Cleveland continues to free up cap space

Updated: June 16, 2005, 9:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers cleared out more salary cap space on Thursday by waiving reserve guard Lucious Harris, who never found his shooting touch during a dreadful season in Cleveland.

Harris' release comes one day after the club declined to pick up forward Robert Traylor's $1.76 million option for next season. Harris would have made $2.75 million, a portion of which would have been guaranteed if he was still on the roster on July 1.

The Cavaliers have eight players on their roster, accounting for a $23.3 million payroll. Last season's salary cap in the NBA was $43 million, but could go up by several million next season when the new collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon.

The league is facing a possible lockout at the end of the month.

"We want to have more [salary] cap flexibility, and it allows us to gain more," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "Lucious is a pro's pro. He and his agent understand that this is a business."

Meanwhile, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will be giving his next general manager plenty of money to spend on free agents. Gilbert has interviewed several candidates for the job but is waiting to see what Detroit coach Larry Brown's plans are before finalizing Cleveland's front office.

Brown has had preliminary talks with Gilbert about joining the team as its president of basketball operations.

Harris signed as a free agent in October after playing seven seasons for the New Jersey Nets. The 6-foot-5 guard was picked up by the Cavs to help their woeful outside shooting.

However, the 34-year-old didn't help much. He shot less than 40 percent from the field and only 32 percent on 3-pointers -- a drop from his career average in both categories. Harris averaged 4.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 73 games, scoring in double figures only seven times.

In his 12-year career, he has averaged 7.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 800 games.

Phoenix Suns: Less than two weeks before the NBA draft, Rex Chapman abruptly resigned as director of basketball operations, the Arizona Republic reported.

Chapman, who played 12 season in the NBA, spent his final four seasons in Phoenix before retiring in 2000.

Suns president and GM Bryan Colangelo confirmed the resignation, the Republic reported.

Chapman had joined the Suns staff in Chicago last week for a pre-draft camp but left without notice, according to the paper.

Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers have exercised the fourth-year option on center Chris Kaman, the sixth overall selection in the 2003 NBA draft.

The move means Kaman is property of the Clippers for two more seasons. He becomes a restricted free agent following the 2006-07 season, with the Clippers holding the right of first refusal.

Kaman, a 7-foot-0, 265-pounder, averaged 6.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and .89 blocked shots while playing in all 82 games as a rookie, and 9.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.08 blocked shots in 63 games last season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.