Print and Go Back NBA [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Savings may help Kings re-sign Jim Jackson

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings traded center Keon Clark and two second-round draft picks to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday for a second-round choice.

Keon Clark

The Kings made the move strictly for financial reasons. Sacramento's payroll is one of the NBA's highest, and owners Joe and Gavin Maloof apparently had second thoughts about the stiff luxury-tax bill they probably will pay after acquiring All-Star center Brad Miller two weeks ago.

Clark exercised his $5 million contract option for the upcoming season a few days before the Kings acquired Miller and his seven-year, $68 million contract from Indiana.

"This was a very difficult decision, but we have to consider the overall economic ability of our team in this market,'' said Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations. "With this trade, we think we found a good situation for Keon while reducing our economic exposure for the upcoming season.''

Clark is headed to his fourth team in five NBA seasons. He averaged 6.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season after signing with the Kings as a free agent, starting several games while Chris Webber was injured.

After striking out with several big-name free agents despite having $20 million of salary-cap room, the Jazz finally landed a player for their rebuilding effort following the departures of Karl Malone and John Stockton. Clark has played extensively at center and power forward in his career.

After trading Hedo Turkoglu to San Antonio in the three-way trade that brought Miller to Sacramento, the Kings are hoping to re-sign Jim Jackson, who averaged 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds last season as a valuable backup. Jackson has attracted the interest of several teams, including New Jersey.