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Brand Reportedly Ready to Leave Duke for NBA

DAILY REPORT

April 09, 1999| Associated Press

Duke's Elton Brand has decided to skip his final two years of eligibility and will enter this year's NBA draft, CNN-Sports Illustrated reported Thursday.

Without citing any sources, CNN-SI said an official announcement will be made next week.

Duke sports information director Mike Cragg told The Associated Press that as far as he knows, Brand still hasn't made up his mind.

He also said that no announcement has been scheduled for next week.

The sophomore center has been honored this year by the AP, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the United States Basketball Writers Assn., and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Brand averaged 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who finished 37-2, including a perfect record in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Duke lost to Connecticut, 77-74, in the NCAA championship game.

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Seattle SuperSonic forward Vin Baker, who has been sidelined for 10 games because of a partial ligament tear of his right thumb, was activated Thursday, one day after his toughness reportedly was questioned by all-star teammate Gary Payton. Payton reportedly berated Baker at practice on Wednesday, questioning his ability to play. Reports said Baker left practice but was brought back by SuperSonic Coach Paul Westphal and center Olden Polynice. The SuperSonics placed reserve guard Drew Barry on the injured list because of back pain. . . . Guard Matt Maloney was activated by the Houston Rockets to take the roster spot of guard Brent Price, placed on the injured list after knee surgery. . . . The Washington Wizards signed center John Coker for the rest of the season.

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