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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Charlie Villanueva Swapped For T.J. Ford

ESPN's Sportscenter is reporting that the Toronto Raptors will swap Charlie Villanueva to the Milwaukee Bucks for T.J. Ford and cash considerations.

Bucks General Manager Larry Harris has confirmed the deal, which was posted on the Bucks website.

?The hard part of any trade is having to give up something in return,? Harris said. ?T.J. is a talented, young athlete who gave his all to this organization for three years, both on and off the court. He was an inspiration to all of us when he found the will and strength to fight back from the neck injury he suffered during his rookie season. Many people thought he would never play basketball again, but he thrived in the face of adversity and now has the promise of a long NBA career ahead of him. We wish him much success in Toronto.?

The trade will give the Bucks a formidable frontcourt with last year's first overall selection Andrew Bogut and Villanueva, while the Raptors fill their biggest hole at point guard.

Via ESPN

LeBron Gives Cavaliers A Surprise Visit

The Cavaliers and LeBron James may begin discussions on his contract extension as soon as July 1st pops its head, but the All-Star made a surprise appearance on Friday by showing up at the club's press conference to introduce their draft picks.

"It's good to see him -- anytime," coach Mike Brown said.

"We'll make a call and allow things to unfold," Danny Ferry said. "Feeling like we have to rush this is a mistake. The earliest he (James) can do anything is the 12th. Rushing it is not a necessity. That process starts tonight and carries on through. We're going to initiate things with them and go from there."

Via CNNSI.com

Eric Williams and Justin Gray Get NBA Summer League Spots

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Eric Williams and Justin Gray of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have received NBA Summer League spots.

Williams, a big power forward, will receive his spot from the New Jersey Nets and Gray, a combo guard, will receive his spot from the Toronto Raptors.

"He's really happy about it," said Williams's agent Juan Davis. "It's the same money as a second-rounder, as long as he makes the team. Second round and undrafted get the same amount of money. He's going to a place where he's wanted and where he has a good chance to make the roster. He has family up in the New York and New Jersey area, and it's on the East Coast."

Via Winston-Salem Journal

Jazz Pick Up Option On McLeod's Contract

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has exercised its option on guard Keith McLeod?s contract for the 2006-07 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract are not disclosed.

In two seasons with the Jazz, the 6-2 guard out of Bowling Green has seen action in 119 games averaging 6.6 points and 3.3 assists in 22 minutes per game. He tallied a career high 22 points on December 26, 2005 against the Memphis Grizzlies and has dished out a career high 11 assists twice (December 31, 2004 vs.Sacramento and January 11, 2005 vs. Phoenix).

Via Jazz.com

Hornets Wanted Armstrong Or Simmons, Drafted Both

The debate roared behind the scenes, Armstrong or Simmons, Simmons or Armstrong, but inevitably, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets landed both players in this year's NBA Draft.

With the 12 and 15 picks, the Hornets needed size and settled on Connecticut's Hilton Armstrong with the 12th pick, only to see the other player that they coveted, Cedric Simmons, drop to them at the 15th pick.

"We're about as happy as we could be right now," said Jeff Bower in his first draft as Hornets general manager. "We had them ranked back-to-back, and the scrutiny that went into placing one in front of the other was the most we had to put into a prospect decision in a long, long time. We really had a long process trying to put one of the two first. That's how even we felt they really were, and how comfortable we were with both of them."

Via New Orleans Times-Picayune

Horton Expects To Sign With Heat

Not being picked in this year's NBA Draft did not trouble former Michigan point guard Daniel Horton.

Horton expects that the Miami Heat will sign him to a free agent deal before summer league begins.

"It's a better deal than being drafted in the second round," he said. "I may even have a chance to win a championship with them, and I could have a chance to play," said Horton.

Via Detroit Free Press

Kobe Wants Cassell On Lakers

According to David Vassegh of AM 570, the L.A. Lakers will pursue Sam Cassell at the request of Kobe Bryant.

The Clippers were rumored to be only willing to offer Cassell a one-year deal.

If the Lakers offer a multi-year deal, it may entice either Cassell to head to the Lakers or the Clippers to also make a multi-year offer.

Ben Wallace On The Way Out?

According to the New York Daily News, the Detroit Pistons may pursue Bonzi Wells and let Ben Wallace walk if he demands too much money.

Teams mentioned to be pursuing Wallace are the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls.

Via New York Daily News

Nets Decline Option On Robinson; Waive Padgett

New Jersey Nets President Rod Thorn announced today that the team has declined to exercise the option on forward Clifford Robinson for the 2006-07 season, and has waived forward Scott Padgett.  

Robinson appeared in 80 games in 2005-06 for the Nets, averaging 6.9 ppg and 3.3 rpg.  He posted 23 double figure scoring games and twice scored 20-plus points.  The 17-year veteran has career averages of 14.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg in 1,330 games with five different teams.

Padgett, who signed as free agent with the Nets prior to the 2005-06 season, averaged 3.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg in 62 games last season.  He totaled five games of 10-plus points and had a season-high 15 points, shooting 5-for-5 from three-point range, on 12/16/05 vs. Denver.  In seven NBA seasons, Padgett has career averages of 4.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg in 417

Terry's New Deal Expected To Come Quickly, Same With Dirk Extension

A source has told Eddie Sefko that the Mavericks expect to re-sign Jason Terry very quickly this summer.  Teams can begin negotiations once the clock strikes 12:00 AM on Saturday morning.

The source also said that Dirk Nowitzki's contract will be extended for three seasons soon after negotiations can begin.

Terry's new deal is expected to be in the neighborhood of Cuttino Mobley and Bobby Simmons, who signed free-agent deals last season.

Mobley's deal began at $7.2 million in the first season. Simmons' deal started at $8 million.

Via Dallas Morning News

Hawks Exercise Contract Option On Royal Ivey

Farmar Gets Surprise Call From Kobe

Jordan Farmar received a phone call from one of the NBA's top players, teammate Kobe Bryant.

Gerry McNamara Gets Magic Offer To Play Summer Ball

Evans' Trade Could Help Re-Sign Ben

Bulls Looking For Size With Cap Space

Bulls Pick Up Option On Malik Allen

Suns Plan To Call Thomas

Isiah: I Wouldn't Trade These Knicks

Isiah Thomas wants to work with the current incarnation of the Knicks.

Wolves Forward Eddie Griffin Served With Civil Suit

Van Gundy Says He Likes Trade For Battier

Dumars Confident He Can Re-sign Wallace

Celtics Chasing A Superstar

Celtics To Sign Allan Ray?

Iverson Trade Rumors Overblown, King Says

Wilcox, Sonics Likely Far Apart On Money

Magloire To The Wizards?

Could Jamaal Magloire be on the move to Washington?

Morrison Thinks Charlotte Is Perfect Fit

Raptors: Bargnani Is No Tskitishvili

New Agreements Expected For Mavs' Terry, Dirk

NCAA Tourney Proposal Update

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