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Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page D06


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ATLANTA, March 16 -- Wizards forward Kwame Brown, a native of Brunswick, Ga., will be a restricted free agent this summer, and the Hawks will have more than $20 million in salary cap space. The Hawks are among a handful of teams expected to make a push for his services.

After scoring 13 points Wednesday night, Brown addressed the possibility of returning to his home state.

"Every place is an option," Brown said. "I think that takes away from your game when you think about money and contracts. Of course, you want to do the best job you can on the court and hope it'll take care of itself."

Brown turned down the Wizards' offer of a four-year contract extension worth $30 million before the season began. The Wizards can match any offer sheet Brown signs this summer.

"I'm just trying to take care of what I got to do on the court and make other teams interested," Brown said. "The more teams the better at this point." . . .

Considering the number of injuries the Wizards face, Coach Eddie Jordan said he was pleased to have "anybody" return to the lineup. But Jordan was excited to see reserve guard Juan Dixon back Wednesday after missing the past two games because of a sprained right ankle.

"Especially someone who can be effective from the perimeter," Jordan said. "That's what we're missing."

Dixon hasn't made a field goal since the Wizards' Feb. 15 game against Houston -- the game in which he suffered his injury -- going a combined 0 for 5 against Charlotte and New York.

"I probably came back too soon, but I thought it felt strong," Dixon said. "It feels good right now." . . .

Forward Antawn Jamison, out with right knee tendinitis, is traveling with the team to Atlanta and Milwaukee, where the Wizards play Friday, but is not expected to play.

"Because of his desire to get out there, we've got to be careful with" his injury, Jordan said. "We don't want him out there on one leg."

-- Michael Lee

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