Posted: Dec 3, 2003 8:53 pm
ESPN.com news services
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Volatile forward Bonzi Wells to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday for guard Wesley Person, a conditional first-round pick in the 2004 Draft and cash considerations.
If Memphis' first round pick in the 2004 Draft is one of the top three picks, the Grizzlies have the option to keep the pick.
"We are very hopeful that this opportunity provides a fresh start for Bonzi in Memphis, and that he enjoys joining a rising young team in the Grizzlies," West said. "We're very optimistic Bonzi will provide a significant presence in our lineup."
Wells is averaging 12.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists this season, but he also was stripped of his captaincy and suspended for two games for cursing at coach Maurice Cheeks.
Wells has spent his entire six-year career with in Portland, averaging 13.3 points per game. He averaged a career-best 17.0 points during the 2001-2002 season.
Wells was fined $10,000 last month for making an obscene gesture at a fan after a loss to Philadelphia. Last March, Wells was suspended for one game by Cheeks for "conduct considered detrimental to the team."
Person has averaged 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in his career. His playing time has been limited this season, though, and he's scoring only 5.2 points per game.
"Of course, we lost a veteran player in Wesley who is a true professional and has done a wonderful job for us over the last two seasons," West said. "We certainly wish the best for Wesley as he continues his successful career in the NBA."
During a game in November, Cheeks yanked Wells for taking an ill-advised jumpshot. Wells swore at Cheeks on his way back to the bench and stood on the sideline and continued a profanity-laced tirade. Wells sat out the final 16:17 of the game, and the Blazers quickly lost the lead. The Mavericks went on to win 105-98.
"It just gets old. I'm sick of it," Cheeks said at the time. "I'm sick of always saying he didn't mean it and all that. Players have to be accountable for what they do and what they say."
Portland entered Wednesday with an 8-7 record, tied for fourth in the Pacific Division. Memphis (8-8) is last in the Midwest Division.
Grizz gotta stop getting rid of future first round draft picks. Too bad Qyntel couldn't have been thrown in.