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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

5 Underage Players Lead in NBA Draft

COMBINED REPORTS


TORONTO -- It's a new day, all right. None of the first five picks in the National Basketball Association draft can even legally buy beer in many American states, and a record 10 of the 29 first-round picks were not college seniors.


The top five Wednesday were Joe Smith, 19, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward taken by the Golden State Warriors; Antonio McDyess, 20, by the Los Angeles Clippers, who traded him to the Denver Nuggets; Jerry Stackhouse, 20, by the Philadelphia 76ers; Rasheed Wallace, 20, by the Washington Bullets; and Kevin Garnett, 19, by the Minnesota Timberwolves.


The big surprise saw the Clippers trading the rights to McDyess along with Randy Woods to Denver for the 15th pick, Brent Barry of Oregon State, and forward Rodney Rogers.


The Trail Blazers, who traded the 18th and 19th picks to get to No. 8, reportedly offered Rod Strickland and the No. 8 pick for Calbert Cheaney and the Bullets' No. 4 in hopes of getting high-school ace Garnett. The Bullets offered Rex Chapman instead, but the Blazers declined and used the pick on Shawn Respert, who they then traded to Milwaukee.


(For other picks, see Scorecard.)


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Michael Jordan was among seven players who filed a class-action suit against the NBA in a Minneapolis court Wednesday.


Lawyers for the players who wish to nullify the six-year collective bargaining agreement reached between the NBA and its players' union last Wednesday said they sent the league petitions from more than 175 players seeking to decertify the union.


Actually, the revolt is being forced by agents, who fear a luxury tax will put a crimp in their earnings. In the proposed deal, the owners raised the roof of the salary cap from $15 million to an estimated $32.5 million by the sixth and final year of the pact.


However, there would be a luxury tax. A team could exceed the cap limits to re-sign its own players but would be taxed at 50 percent (growing to 100 percent) of the amount in excess of a 10 percent raise. Simon Gourdine, the executive director of the player's union, believes most owners will ante up anyway to keep their franchise players happy.


But the players (read: agents) don't want to risk it.


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