By STEVE POPPER
Published: June 12, 2004
he Charlotte Bobcats yesterday received the official list of players who will be available to them
in the expansion draft on June 22 or 23.
National Basketball Association rules prohibit the list from being disclosed, so the expansion Bobcats, who will play next season, could not comment on the players. "We have a number of directions we can take, and over the course of the next 10 days we will thoroughly explore all of our options," Bernie Bickerstaff, the Bobcats' coach and general manager, said in a statement.
The Bobcats received the names of available players from every team except the Lakers and the Pistons. Those two teams will send their unprotected lists to the Bobcats within 24 hours of the conclusion of the N.B.A. finals.
The expectation was that most teams would try to fill the unprotected list with overpriced and underachieving players. Some of the names that leaked out yesterday from various sources indicated that that was the case.
One Western Conference team executive said that the Dallas Mavericks left Antoine Walker and his $14.6 million contract unprotected. Washington left Jerry Stackhouse exposed with three years and $22.5 million remaining on his contract.
Still, the most striking names were those not on the list. Reggie Miller, who has spent his entire career with the Indiana Pacers and who was rumored to be on the list, was not, according to an N.B.A. executive.
Others who were expected to be on the list but were protected included Portland's Damon Stoudamire, who is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $15.7 million, as well as the Blazers' Dale Davis, who will earn $9 million next season.
One source familiar with the Knicks' plans confirmed that Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway, Shandon Anderson, Moochie Norris and Cezary Trybanski were left unprotected. The Nets left Kittles, Rodney Rogers, Alonzo Mourning and Tamar Slay unprotected, a source familiar with the Nets' plans said.