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LRB
02-27-2003, 05:02 AM
Nets: Hill likes thought of joining Kidd



Wednesday, February 26, 2003


BY BRAD PARKS
Star-Ledger Staff


CLEVELAND -- Within a few days, it's possible Tyrone Hill will be free of the Cleveland Cavaliers -- and vice versa -- and in position to play for any NBA team that wants him. And there is a chance he could end up with the Nets.


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"I would love to play in New Jersey," Hill said before his team beat the Nets, 93-90, last night. "I love Jason Kidd. New Jersey would definitely be one of my top choices."

Hill is a 13-year veteran and a ferocious rebounder who is in the final year of his contract and simply doesn't fit into Cleveland's long-term plans. As a result, Cleveland has stopped playing Hill, which has made him unhappy -- his value as a free agent this summer is being hurt by the inactivity.

If Cleveland cuts Hill and he clears waivers (which he would), the 6-9 forward would be free to sign with any team he wanted, preferably a playoff contender that would give him both playing time and exposure. Even teams that are capped out, as most playoff contenders are, could still offer Hill a pro-rated league minimum contract of about $280,000 for the rest of the season.

"Philly is a front-runner but New Jersey is always a possibility," said Mark Bartelstein, Hill's agent. "They're a great team, no question. We'll just have to see."

But this is where it gets complicated: Cleveland would still have to pay all of Hill's $6.6 million salary if they cut him and he cleared waivers. So Cleveland won't cut Hill unless he is willing to walk away from at least part of the money they owe him -- like, say, the $280,000 he would stand to get from another team.

"The only way we would cut him is if it benefits us as well as him," Cleveland general manager Jim Paxson said.

It needs to happen quickly: Playoff rosters are set on March 1. Nets general manager Rod Thorn would not comment on his team's interest in Hill.

"I don't want to say if we would or if we wouldn't," Thorn said. "I've just heard the rumors that they may waive him."


Kenyon Martin left the team

shortly after shoot-around yesterday to return to New Jersey.

"His fiancée (Heather) was having some problems with a pregnancy," Thorn said. "We constantly preach about how family comes first. So obviously his family is the most important thing right now."

Coach Byron Scott said he thought Martin would be available for tonight's game against the Knicks. Brian Scalabrine started in Martin's place, scoring four points and getting seven rebounds.

"Obviously we missed K-Mart big-time," Scott said. "We didn't have Kenyon and we didn't have anyone who made up for what he does for us."


News reached the Nets

that former team member Todd MacCulloch's career was in jeopardy due to a disease that has affected his nervous system.

"Todd is a wonderful human being and was a terrific player for us," Thorn said. "I just hope he's able to live a normal life."

Scott said: "I just read about it this morning and I was very hurt by it. The relationship I had with Todd was very special. I think he's an unbelievable person and it's very unfortunate something like this can happen to such a young person at the height of his career."


There was no shortage

self-criticism inside the visitor's locker room at Gund Arena after the game.

From Richard Jefferson: "I take a lot of the blame. J-Kidd has been great. He's been very consistent. Train (Aaron Williams) came off the bench and played unbelievable. Lucious (Harris) played well. I take a lot of the blame for the last nine games."

From Brian Scalabrine: "My team needed me to step up and I didn't. I have a job to do and I didn't do my job."

From Scott: "I really thought we were pressing at the beginning of the game. Guys were pressing too much and thinking about what they hadn't been doing and how they were missing shots. A lot of us are pressing right now."

jayC
03-01-2003, 12:41 PM
I hope he can be a mav.

Kevink00012
03-01-2003, 04:03 PM
From the last thing I heard it was between the Sixers and Mavs.

DTL
03-01-2003, 10:35 PM
<< Try Our Classifieds >>


what's so interesting?

LRB
03-01-2003, 10:48 PM
<<

<< Try Our Classifieds >>


what's so interesting? >>



Stoopid cut and paste on my part. &quot;Try Our Classifieds&quot; was a DMN link on the web page I copied the story from.

Drbio
03-01-2003, 11:36 PM
It's hard to find a good editor these days. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif