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Updated: January 29, 2004, 9:46 AM ET
By By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
Malone
Malone
Los Angeles Lakers: Shaquille O'Neal is back. Kobe is back. When do the Lakers expect to get back Karl Malone? Laker officials told the L.A. Times they don't expect Malone to return until mid-to-late March. The team also has changed its description of the injury, calling it a torn ligament. Previously, it was called a sprained ligament.

Orlando Magic: John Weisbrod, the chief operating officer for RDV Sports, said Wednesday that he expects to change half the Orlando Magic's roster before next season begins, but he reiterated that Johnny Davis would return as the head coach, the Orlando Sentinel reported. "I don't think a new voice is necessary. He is the right voice," Weisbrod said Wednesday. "I'm inclined perhaps to have 6 to 8 new sets of ears [players] rather than a new voice."

Chicago Bulls: The Bulls reached a buyout agreement with point guard Jay Williams on Wednesday. The Bulls will receive roughly five million in savings on the deal and Williams will come off their roster as soon as this weekend, freeing the Bulls up to add another player to the team. Williams' agent, Bill Duffy, said that Williams, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident last summer, still wants to play for the Bulls someday. "This gives Jay an opportunity to earn compensation which, as I've stated before, the Bulls weren't obligated to provide," Duffy told the Chicago Tribune. "That's very honorable. But his primary focus is just to get healthy and play with the [Bulls]. And there's really no timetable for that. The nerve regeneration is going to take a long time and we're asking him to be patient."

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