Don't expect name players here

Updated: June 22, 2004, 9:31 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Bobcats on Tuesday have selected Larry Baxter, J.R. Bremer, Primoz Brezec, Maurice Carter, Predrag Drobnjak, Desmond Ferguson, Marcus Fizer, Richie Frahm, Brandon Hunter, Jason Kapono, Zaza Pachulia, Aleksandar Pavlovic, Jamal Sampson, Tamar Slay, Theron Smith, Jeff Trepagnier, Gerald Wallace, Jahidi White and Loren Woods in the expansion draft.

Kerry Kittles, Eddie Jones, Antoine Walker and their high-salaried, unprotected brethren can breathe a sigh of relief. The Charlotte Bobcats didn't want them.

"We aren't taking any big contracts," coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff said Monday. "We aren't taking any contracts that are longer than two years."

That means no Jerry Stackhouse, no Brian Grant, no Allan Houston and -- former Hornets fans can relax -- no Derrick Coleman.

But will anyone even recognize the players Bickerstaff does select?

"Basketball fans will," he said.

Charlotte finalized one major move Monday, acquiring the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday's amateur draft -- which the Bobcats will use to select Emeka Okafor or Dwight Howard -- from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the No. 4 overall pick and Charlotte's second-round pick, 33rd overall. The Bobcats also agreed to select Drobnjak from the Clippers in the expansion draft, which became official Tuesday.

In another deal that was close to being finalized, Charlotte would acquire center Jahidi White, cash and a future draft pick from Phoenix -- a deal that would give the Suns enough salary cap flexibility to make a run at free agents Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash.

The Bobcats tried to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the Magic, but the Clippers were more receptive to a trade.

Bickerstaff said he expects to make three or four trades before this week is over.

"There's not a lot, but we do have some things on the bubble and we'll work diligently to try to bring a couple more to fruition," he said.

Many teams left their highest-salaried players unprotected for the expansion draft, in which the other 29 teams could protect up to eight players but had to leave at least one player unprotected.

Bickerstaff was required to pick a minimum of 14 players, no more than one from each team. He has chosen 19 players but said as few as five might be on the opening night roster.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats worked out forward Josh Childress for a second time, but Childress said the team had not given him any feedback.

"I like Charlotte. It would be an honor, a great opportunity," said Childress, who left Stanford after his junior season. "I feel like I have the maturity of a college kid but the potential of a high school athlete and I think that I could grow with the franchise."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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