posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 01:54 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Nets continue to pare payroll, sending starting shooting guard Kerry Kittles to the Los Angeles Clippers
for a future second-round pick and cash considerations.
Two weeks ago, the Nets shipped All-Star power forward Kenyon Martin to the Denver Nuggets in a sign-and-trade for three first-round picks. Kittles
has one year left on his contract worth more than $10 million. The Nets worked feverishly to shed his contract, but general manager Rod Thorn managed
to get just a second-round pick in return.
The acquisition of Kittles allowed the Clippers to pass on matching the offer sheet tendered to shooting guard Quentin Richardson by the Phoenix Suns
on July 14. Richardson had a breakout season for the Clippers in 2003-04, posting career highs of 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists. But the
Clippers did not want to commit to a long-term deal with him and lose salary cap flexibility.
Kittles big salary will come off the books after the 2004-05 season, giving the Clippers a chance to sign a free agent. The 6-7 Kittles averaged 13.1
points on 45 percent shooting last season and averaged 14.4 points in 11 postseason games. The eighth overall pick in the 1996 draft, Kittles spent
seven seasons with the Nets, missing the entire 2000-01 campaign with a knee injury. In 496 games, he has career averages of 14.3 points, 3.9
rebounds and 2.6 assists, while shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from behind the arc.
"Kerry has been a model of professionalism since he came into the NBA in 1996," Thorn said. "He was a key component in the Nets success over the past
three seasons, providing the team with transition speed, outside shooting and defensive quickness."
The Nets reached the NBA Finals in back-to-back years before losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the eventual champion Detroit Pistons last
Kittles leaves the Nets as the franchise's second all-time leading scorer with 7,096 points and all-time leader in 3-pointers made (679).
[Edited on 29/7/04 by TRD]