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As Expceted, Mason will become a Buck

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by HOOP-T, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. HOOP-T

    HOOP-T Member

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    Looks like the Sixers will have a much tougher time this year when Mason is added to the fold in Milwaukee. Plius, it gives the Bucks what they are sorrowly lacking....rebounding and toughness.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news/ap/20011023/ap-bucks-mason.html

    Bucks close to signing Mason after making three-team trade
    By CHRIS SHERIDAN
    AP Basketball Writer
    October 23, 2001


    Anthony Mason is getting the contract he wanted, and the Milwaukee Bucks are close to signing an All-Star power forward who could catapult them to the top of the Eastern Conference.

    The Bucks engineered a three-team trade late Monday night that cleared enough salary cap maneuverability for them to sign Mason.

    ``We made a lot of progress today,'' Bucks general manager Ernie Grunfeld said Tuesday of his talks with Mason's agent, Don Cronson.

    ``Anthony Mason should be in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform in the next couple of days,'' Cronson said.

    Mason will get a four-year contract worth about $20 million with a ``substantial'' amount of the money deferred, Cronson said. Mason had been holding out throughout training camp, waiting for a team to offer him a contract that he felt adequately rewarded him for his value.

    Mason spent last season with the Miami Heat and was the team's most consistent contributor before Alonzo Mourning returned late in the season from a kidney ailment. The Heat, who cut $20 million in payroll after being swept in the first round of the playoffs, showed no interest in signing Mason to a long-term deal.

    ``I like Mason with my three shooters and Tim Thomas as the sixth man. I think that's a dynamite team,'' Bucks coach George Karl said Tuesday. ``We need some toughness and leadership. We've been too much of a finesse team. When you're in one of those wars, I think Anthony Mason will help us tremendously.''

    To clear enough salary cap space to stay near the estimated luxury tax threshold of $54 million, the Bucks traded away $4.65 million in salary and took on just $1.52 million.

    In the three-team trade, Milwaukee sent forward Scott Williams and a first-round draft choice to Denver for Aleksandar Radojevic and Kevin Willis, then sent Willis to Houston for the Rockets' second-round draft pick in 2002. Although the salaries in the Bucks-Rockets portion of the trade are not equal, the Rockets were able to make the trade because they received a disabled player exception from the league after losing Maurice Taylor to a season-ending injury.

    Denver will use Williams, an 11-year veteran, at power forward in place of Antonio McDyess, who is out until January after knee surgery.

    The 6-foot-10 Williams averaged 6.1 points and 5.5 rebounds in 66 games last season, his second with Milwaukee. He scored 11 points in the Bucks' 107-100 win over Denver on Monday night.

    Willis will play center for the Rockets, who have been trying to find a replacement for the traded Hakeem Olajuwon. The Rockets lost out last week on free agent center Marc Jackson when Golden State matched Houston's offer to the restricted free agent.

    Willis, a 17-year veteran who averaged 9.3 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Nuggets and Raptors last season, played for the Rockets for two seasons from 1996-98.

    Milwaukee made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last season but lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bucks won 52 games to finish first in the Central Division, but their lack of a scoring threat at power forward and center was a considerable weakness.

    Mason, who averaged 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds last season, played just one season in Miami after spending four seasons in Charlotte and five in New York. His strengths are rebounding, ballhandling, scoring and toughness.

    ``If you listed our top five weaknesses last season, toughness and rebounding would be in there,'' Karl said.

    Mason gives the Bucks a fifth offensive threat, joining Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, Sam Cassell and Thomas.

    Radojevic, a 7-3 center from Yugoslavia, had back surgery last season and has played in only three games in his two NBA seasons. He was Toronto's first-round pick (12th overall) in 1999.
     
  2. HOOP-T

    HOOP-T Member

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    Sorry about my dislexic title......it seems to be atcing up today!

    :D
     
  3. Stevierebel

    Stevierebel Contributing Member

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    It definitely makes the Bucks the best team in the East. However, they don't have many players that want to play defense. It will be hard finding shots for Allen, Robinson, Cassell, Mason, and Thomas when they are playing together. Cassell just brings the ball up sometimes and shoots without setting up the team.
     
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