Lakers, Clippers Make Moves
Radmanovic signs with Lakers; Cassell on the way out as Clippers sign Suns' Thomas
By Mike Bresnahan and Jason Reid, Times Staff Writer
4:13 PM PDT, July 1, 2006
The Los Angeles Lakers moved quickly Saturday on the first day of free agency, addressing their need for outside shooting by snatching away a piece from their cross-town rival by agreeing to terms with three-point specialist Vladimir Radmanovic.
The Los Angeles Clippers also reacted quickly after Radmanovic and point guard Sam Cassell apparently reneged on agreements to stay with them, reaching terms with sharp-shooting forward Tim Thomas early Saturday.
Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy and the representatives of Thomas, a 6-foot-10 forward who revived his career with Phoenix late last season, completed a four-year, $24-million deal Saturday at about 12:30 a.m. The move capped a dizzying three-hour period in which the Clippers were informed Cassell and Radmanovic accepted and then rejected multi-year offers, sources said.
Radmanovic agreed Saturday to a five-year, $31-million contract with the Lakers, the same package the Clippers offered.
"At the conclusion of the moratorium period, the Lakers intend to enter into a contract with Vladimir Radmanovic," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said.
Radmanovic, who stretches defenses by luring post players away from the basket with his outside shot, has career averages of 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 38.1% shooting from three-point range.
Thomas, a nine-year veteran, who makes his off-season home in Los Angeles, played a key role in the Suns' run to the Western Conference finals. Thomas averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and made 37.8% of his three-pointers as Phoenix defeated the Clippers in the semifinals.
Free agents cannot officially sign contracts until July 12.
"At the conclusion of the moratorium period, the Lakers intend to enter into a contract with Vladimir Radmanovic," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said.http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketbal ... -headlines