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CLIFF ROBINSON TRADED TO PISTONS FROM SUNS

Clifford Robinson is off to Motown.

The Detroit Pistons acquired Robinson, a forward who's a graduate of Buffalo's Riverside High School, from the Phoenix Suns on Friday for Jud Buechler and John Wallace.

The teams agreed to the trade in principle, but the deal cannot be consummated until July 18 due to salary-cap restrictions.

"We are excited to bring Cliff Robinson to the Pistons," team president Joe Dumars said in a statement. "He's a talented veteran player that brings playoff experience and toughness to our roster."

Robinson, who played at the University of Connecticut, averaged 16.4 points last season.

The Suns made the deal a day after saying they are trading point guard Jason Kidd to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury.

"This is a step in a different direction," said Bryan Colangelo, the Suns' president and general manager.

He said the salary cap figured into the Suns' thinking.

Swingman Buechler and forward Wallace, both reserves, joined the Pistons two years ago. Buechler signed as a free agent, and Wallace, a 1996 Syracuse graduate, was involved in a trade with Dallas for Nichols School product Christian Laettner.

Buechler averaged 3.9 points while shooting 41.6 percent from three-point range last season. Wallace averaged 5.9 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Around the rim

The Milwaukee Bucks exercised their option on forward Scott Williams with a one-year option worth $4.65 million. Williams averaged 6.1 points and 5.5. rebounds in 66 games last season, his second with Milwaukee. He was suspended for Game Seven of the Eastern Conference finals after a flagrant foul on MVP Allen Iverson. Without the 11-year-veteran, Milwaukee fell, 108-91, to the Philadelphia 76ers and was eliminated from the playoffs. Williams also played with Philadelphia and won three championships with the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Alvin Gentry's contract was extended for two years after Los Angeles went 31-51 record in his first season with the team. The Clippers picked up the option for the final two years of Gentry's four-year deal.

Los Angeles Lakers backup center Mark Madsen will have surgery next week on a torn ligament in his left wrist and is expected to be out four to six months.

The San Antonio Spurs waived fifth-year pro Samaki Walker. The 6-9 forward spent two seasons with the Spurs.

The Dallas Mavericks exercised a one-year option on 6-8 reserve forward Eduardo Najera. A 2000 second-round draft choice from Oklahoma, Najera averaged 3.3 points in 40 games.

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