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Bobcats won't match Heat's offer for Kapono

10/3/2005 - NBA

Miami Heat:
The Charlotte Bobcats will not match the Heat's offer sheet for restricted free agent forward Jason Kapono.

Kapono joins his third team in three years. The former UCLA standout averaged 8.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 81 games last season with the Bobcats, the team's inaugural year. He also had 35 double-digit scoring games and ranked 13th in the league in 3-point shooting.

"This is a great opportunity for him to play for a team that is
vying for a championship," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said
Monday. "We didn't want to stand in his way and we appreciate the
professionalism and commitment he gave to our franchise last
season."

In two seasons, Kapono has averaged 6.8 points and 1.8 rebounds with Cleveland and Charlotte. He was drafted by Cleveland with the 31st pick in the 2003 draft before Charlotte selected him in the 2004 expansion draft.

Also Monday, the Heat signed former University of Miami star
forward Darius Rice and free-agent guard Kevin Braswell. Rice and
Braswell spent last season with the Florida Flame of the NBA's
developmental league and averaged 10.5 points and 11.3 points,
respectively.

Philadelphia 76ers:
Forward Lee Nailon signed with the 76ers after averaging a career-high 14.2 points last season with the New Orleans Hornets.

The 6-foot-9, 238-pound free agent will be joining his sixth NBA team.

The former TCU player has averaged 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in five seasons with Charlotte-New Orleans, New York, Atlanta, Orlando and Cleveland. He averaged 4.4 rebounds in 68 games last season for the Hornets.

The 76ers also signed free agents Steve Castleberry, Olu Famutimi, Herve Lamizana, James Thomas and Ime Udoka.

Dallas Mavericks: Guard Erick Strickland is back with the Mavericks.

Strickland, who played with the Mavericks from 1996-2000, signed
with the team on Monday.

Dallas also signed forward Kaniel Dickens and guard Samo Udrih
to round out its training camp roster.

Strickland, 31, has played in 501 NBA games, 196 of them with
Dallas where he averaged 9.8 points and 3.4 assists. Last
season, the 6-3 Strickland averaged 4.9 points and 1.9 assists
in 62 games with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The nine-year veteran also played with New York, Vancouver,
Boston and Indiana.

Los Angeles Lakers:
Forward Corie Blount, who played for
the team from 1995-99, has signed a partially
guaranteed contract with the team, spokesman John Black said
Monday.

Blount, an 11-year veteran, most recently played for the Toronto
Raptors and Chicago Bulls during the 2003-04 season, averaging 4.4
points and 4.0 rebounds in 62 games.

"It's a good opportunity for me to come back here where I
basically know what to expect from Phil," Blount said, referring
to Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "I played my first two years for
Phil in Chicago."

The Lakers begin training camp Tuesday at the University of
Hawaii.

Houston Rockets:
The Rockets rounded out their training camp roster, signing guard Dion Glover.

A 1999 first-round pick of Atlanta, Glover played in seven games
for the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs last season, averaging
3.6 points.

The 6-5 Glover spent his first five seasons with Atlanta before
playing one campaign with Toronto. He has career averages of
8.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 294 games.

The Rockets on Monday also signed a pair of undrafted rookies -- guard Keith Langford and forward Chuck Hayes.

Houston begins training camp on Tuesday.

Minnesota Timberwolves: The team signed forward
Ryan Humphrey, guard John Lucas and guard Marlon Parmer
to fill out their roster for training camp.

The team also reached an agreement with Rex Chapman to serve as
a scout this season. Chapman was a consultant to the Wolves for the
draft this summer after working as director of basketball
operations for Phoenix last year.

Humphrey, drafted by Utah out of Notre Dame in 2002, has played
in 85 NBA games for Orlando and Memphis. Lucas played for
Minnesota's summer league team after a college career split between
Baylor and Oklahoma State. Parmer, who also played on the Wolves'
summer league squad, spent the 2004-05 season in the CBA and with a
team in Israel. His college career was spent at New Mexico and
Kentucky Wesleyan.

New York Knicks:
Guard Steven Barber and forward Otis George signed with the Knicks, joining the team as free agents after being passed over in the draft.

Barber, a 5-10 rookie who played for three years at Texas-Arlington, was fifth on the school's career scoring list. The 6-8 George played four years at Louisville.

Washington Wizards: The team completed its
training camp roster by signing a pair of former New Jersey Nets: forward Awvee Storey and guard Billy Thomas.

Storey played in nine games and scored eight points as a rookie
last season with the Nets. Thomas played in 25 games as a rookie in
New Jersey, averaging 3.7 points.

Thomas also spent last year's training camp with the Wizards and
was released at the end of preseason.

The moves give the Wizards 17 players on the roster as they
prepare for their first practice Tuesday at Virginia Commonwealth
University in Richmond, Va.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.