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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Sonics send Radmanovic to Clippers for Wilcox

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The Seattle SuperSonics traded Vladimir Radmanovic to the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Wilcox on Tuesday in a swap of 6-foot-10 forwards.

Vladimir Radmanovic
Radmanovic

Chris Wilcox
Wilcox

Radmanovic and Wilcox will be free agents at seasons end and both had fallen out of favor with their previous teams.

"They were looking for a guy who can shoot from the outside and Vlade pretty much indicated he wasn't going to re-sign with us," Sonics general manager Rick Sund said. "Wilcox wasn't really fitting into their club. Hopefully it will work out for both teams."

Radmanovic has struggled for the past month despite being put in the starting lineup after new coach Bob Hill took over Jan. 3. Since Jan. 11, Radmanovic has scored in double figures only four times in 13 games, and recently was benched in favor of forward Nick Collison.

Radmanovic, who turned down a $42 million, six-year deal with the Sonics before the season and signed a one-year tender instead, is averaging 9.3 points -- down from 11.8 last season. Because he signed a one-year tender, Radmanovic had the right to block the trade. He previously indicated he would block any deals, but changed his mind.

The 25-year-old Radmanovic, in his fifth NBA season, scored a career-high 30 points at New York on Jan. 8. He was drafted by the Sonics with the 12th pick in the 2001 draft. In his four years with Seattle, the versatile Serbian has been an adept threat from the perimeter, shooting 38 percent on 3-pointers.

"He's a solid acquisition for us," Clippers center Elton Brand said. "He plays many spots on the floor, he can spread the court, and that's something we didn't have."

He is averaging 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in his career.

"Vladimir gives us versatility and he fits very well into our system," Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor said. "He's agile and he runs the floor well. We see him playing multiple positions and his outside shooting will stretch the defense and be a big positive for our inside players."

Wilcox's production also has dwindled, even with the Clippers challenging for the Pacific Division lead. The 6-foot-10 forward is playing only 13 minutes per game and averaging 4.5 points. Last season, Wilcox averaged 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 54 games.

The 23-year-old Wilcox has career averages of 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in three-plus seasons with the Clippers after they made him the eighth overall selection in the 2002 draft following his two-year college career at Maryland.

"We were looking for an athletic player that can play above the rim," Sund said. "His athleticism is a big plus for us, and he can run and can finish. He's looking for a place to be where he can get a fresh start as well."

The acquisition of Wilcox could be just the start of moves by the struggling Sonics. Earlier this week, Sund said the team would be active in discussions leading up to the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

After losing to Denver on Sunday, Hill pleaded for the team to acquire a backup point guard to help starter Luke Ridnour.

Forward Reggie Evans and guard Ronald Murray have been mentioned in a number of rumored trades. Like Radmanovic, both signed one-year tenders and will be free agents after the season.

The Clippers, having one of the best seasons in franchise history, entered Tuesday night's home game against Houston with a 30-19 record, putting them 2 games behind the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Suns.

"I think it's a great opportunity for both players," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We were looking for another dimension, a guy who could go out and stroke the ball. And this will give us an opportunity to play a different style, or change it up in certain games and match up better against certain teams."

The Sonics have been a disappointment after winning 52 games and making the playoffs last season. They were 20-31 entering Tuesday night's game at Milwaukee.