Nets Deal McAdoo To Lakers for Cash And Draft Choice

December 25, 1981

The Nets traded Bob McAdoo to the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday for a 1983 second-round draft choice and cash. The amount depends on how long he stays with the Lakers.

McAdoo, a free agent, did not sign a contract with the Nets and has not played this season. But the Nets retained the rights to him because he did not give them an offer sheet under the league's new right-of-first-refusal policy. They acquired him on waivers from the Detroit Pistons in March. Bothered by a series of foot injuries and a conflict with Piston management, he played only 16 games with the two teams last season.

The deal is contingent on his passing a physical examination. He will fly to Los Angeles tomorrow morning and undergo examinations by Drs. Robert Kerlan and Steve Lombardo, team physicians. If they find him healthy, he will join the Lakers for Sunday night's game against the San Diego Clippers.

"I feel great about it," McAdoo said yesterday from his home in Ramsay, N.J. "It's a great chance for me. I'll be playing with a contender, and that's what it has been all about for me. I should be able to pass my physical. I don't see any problem. I'll be with best center of them all, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

He said he had not signed a contract, and details would have to be worked out.

Versatility an Asset

"Bob gives us someone who can play two positions," said Bill Sharman, the Laker general manager, from his home in Los Angeles. "We have been looking for a backup center for about six weeks. At first McAdoo was not exactly what we wanted. We were very close to a deal with Houston for Billy Paultz. When Mitch went down, things changed and McAdoo became more attractive to us because he can play the center and foward spots."

Sharman was referring to the loss of Mitch Kupchak, who underwent knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined eight weeks. His right knee was injured Saturday night in a game against the Clippers.

Abdul-Jabbar has also been ailing with a strained tendon in his right ankle. He has missed three games but is expected to start this afternoon against the Phoenix Suns. He injured the ankle in a game against Golden State Dec. 17. The Lakers, who lead the Pacific Division with a 21-7 record, won all three games during his absence.

Question of Money

The Nets said they could not come to terms with McAdoo. "He was asking too much money," said Bob MacKinnon, the general manager. Before becoming a free agent, McAdoo, who is 30 years old and 6 feet 9 inches tall, was covered by a five-year contract that paid him $500,000 a year. A three-time league scoring champion with the Buffalo Braves, he was traded to the Knicks with Tom McMillen for John Gianelli and cash in December 1976. The Knicks, who had decided to build through the draft, traded him to the Celtics with Tom Barker in February 1979 for Boston's three first-round draft choices. The Celtics sent him to the Pistons for two 1980 first-round draft choices to complete compensation for Boston's signing of M.L. Carr as a free agent.

McAdoo reached a tentative agreement with the Lakers for what Bill Madden, his lawyer, described as "far less money than he had been receiving."

"Bob wanted it that way," Madden said. "He was anxious and raring to go, but he wanted to go with a winner. That's why we waited so long."

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