Hornets trade Jim Jackson to Suns

Friday, January 21st 2005, 6:51 pm

By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The New Orleans Hornets traded disgruntled journeyman guard Jim Jackson to the Phoenix Suns for three young reserves on Friday.

Phoenix also got a 2005 second-round draft pick for swing man Casey Jacobsen, 23, and forwards Maciej Lampe, 19, and Jackson Vroman, 23.

``This was a trade just waiting to happen,'' Hornets general manager Allan Bristow said. ``It was made clear (Jackson) was not going to be here. And with another team's misfortune _ with injuries in Phoenix or what have you _ we were able to pull this thing off.''

Bristow said the recent injury to Phoenix point guard Steve Nash and the Suns' ensuing five-game losing streak seemed to give Phoenix a sense of urgency that produced the most favorable offer the Hornets had received for Jackson.

Bristow said about a half dozen other teams had made previous proposals since Jackson first refused to report to New Orleans after the Hornets acquired him and Bostjan Nachbar from Houston in a Dec. 27 trade that sent David Wesley to the Rockets.

Jackson will join his 12th NBA team in 13 seasons, although Jackson never actually played for New Orleans. He refused to report, saying he did not want to start over with a rebuilding team.

The Hornets, 6-32, suspended Jackson without pay, meaning he has forfeited more than $302,000 in salary for the 11 games he has missed.

Bristow said Jackson's agent, Mark Termini, promised that Jackson would report to the Suns and take his physical before the Hornets' next game Saturday night, allowing New Orleans to have their three new players in uniform against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jackson, 34, was averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds this season with Houston _ a team that stands a much better chance of making the playoffs than the Hornets.

Jackson has played with Dallas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Golden State, Portland, Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami and Sacramento, in addition to Houston, where he signed as a free agent before last season.

To make room on the roster for their new players, the Hornets waived forward Matt Freije and guard Junior Harrington. The Hornets also will still have a second-round pick in the 2005 draft. They had acquired an extra one from Dallas when they traded Darrell Armstrong to the Mavericks in exchange for Dan Dickau, who has blossomed into one of the Hornets' top players, averaging more than 12 points per game.

After Friday's trade, the Hornets have five players on their 12-man active roster who were not with the team when the regular season started.

The three newest players ``aren't household names, but neither was Dan Dickau, and I think we've got to look at it as, with the kind of season we're going through, that these guys will have opportunities to come in and prove to the coaches that they can play.''

Jacobsen, who averaged 19 minutes and 5.2 points per game at Phoenix, is expected to see significant playing time in New Orleans right away, Bristow said.

``Casey can probably help us immediately. He's one of the better 3-point shooters in the league,'' Bristow said.

However, the roster shuffling left New Orleans with only two true point guards: Dickau and the often injured Baron Davis, who has missed two straight games with a sore ankle but is expected to play Saturday night.

``It does put us a little at risk, but hopefully we'll get Baron involved and if things go the way we want it to go, it's Baron and Dan at the point and that should be enough,'' Bristow said.

Bristow added that he listens to trade offers for Davis and injured center Jamaal Magloire but has little interest in trading either.

``In order to win in this league, you've got to have guys like Baron,'' Bristow said. ``We look at as, Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire are the two guys we're building this team around.''

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