Kerry Kittles was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for a second-round draft pick yesterday, 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.
To try and 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. When you look at our position, we can have some money and also have as good if not a better team than we were going to have the other way."
Thorn said the money saved by trading Kittles will be used to fill other needs on the roster.
"We have holes to fill," he said. "We've got to build our base back up."
Kittles has averaged 14.3 points, 2.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds a game during his career. Last season, Kittles played in all 82 regular season games and averaged 13.1 points and four rebounds.
* TENNIS: Andre Agassi was upset by Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 6-3, 6-3, in the second round of the Tennis Masters Canada tournament in Toronto, a blow for the eight-time Grand Slam champion's U.S. Open preparations.
Agassi, 34, won this hard-court event three times and isn't sure whether he'll be back for another edition. The tournament won't be back in the city until 2006.
"Listen, it's a question mark for me, so I certainly understand it being a question mark for others," Agassi said. "I don't know if I'll be back. I never know if I'll be back. If I have that question, I can only imagine someone else having that question." . . .
Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova led four Russians into the Acura Classic quarterfinals with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Gisela Dulko in Carlsbad, Calif.
Sharapova, the sixth seed, needed all of 44 minutes to win her third-round match in the first tournament she's played since surprising Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final this month.
* HIGH SCHOOLS: Paint Branch baseball coach Paul Fahrner has resigned after 26 seasons to accept a position as athletic director at Rockville, Paint Branch Athletic Director Jeff Sullivan said. Fahrner amassed a 331-117 career record at the Burtonsville school, leading the Panthers to 15 Montgomery County 3A/2A/1A division titles, four regional titles and state titles in 1990 and 1991.
Sullivan said former assistant Drew Zachry will take over as head coach. Zachry, an Eleanor Roosevelt graduate, played four years for Catholic University, where he holds 10 batting records, and in the minors.
* COLLEGES: Northeastern will join the Colonial Athletic Association in 2005, a year earlier than previously expected, the CAA said.
The America East Conference waived a two-year waiting period in its bylaws and accepted Northeastern's resignation effective June 30, 2005. Northeastern is a member of America East for all sports except football.
* HORSE RACING: Jockey John Velazquez notched his 3,000th career victory in the second race of the card at Saratoga Race Course. Velazquez, 32, set Saratoga's single-season mark for victories last year with 35 in a 36-day meet.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports