Trail Blazer-Cavalier Trade Voided Because Lee Flunked Physical

The trade that sent veteran guard Jim Paxson of the Portland Trail Blazers to the Cleveland Cavaliers for forward Keith Lee was voided by the National Basketball Assn. Tuesday because Lee flunked a Blazer physical.

The 6-foot 10-inch Lee was traded to the Blazers June 22 for the 6-6 Paxson. Eight days later, Dr. Robert Cook, Portland's team physician, expressed concern over knee problems that might make it impossible for the former Memphis State star to play. Lee, 24, had surgery on his right knee when he was about 15, Cook said.

"My feeling was, despite the fact that he hasn't had any catastrophic knee problems yet, the probability is for very significant knee problems," Cook said in July. "I think it would be a bad risk."

Cleveland argued that since Lee had played with the same problems in college and in two NBA seasons, the deal should be upheld.

Commissioner David Stern, however, disagreed.

"Cleveland contended that Lee is healthy and fully capable of playing," he said in a statement issued by the NBA. "While that contention may well be true, Portland still has the right to rely on the judgment of its own physician in such matters.

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