Center has said he plans to retire

Updated: August 15, 2003, 5:52 PM ET
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers have terminated Arvydas Sabonis' contract after the 7-foot-3 center said earlier this week that he intended to retire.

The Blazers had hoped to trade Sabonis by Friday, when his contract was no longer guaranteed. Sabonis was set to make $7 million in the coming season, which would have given teams willing to trade for him some cap relief.

When trade talks didn't advance, the Blazers decided Thursday to terminate Sabonis' contract.

"We had a myriad of conversations with teams about his contract, but none were going anywhere," Blazers general manager John Nash said.

One rumored trade had New Jersey's Kenyon Martin and Dikembe Mutombo coming to Portland in exchange for Rasheed Wallace and the rights to Sabonis. But neither side would comment on trade rumors.

Sabonis, 38, told his agent earlier this week that he likely would not return to the NBA because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

A likable fan favorite from the start, Sabonis joined the Trail Blazers in 1995 and has averaged 12 points and 7.3 rebounds in 470 games. He is seventh on the team's career list with 3,436 rebounds.

Sabonis' decision leaves the Trail Blazers with one proven center, Dale Davis, and one prospect, Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, who has played sparingly in 35 games over two seasons.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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