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Cavaliers Sign Kapono

From Times Wire Services

Former UCLA forward Jason Kapono was signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Contract terms were not disclosed.

Kapono, a 6-foot-8 second-round pick in June’s NBA draft, is third in UCLA history with 2,095 points behind Don MacLean and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and was the first Bruin to lead the school in scoring for four straight seasons.

Kapono also declared himself eligible for the draft after his junior year but withdrew his name.

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“Jason is a proven scorer who has shown he can knock down perimeter shots,” Cavalier General Manager Jim Paxson said in a statement. ‘We feel he shows great potential and will grow to become a very effective player in this league.’

Meanwhile, Paxson, 46, will receive a contract extension and promotion from the team today, according to NBA sources.

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Charlotte Bobcat owner Bob Johnson is receptive to Ed Tapscott running the new team’s basketball operation if Michael Jordan doesn’t accept that role.

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Jordan hasn’t decided whether to join the Bobcats as part owner and president of basketball operations. Tapscott, the Bobcats’ executive vice president, formerly was a scout and interim general manager of the New York Knicks.

The Bobcats will begin play in the 2004-2005 season.

Jordan has made no public comment since May, when he left the Washington Wizards.

Jordan was close to buying the Milwaukee Bucks in June before that team’s owner, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), pulled the franchise off the market.

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The San Antonio Spurs signed free-agent guard Anthony Carter.

Carter, 28, became a free agent when his agent mistakenly failed to exercise a player option that would have allowed him to make $4.1 million with the Miami Heat next season.

In San Antonio, Carter is expected to replace Speedy Claxton as Tony Parker’s backup at point guard.

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The U.S. team will open next month’s Olympic qualifying tournament against Brazil and will not face Argentina -- one of the teams that defeated the U.S. last summer -- until the second round.

The U.S. was placed in a group with Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands as the draw was held for the FIBA-Americas men’s qualifying tournament for the 2004 Olympics.

The other group consists of Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Uruguay.

The U.S. team will play Brazil on Aug. 20, the Dominican Republic on Aug. 21, Venezuela on Aug. 22 and the Virgin Islands on Aug. 23.

The tournament’s top three teams advance to the Olympics.


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