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Bucks ship Jefferson to Spurs in swap

THE San Antonio Spurs acquired scoring swingman Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee in a four-player deal on Tuesday, giving the Spurs the extra offensive punch the aging former champions sorely needed.

San Antonio sent veterans Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto to the Bucks in exchange for the 29-year-old Jefferson, who averaged 19.6 points in his one season with the Bucks.

Milwaukee then dealt Oberto to Detroit for forward Amir Johnson. The trades give the Bucks more financial flexibility, the Spurs a proven scorer and the Pistons a veteran big man at a lower cost than Johnson.

Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford said Jefferson brings youth and health along with his high scoring. Jefferson hasn't missed a game the past two seasons and joins a team that has been the oldest in the National Basketball Association for several years.

"His age helps us transition our team into a new era," Buford said.

Spurs guard Tony Parker welcomed Jefferson into the fold, alongside Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. San Antonio is coming off its shortest playoff run since 2000 and faded down the stretch with Duncan hobbled and Ginobili sidelined by injury.

Offensive threat

Milwaukee unloaded Jefferson's contract, which has two years and US$29.2 million remaining. Jefferson became the Bucks' best offensive threat after Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut went down with season-ending injuries, but the Bucks' tight financial situation made a move necessary.

Milwaukee does not want to pay the NBA's luxury tax, which last year hit teams dollar-for-dollar once they reach US$71.15 million in total payroll.

Redd, Bogut and Jefferson are scheduled to make more than US$41 million combined this season.

Also, the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to trade guards Randy Foye and Mike Miller to the Washington Wizards for the fifth overall NBA draft pick and three players.

The trade leaves Minnesota with four first-round choices and plenty of ammunition to do even more wheeling and dealing. Two officials with knowledge of the deal confirmed that the trade had been agreed upon on Tuesday.

The deal would give Minnesota the fifth and sixth overall selections in tomorrow's NBA draft, as well as forwards Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov.


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