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CLIPPERS GET KITTLES, LOSE RICHARDSON

Kerry Kittles was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future second-round draft pick Thursday, another step in the dismantling of the New Jersey Nets.

Kittles is the second starter to leave the Nets this month: Power forward Kenyon Martin went to the Denver Nuggets for three first-round draft choices.

Trying to fill the void left by Kittles, who spent eight years with the Nets, the club signed free-agent guards Jacque Vaughn and Rodney Buford.

"We're going to try to win every game we can," Nets CEO Rod Thorn said. "We as an organization want to be monetarily responsible."

Kittles, who is in the final year of his contract, has mixed emotions about leaving New Jersey.

"I've been there my whole career, had a good run, been to the Finals twice and had great teammates," he said in a conference call. "Now changes are made, and I'm looking forward to getting on with my career."

The Clippers needed to make the move because free agent shooting guard Quentin Richardson signed a $45 million, six-year contract with the rebuilding Phoenix Suns after the Clippers declined to match the offer.

Richardson was one of four NBA guards to average at least 17 points and six rebounds last season.

"After a long and frustrating wait, this is terrific news," Suns President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo said. "Our staff is ecstatic about 'Q' joining the Suns."

In other NBA news, the Dallas Mavericks signed 19-year-old Russian Pavel Podkolzin, a 7-foot-5 center acquired from the Utah Jazz after being selected 21st in the NBA draft.

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