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Bulls deal Curry to Knicks after DNA test refusal

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The New York Knicks are ready to take a
chance on Eddy Curry. And while they want doctors to sign off on
the health of the 22-year-old center's heart first, they won't be
looking at Curry's DNA profile.

The NBA approved a trade Tuesday that sends Curry and veteran
center Antonio Davis from Chicago to the Knicks for forwards Tim Thomas, Michael Sweetney and Jermaine Jackson.
The trade, like all others, requires that all players pass a
physical. In Curry's case, it will involve tests by a team of
doctors to determine whether an irregular heartbeat that forced him
to miss the last 13 games of last season and the playoffs was an
isolated incident or an indication of a more serious problem.
"Believe me, if there is something there, the people we have
examining him -- they will find it," team president Isiah Thomas
said after the Knicks practiced Tuesday night at the College of
Charleston.
The Bulls had demanded Curry take a DNA test to see if he is
susceptible to cardiomyopathy, the ailment that killed former
Boston Celtics guard Reggie Lewis and Loyola Marymount star Hank
Gathers.
But Curry refused, saying the test violated his privacy because
it could also be used to determine if he was predisposed to a host
of other conditions going into his fifth NBA season.
Thomas said the Knicks couldn't give Curry a DNA test because of
New York's privacy and employment laws. Doctors will continue to
perform other tests Wednesday, and Thomas hopes to know by the
afternoon whether he is clear to play.
As part of the trade, the Knicks also will give the Bulls a
conditional first-round draft pick in 2006, two second-round
selections in the next four years and the option of exchanging
first-round picks with New York at a later draft.
Thomas said it was worth it to get a player that only comes
along every decade or so. Coach Larry Brown told Thomas that Curry
was still raw, but had potential to become a dominant post player
and give the Knicks one of the deepest front lines in the Eastern
Conference.
"I think his best basketball is in front of him," said Brown,
in his first season with the Knicks.
Curry was drafted out of Thornwood High School in South Holland,
Ill. But he came into the league overweight and struggled his first
three seasons.
Last year, the 6-foot-11 center lost 40 pounds and broke through
to lead the Bulls with 16.1 points a game. He played a major role
as the Bulls won 47 games and reached the playoffs for the first
time since 1998 -- when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen led them
to their sixth NBA title.
Bulls general manager John Paxson wanted to keep Curry, offering
him a $5 million, one-year deal if he passed the DNA test. And if
he failed, Paxson said Chicago would offer Curry $400,000 annually
for the next 50 years. But with the DNA test as a sticking point,
the Bulls decided to shop Curry around.
Curry and Davis could join the team for practice Wednesday night
if they both pass their physicals, Thomas said.
Thomas acknowledged even if the doctors clear Curry, there is no
guarantee he doesn't have a heart condition. But Thomas said he
wasn't going to worry that something might happen to Curry if he
keeps playing.
"If we think this guy is healthy, you make the trade," Thomas
said. "If he passes the physical, we've done something good."