PORTLAND, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Portland Trail Blazers, who have had a team filled with veteran All-Stars for the past few seasons, apparently will waive forward Sean Kemp some time on Tuesday.
According to a report in The Oregonian, the Trail Blazers will waive the six-time All-Star and may save about $40 million in the process.
Kemp was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade in August 2000, but has not been the same player who was once one of the premier power forwards in the NBA throughout the
His weight has reached 280 pounds, and that seems to be a factor in his lack of production. He averaged just 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest in 75 games last season.
In a major surprise, Portland, which has been eliminated in the playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers five of the last six seasons, reportedly will pay Kemp about $20 million of his $46.5-million contract over the next 10 years. It is extraordinary for a player basically to give back money.
According to the Oregonian, although the NBA Players Association has expressed concern about the size of the deal, the union, the NBA, the Blazers and Kemp approved it. It is thought to be the most money a player has agreed to give back to a team.
The paper reported that the Blazers will get an estimated $12.5 million reduction in each of the next two seasons in accordance with Kemp's forfeiture.
The 6-10 Kemp, who turns 33 in November, originally selected by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 17th overall pick in the 1999 draft, was 19 when he made his NBA debut. After averaging 6.5 points in his rookie season, he averaged at least 15.0 points in each campaign until he had just 6.5 in 68 games with the Trail Blazers in 2000-01.
Mason stays in Seattle
SEATTLE, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Seattle SuperSonics have exercised their club option on swingman Desmond Mason, according to General Manager Rick Sund. It means Mason now is signed through the 2003-04 NBA season.
"I hope this extension is the beginning of a long career in Seattle," Mason said.
"Due to the collective bargaining agreement, we knew we had until Oct. 31 to exercise our option on Desmond," Sund said. "We wanted to do it before training camp. Desmond is a big part of our future and we are extremely pleased to have him under contract for the next two years."
Mason, 24, who can play either guard or forward, appeared in 75 games last season, averaging 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest. He shot 46 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the foul line.
"I'm glad the Sonics are providing me the opportunity to continue my career in Seattle," said Mason. "It's a great city with great fans and great team ownership. I really enjoy playing for Coach (Nate) McMillan. I like his philosophy and the direction our team is going. I hope this extension is the beginning of a long career in Seattle."
Mason, the Sonics' first-round draft choice in the 2000 draft, No. 17 overall, was named to the All-Rookie Second Team following the 2000-01 season. He won the 2001 NBA Slam Dunk contest and was the runnerup last season.
"We're excited to have Desmond on the team for the next two seasons," said McMillan. "He's a young player who has shown tremendous potential and versatility."
The Sonics' regular season tips off at home on Oct. 30 against Phoenix.
White named starting QB at Oklahoma
White, a junior, had been competing for the job with Nate Hybl, who emerged during a similar competition last year.
"We named Jason the starter," Stoops said. "Offensive coordinator (Chuck) Long has talked to both guys. The reasons are much like last year. Overall through camp, the consistency and leadership have been there. In the end, I'll say this, too, Nate has had by far and away his best camp and has looked awfully good. We're still pleased and excited about the way Nate has progressed."
White started the Baylor and Nebraska games last season and was outstanding in relief efforts against Texas and Kansas. He suffered a season-ending knee injury at Nebraska, when he suffered a torn ACL, but began practicing again last spring.
"I knew I had a long road ahead of me after surgery," White said. "But my teammates, my parents and my friends all pushed me through it. And it's turned out like nothing ever happened."
For the season, he completed 73-of-113 passes for 690 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. His 64.4 percent completion average for the season ranked No. 2 in OU history, while his 32 completions against Baylor ranked No. 5. That marked White's first start and he responded by completing 32-of-44 passes for 343 yards.
At Kansas, he come off the bench to throw four touchdown passes.
Hybl, a senior, also posted impressive numbers. He completed 222-of-380 passes for 2,234 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He led the team in eight different categories and set a Cotton Bowl record with 24 completions against Arkansas.
Stoops said both White and Hybl have improved over last season, which could be bad news for Sooner opponents.
"With the experience and maturity, both will be better and are better right now than they were last season," Stoops said.
Reds recall two pitchers
CINCINNATI, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Reds, who have used contributions from several pitchers to remain in the National League Central race and open a critical three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night, have recalled righthanders Chris Reitsma and Luke Hudson from Triple-A Louisville of the International League.
Reitsma was 4-8 with a 3.41 ERA in 19 starts and two relief outings with the Reds before being optioned to Louisville on July 31. He was 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts in the minors.
Hudson, who made two appearances with Cincinnati in July, was 5-8 with three saves and a 4.12 ERA in 26 games at Louisville.
Tuesday and 20-game winner Curt Schilling on Wednesday.
Righthanders Ryan Dempster and Brian Moeller, acquired last month, will oppose Johnson and Schilling, respectively.
On Monday, Cincinnati optioned knuckleballer Jared Fernandez to Louisville and placed John Riedling, also a righthander, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin.
Fernandez went 1-3 with a 4.27 ERA in 11 appearances, including eight starts. He was reached for five runs and five hits and took the loss in Monday's 7-5 setback to the Houston Astros.
Riedling was 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA in 22 relief appearances.
Indians demote Drese
CLEVELAND, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Cleveland Indians rookie Ryan Drese, who showed a lot of promise early in the season, Tuesday was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.
Drese went 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA in nine appearances in 2001 and was 5-3 in his first nine starts this year. But the young righthander is 1-3 in his last seven starts and was reached for five runs and six hits in four innings of Friday's 5-4 loss at Anaheim.
Drese, 26, who was selected by Cleveland in the
fifth round of the 1998 draft, is 9-9 with a 6.73 ERA in 24 starts.
To take Drese's roster spot, Cleveland recalled righthander Ricardo Rodriguez from Buffalo.
Rodriguez, 24, was acquired on July 28 in the trade that sent righthanded setup man Paul Shuey to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made four starts with Buffalo, going 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA. He is expected to make his major league debut Wednesday against the Oakland Atheltics.
Scatchard wins arbitration hearing
NEW YORK, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- New York Islanders center Dave Scatchard has received a two-year, $2.7 million contract from an arbitrator in his case.
Scatchard was paid $675,000 last season, when he ranked 11th on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 15 assists in 80 games. A rugged checker and solid penalty-killer, the 26-year-old added a goal and an assist in seven playoff games.
"The entire process was handled amicably and professionally by both sides, and we respect the arbitrator's work on the case and his decision," said Islanders General Manager Mike Milbury. "Most importantly, we are very happy to have Dave in an Islanders' uniform for at least two more seasons."
The 1995 second-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks was acquired in the December 1999 deal involving goaltender Felix Potvin.
Davis says goodbye to Denver
DENVER, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A throng of nearly 70,000 fans came to Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High Monday night to see veteran running back Terrell Davis in full uniform for the last time as he accompanied his teammates onto the field. Before the contest between the Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, Davis gave the fans his trademark "Mile High Salute."
"Denver has been very good to me. The fans are great and I want to say thank you to them," Davis said. "I have had fan support from other places in the country and I want to say thank you to them as well. I really don't know how to describe what I'm feeling right now. I have so many (emotions) running through my mind right now. This is just amazing."
Davis, limited to 17 games over the last three seasons because of an assortment of injuries, is expected to be placed on injured reserve Tuesday, officially ending his season and unofficially ending his playing career." It is tough to realize I am not going to play anymore," he said. "My mind is telling me one thing, but my knees are telling me something else."
His latest injury is a degenerative condition in his left knee that showed no immediate signs of improving. In May, he had surgery on the knee for the second time in six months, but an MRI performed last week revealed an arthritic condition.
"I never thought (about retiring), even when I got back some of the results on my knee. I felt I could come back and work hard to overcome the injury. I always believed that I could play."
By placing him on injured reserve, the Broncos will save $1.2 million against the salary cap this season. He is not expected to send in the official retirement paperwork until after the season.
Davis, just 29, was limited to eight games last season but still led the Broncos with 701 rushing yards on 167 carries. He was the NFL's MVP in 1998, rushing for 2,008 yards, but that was his last full season. He tore the ACL in his right knee in the fourth game of the 1999 campaign.
Davis was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII, helping the Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers, 31-24.
"It's very unfortunate that Terrell hurt his knees because he could have been one of the best, if not the best, running backs in NFL history," former Broncos quarterback John Elway told the Denver Post.
In his career, Davis rushed for 7,607 yards on 1,655 carries in 78 games. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and scored 60 touchdowns.
The former sixth-round draft choice out of the University of Georgia in 1995 holds or shares 56 team records, including 21 in the postseason.
"The first thing about Terrell Davis is that he's such a class act," said Coach Mike Shanahan. "Everybody knows he was a great player on the field, but it was also the way he handled himself off the field. He had such a great career here and did so much, he was a dream for me as a coach."
"It was a Cinderella story," wide receiver Ed McCaffrey said of Davis' career. "I'm really proud to be a part of his career and to have known him as a friend and as a teammate."
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