Pro Basketball

Wizards Talk to Veteran Madsen's Agent

Friday, July 22, 2005

In an effort to bolster their front court, the Washington Wizards have spoken with the agent representing free agent Mark Madsen . But, according to a team source, the Wizards have not offered Madsen a contract.

Madsen said in yesterday's Minnesota Star Tribune that the Wizards had extended a contract offer. Madsen has spent the past two seasons as a reserve with the Timberwolves after playing the three previous seasons with the Lakers.

The 6-foot-9, 236-pound veteran forward has posted career averages of 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game but was limited to 41 games last season after tearing a ligament in his right wrist. Madsen told the Star Tribune that he has also drawn interest from the Utah Jazz and is considering coming back to the Timberwolves.

Madsen earned the veteran's minimum of $745,046 last season and could be seeking the veteran's exception of $1.6 million. The Wizards have the veteran's exception available.

Minnesota owns Madsen's "Early Bird" rights, meaning they can re-sign him for any amount up to the league's average salary without using their mid-level or lower exception.

The Wizards have also spoken with free agent veteran forward Michael Ruffin , who averaged 1.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 79 games with Washington last season. Ruffin earned the veteran's minimum last season and has drawn interest from a handful of teams, including the Chicago Bulls.

Juan Dixon , the former Maryland star who spent the past three seasons with the Wizards, met with the Trail Blazers yesterday and plans to meet with the SuperSonics this weekend. The unrestricted free agent also has drawn interest from the Lakers, Pacers and Kings.

The probability of Dixon returning to Washington decreased drastically when the Wizards added free agent guard Antonio Daniels to a back court that already includes Gilbert Arenas , Jarvis Hayes and Caron Butler .

"More than anything, Juan is looking to go to a team where he will have a defined role and where he will know what is expected of him," Dixon's agent, Calvin Andrews said. "He's looking for that and an opportunity to go someplace and win."

-- Ivan Carter


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