Sunday, July 11, 2004

Hawks take chance on Martin


NBA notebook

Enquirer news services

Atlanta is willing to wait for Kenyon Martin.

The New Jersey Nets' free agent was expected to leave Atlanta on Saturday with a six-year maximum contract offer - as much as $85 million.

"Going through the process, we let the guy know we have a great town and a great facility and we have an interest in putting the best team together," Hawks vice president Dominique Wilkins told the Associated Press.

Martin, however, is a restricted free agent, which means if he signs the Hawks' offer sheet, New Jersey can take 15 days to decide whether to match it.

By that point, the free agent market might have dwindled considerably. Players can begin signing with new teams Wednesday, and if the Nets decide on the 15th day to match the offer, Atlanta - and its $20 million in cap space - could be left without a high-profile free agent.

Martin has said he would prefer to remain with New Jersey, but the Nets might not be willing to match a maximum offer. The 6-foot-9 power forward also has visited the Denver Nuggets.

Martin's visit in Atlanta began Friday, only one day after Mike Woodson was introduced as the Hawks' new coach.

Martin, a 2004 All-Star, averaged 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds for the Nets last season.

PACERS-HAWKS TRADE? Indiana and Atlanta have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will send Stephen Jackson to the Pacers, according to ESPN.com.

Jackson, who averaged 18.1 points a game in 80 games for the Hawks last season, would go to the Pacers in exchange for forward Al Harrington.

SPURS: Free agent guard Brent Barry has reached an agreement to join the team, leaving Seattle to play alongside Tim Duncan.

"Brent called and informed us that if everything goes according to plan, he expects to sign with San Antonio," Sonics general manager Rick Sund said Saturday.

The four-year deal is believed to be worth between $22 million and $24 million.




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