Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Bryant heads list of NBA free agents

One hundred and thirty nine NBA players became unrestricted or restricted free agents at midnight Wednesday. Teams can begin negotiating with those free agents, including Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant.


One hundred and thirty nine NBA players became unrestricted or restricted free agents at midnight Wednesday. Teams can begin negotiating with those free agents, including Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant.



Bryant heads list of NBA free agents

 


Bryant, who is scheduled to stand trial on a rape charge in August, has played eight seasons in Los Angeles since joining the Lakers out of Lower Merion High School in suburban Philadelphia.

The 25-year-old has averaged 21.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 561 games in his career and has helped the Lakers to three NBA titles.

Another unrestricted free agent expected to draw attention is Rasheed Wallace, who is fresh off an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons. Wallace, who spent seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before landing in Detroit after a one-game stop in Atlanta, may be the best-available big man this offseason.

The Philadelphia native has averaged 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 632 games in his career.

Dallas’ Steve Nash, Golden State’s Erick Dampier and Seattle’s Brent Barry are the other top unrestricted free agents.

New Jersey’s Kenyon Martin heads the list of restricted free agents. The high- flying Martin averaged 19.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last season. His talents would be a nice addition to any team.

There are 103 unrestricted free agents (free to sign with their own team for a maximum contract or any team that has the cap room) and 36 restricted free agents (players whose teams have a right to match any contract they sign).

In two weeks, (July 14) teams can sign players.