Wednesday , Jul , 11 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Francis headed for free agency after Blazers buyout

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Steve Francis’ stint as a Trail Blazer was
a short one, as Portland waived the 30-year-old guard and agreed to terms on
a buyout of the final two years of his contract.

“This move will provide us greater financial flexibility as we continue to
build a successful team for years to come,” said Blazers general manager Kevin
Pritchard.

Francis was traded to Portland from the New York Knicks along with Channing
Frye in exchange for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau and Fred Jones in a draft night
trade on June 28. The Trail Blazers reportedly bought out the remaining two
years of Francis’ contract for almost the full price, paying more than $30
million of the $34 million owed to Francis over the next two years.

The former All-Star will become a free agent after he clears waivers next
week. Francis averaged a career-low 11.3 points per game in New York last
season, well below his career average of 18.4 points per game.

POR