Wednesday, August 9, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 166 

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Grant rejects Portland; West retires from Lakers

NBA Basketball

Jake McKim

 We may still be two months away from the start of training camp for NBA teams, but that hasn't stopped the hectic activity in the free agent market.

 Forward Brian Grant turned down a lucrative six-year, $70 million contract offer from the Portland Trailblazers earlier this week, saying he didn't want to return to Portland.

 Grant also rejected a sign-and-trade deal that would have sent him to Cleveland for Shawn Kemp. Grant said he would prefer to play for a championship-caliber team. The Knicks and Heat are now working on a deal to bring him to their respective cities.

 In free agent signing news, the Orlando Magic re-signed center John Amaechi Monday. Terms were not disclosed. With the return of Darrell Armstrong, Bo Outlaw, Dee Brown, Monty Williams and the acquisitions of Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady and rookie Mike Miller, the Magic look to be a force in the East.

 Reggie Miller is set to re-sign with the Indiana Pacers. The three-year contract is worth $36 million. This will leave only Mark Jackson and Rik Smits unsigned.
 The Utah Jazz re-signed Jacque Vaughn to a one-year deal Tuesday for an undisclosed amount.

 Chauncey Billups signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves starting at $2.25 million Tuesday. In addition, Joe Smith re-signed also for an undisclosed amount.

 The Los Angeles Clippers started what they hope is an ascent from the gutter of the NBA to respectable status by signing first-round draft pick Darius Miles, Keyon Dooling and Quentin Richardson to three-year deals.

 In other news, Jerry West, the legendary vice president of operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, retired Monday, saying he wanted to relax and spend more time with his family. West at various times has served as a player and coach for the Lakers as well as his present duties, which he has performed since 1995.

 "Obviously, Jerry West is irreplaceable," Jerry Buss, owner of the Lakers said. "What he's meant to the Laker organization over the past 40 years is immeasurable."

 General Manager Mitch Kupchak will take over for West.

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