Team Gets Overton, Wang Is Released

Times Staff Writer

Uncertainty about the availability of Marko Jaric led to the Clippers' signing Friday of Doug Overton, a journeyman point guard and former Clipper who was cut last week by the New Jersey Nets.

To make room on the roster, the Clippers waived center Wang Zhizhi, a bust after signing a three-year, $6-million free-agent contract last year.

General Manager Elgin Baylor, in a statement released by the team, described Overton, 34, as "a player who we are very familiar with."

Overton played 18 games with the Clippers two seasons ago. After the season, they did not try to re-sign him.

But with Jaric sidelined because of a partially torn muscle in his left foot, the Clippers needed a third point guard to join Keyon Dooling and Eddie House. Jaric is listed as day to day after suffering the injury Tuesday night while making his first start of the season, but he returned to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

"As far as Marko's concerned, we just have no idea, really," Coach Mike Dunleavy said Friday after a three-hour practice. "It sounds like it's not going to be long term, but I don't know how quickly [he'll return]."

Even before Jaric was injured, Dunleavy had lobbied for a seasoned point guard.

Of Overton, who practiced with his new team Friday, Dunleavy said: "He's a veteran player, been around the league. He knows what's going on, picks stuff up easily. He's been a good, solid player for a number of teams."

Including the Clippers and Nets, Overton has played for eight NBA teams over 11 seasons, averaging 4.6 points and 2.0 assists in 444 games.



at Minnesota, 5 PST, Channel 5

Site -- Target Center, Minneapolis.

Radio -- XTRA (1150).

Records -- Clippers 4-4, Timberwolves 7-5.

Record vs. Timberwolves (2002-03) -- 1-3.

Update -- Before Friday's 97-83 victory at Cleveland, center Michael Olowokandi of the Timberwolves was averaging 6.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots, prompting owner Glen Taylor and General Manager Kevin McHale to wonder if signing the former Clipper had been a mistake because of his injured knees. "It concerns us because obviously certain players' bodies are more injured than others," Taylor told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "We were under the opinion that this was something that was correctable."

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