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Cautious Nets Trade Anderson to Hornets

Pro basketball: Rather than risk losing him in free agency, New Jersey sends guard to Charlotte for Kendall Gill and Khalid Reeves.

January 20, 1996|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Kenny Anderson's desire to test the free agency market at the end of the season left the New Jersey Nets with no choice. They picked his new team for him.

Facing the prospect of losing the point guard and getting nothing in return, the Nets traded Anderson to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday in a four-player deal.

In return for Anderson and seldom-used swingman Gerald Glass, the Nets received guards Kendall Gill and Khalid Reeves.

Charlotte should be able to sign Anderson to a new contract, said his attorney, David Falk.

"I can't imagine Kenny Anderson not being a part of Charlotte's future for a long time," Falk said.

Anderson rejected a six-year, $40-million contract at the start of the season, saying he hadn't made up his mind on free agency. The two sides continued to talk in recent weeks, but the Nets wanted something done before the trading deadline next month.

Gill and Reeves, who are expected to make their debuts with New Jersey on Tuesday in Toronto, give the Nets two young guards with multiyear contracts.

Charlotte gets a player who has career averages of 15.3 points and 7.7 assists. However, Anderson has struggled this season. He is shooting 38% from the field.

Anderson's departure will allow the Nets to move Chris Childs into the point guard position with Reeves and veteran Vern Fleming as his backups.

Gill, now in his sixth season, should become the Nets' shooting guard. He was averaging 12.9 points, shooting 48% from the field and 31% from three-point range, the kind of accuracy the Nets have lacked since Drazen Petrovic was killed in 1993.

Reeves, Miami's top draft pick in 1994, averaged 8.1 points and 3.1 assists in 20 games.

Anderson was expected to join his new team today and Bristow planned to start him in a home game against Golden State tonight.

Anderson ended his Net career in the top 10 in 10 categories, including points and assists. Ironically, his final game for New Jersey was in a victory over Charlotte on Wednesday. He had 22 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.

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