Blazers Buy Out Francis

Portland gives the faltering guard free agency for $30 million
By Joseph Fasano,  Newser User
Posted Jul 12, 2007 6:23 AM CDT
New York Knicks' Steve Francis, right, goes to the basket past New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter during the first half of the NBA basketball game Monday, April 16, 2007 at Madison Square Garden in New York....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Trail Blazers bought out Steve Francis's contract yesterday, handing the guard roughly $30 million of the $33.6 million due for his remaining two years. Portland acquired the 30-year-old former All-Star in a deal with the Knicks, who dished out Francis and Channing Frye for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau, and Fred Jones on draft night.

The Blazers, who nabbed No. 1 pick Greg Oden on June 28, were unimpressed by Francis's past year, in which the veteran put up a career-nadir 11.3 PPG with 3.9 assists for New York. Twenty-fourth
 draftee Rudy Fernandez was also shipped off to the Beaver State with teammate James Jones yesterday; Phoenix jettisoned the two in exchange for $3 million.