The NBA's Charlotte Bobcats continued to forge their first team last night when they selected 19 players in the league's expansion draft.
All of the other 29 NBA teams were required to make at least one player available to the Bobcats, who kick off their inaugural season in the fall.
Charlotte, owned by entertainment mogul Robert Johnson, stayed away from high-priced stars who were left unprotected, such as the New York Knicks' Allan Houston, the Dallas Mavericks' Antoine Walker and the Washington Wizards' Jerry Stackhouse.
The team's general manager, Bernie Bickerstaff, has said in the past that the team was interested in signing talented but undervalued players.
Among those chosen were Phoenix's Jahidi White (Georgetown), Golden State's J.R. Bremer, Cleveland's Jason Kapono and the Wizards' Lonny Baxter, a former player at Maryland.
Baxter, who said last night he was happy and surprised to be part of the new franchise, recently bumped into Bobcats Executive Vice President Ed Tapscott while shopping two weeks ago.
"He just asked me how I was and mentioned that they had interest in me," said Baxter, who averaged 3.4 points in 12 games for the Wizards. "But he really didn't give me any guarantees."
Charlotte was required to choose at least 14 players. Some likely will be traded and only about eight are expected to be on the club's opening day roster.
-- Greg Sandoval