Wednesday , Dec , 03 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Blazers trade Wells to Grizzlies

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – The Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday acquired
swingman Bonzi Wells from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for swingman
Wesley Person, a conditional first-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and cash
considerations.

If the Grizzlies’ first-round choice in the 2004 draft is one of the top three
picks, the team has the option to keep the selection.

Wells was stripped of his team captaincy and suspended for two games by the
Blazers after he cursed at head coach Maurice Cheeks. Wells was upset after
Cheeks benched him for the final 16 minutes and 17 seconds of a game against
Dallas on November 17.

Earlier in November, Wells was fined an undisclosed amount by the team after
he made an obscene gesture to a fan and threw a towel and water bottle onto
the court during a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 27-year-old Wells had spent his entire NBA career with Portland after
the Trail Blazers acquired his draft rights from Detroit on January 21,
1999. In 13 games this season for the Blazers, he averaged 12.2 points, 4.7
rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Wells has posted career averages of 13.3 points, 4.7 boards and 2.6 assists in
310 games.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to acquire a player of the caliber
of Bonzi Wells. He is a very talented player who is young, and already has
quite a bit of experience of being successful in this league,” said Grizzlies
President of Basketball Operations Jerry West. “We are very hopeful that this
opportunity provides a fresh start for Bonzi in Memphis and that he enjoys
joining a rising young team in the Grizzlies. We’re very optimistic Bonzi will
provide a significant presence in our lineup.”

The 32-year-old Person struggled for Memphis this season. In 16 games, he
averaged only 5.2 points and 1.4 assists.

Person is in his 10th season in the NBA. He has played 650 career games for
Phoenix, Cleveland and Memphis and has averaged 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds
and 1.8 assists per contest.

“Of course, we lost a veteran player in Wesley (Person) who is a true
professional and has done a wonderful job for us over the last two seasons,”
added West. “We certainly wish the best for Wesley as he continues his
successful career in the NBA.”

POR MEM