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Sonics Talking To Richmond

The Seattle SuperSonics are talking to the Washington Wizards about a trade for all-star shooting guard Mitch Richmond, a newspaper reported.

Citing unidentified sources, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Tuesday that Richmond and his manager opened talks last week with the Sonics and several other teams.

Richmond is disenchanted with the Wizards because he suspects the team intends to wait to offer him a new contract until the eight teams with salary-cap space spend money on other players, leaving Richmond with no alternative but to accept a low offer from Washington, The News Tribune reported.

Richmond is also considering Sacramento, for whom he played seven seasons before being traded to Washington, and Golden State, for whom he played his first three seasons, the newspaper reported. Other teams reportedly interested in acquiring Richmond include Miami, Indiana, the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.

Only Chicago and Seattle have salary-cap space, giving them more flexibility. The other teams would have to work out a trade.

Mitch Richmond might be playing in a Sonics uniform this upcoming season.>
Mitch Richmond might be playing in a Sonics uniform this upcoming season.(AP)

Under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, Richmond is what is a "base-year-salary" player. That means that while Richmond may sign a contract worth $11 million with Washington, the Sonics would only have to take back half of that in salary cap, or $5.5 million.

The Sonics are $3.5 million under the salary cap, which means they would have to free up $2 million more to be able to take on Richmond's new salary.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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