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NBA: June 8, 2005

Posted: Wednesday June 8, 2005 11:59AM; Updated: Wednesday June 8, 2005 12:12PM
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Damon Jones
Damon Jones isn't worried about his contract.
Brain Bahr/Getty Imags

Heat president Pat Riley figures initially to dangle a large chunk of his exception money at some of the top free agents, hoping they'll take less to play here. Among those available include Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stromile Swift, Bobby Simmons, Donyell Marshall, Vladamir Radmanovic and Raja Bell.
-- Miami Herald

Starting Heat point guard Damon Jones has a player option on the second year of his two-year, $5 million contract. "I have a great contract," he said. "Could it get better? Who knows? But that's not something I'm focused on right now."
-- Palm Beach Post

Kendall Gill isn't planning to make boxing his second career, but the former Illinois star and veteran of 14 NBA seasons can't resist the temptation of living his sporting dream -- at least for a few nights. Gill, 37, will make his professional boxing debut June 25 at the Aragon Ballroom. The 6-5 Gill, who weighed 216 pounds while playing for the Bulls during his last NBA season in 2003-04, will fight a four-rounder in the cruiserweight division, which is for fighters weighing between 175 and 200.
-- Chicago Sun Times

Kiki Vandeweghe, in the last year of his deal, is trying to get a contract extension from the Nuggets. He was regarded as a possible candidate with the Cavaliers and the Trail Blazers in the past month, but the Nuggets denied teams permission to speak with him.
-- Akron Beacon Journal

Do the Hornets pick an underclassman point guard and pair him with a shooting guard, J.R. Smith, who should be a college sophomore, fielding a backcourt that would be carded trying to enter Pat O'Brien's?

Or does New Orleans entertain offers of a swap with another team for veteran players or additional picks?

"There's a lot more homework to be done in order to be close to be entertaining any kind of thought of moving out of the fourth spot," said GM Allan Bristow. "I don't think it would take an overwhelming deal," Bristow said. "But it would have to be a good deal, a good solid deal where we feel comfortable. If you move to a different spot in the draft, you better know what's gong to be available. I just don't want a number. I want a name; a face."
-- The Times-Picayune

There had been some talk that the Lakers want Phil Jackson to let them know something about his future by the end of this week.
-- The Press Enterprise