

Davis, a restricted free agent, became a fan favorite during his first season with the Cavs, who acquired the high-flying, headband-wearing guard in a three-way trade last October with Miami and Toronto.

Davis averaged a career-high 11.7 points per game and was the only Cavalier to play in all 82 games. He spent much of the season coming off the bench but began to emerge late in the year, after coach John Lucas put him in the starting lineup.

He averaged 19.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in eight games as a starter. His play was superb in some of those games, with ferocious dunks and fearless drives to the baskets. He closed the season by scoring 20 or more points in seven of Cleveland's final 13 games.

Davis saved his best performance for a March 26 matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 35 points on 15-of-24 shooting in 42 minutes.

Davis was drafted in the first round (No. 21 overall) in 1998 by Charlotte after playing only his freshman year at Iowa. He spent two seasons with the Hornets before being traded to the Heat before the 2000-01 season.