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Davis picks Knicks

Associated Press / December 19, 2011
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Free agent point guard Baron Davis will sign with the New York Knicks today, according to multiple media reports.

Davis was waived last week by the Cavaliers and designated as their amnesty player. He was not claimed and chose the Knicks, who are seeking more backcourt depth after waiving Chauncey Billups with the amnesty clause. New York had already signed veteran point guard Mike Bibby.

It’s unknown when Davis will play; he’s been sidelined since the end of the lockout with a bulging disk in his back. But he’d be worth the risk if healthy, especially since the Knicks can only offer him at most the new two-year exception that would pay him $2.5 million in the first year.

“Everybody knows what he can do when he’s healthy and when he’s focused,’’ Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said, recalling a loss to Davis and the Cavaliers last season. “When BD is healthy, he’s one of the best.’’

But he wasn’t needed in Cleveland after the Cavaliers won the draft lottery and took Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick. By making Davis their amnesty player, the Cavs knocked the $28 million he was owed over the next two seasons off their salary cap.

The Knicks are prepared to go with Toney Douglas as their starting point guard, but the third-year player is inconsistent, shooting just 2 for 6 for 5 points in New York’s 92-83 exhibition victory over New Jersey Saturday.

Rush dealt to Warriors

The Pacers will trade guard Brandon Rush to the Golden State Warriors for forward Louis Amundson, according to Mark Bartelstein, the agent for both players.

“This is a great fit for both guys,’’ Bartelstein said.

Rush averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in three seasons with the Pacers. The Pacers considered him a part of the core group of young players, but the team eventually added enough talent at his position to make him expendable.

Bartelstein said Pacers president Larry Bird and general manager David Morway worked to find an ideal setting for Rush once Paul George emerged as a starter and the team added guard George Hill in a trade.

“The Pacers have been talking about this for quite a while,’’ Bartelstein said. “I really appreciate Larry and David for trying to find a good home for Brandon. They’re loaded at the position. Brandon is a really talented guy who needs to play.’’

Rush showed great potential at times, but also found trouble. He was suspended for the first five games last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Amundson averaged 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in five seasons, primarily with Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Golden State. He shoots 52 percent from the field for his career.

Hot start for Heat

LeBron James scored 19 points, roster hopeful Terrel Harris added 16, and the Heat outscored the Magic by 29 points over the game’s final 27 minutes, cruising to a 118-85 win in the preseason opener for both teams in Miami. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 14 for Miami. The subject of trade talk throughout training camp, Dwight Howard finished with only 5 points on 2-for-9 shooting . . . Kevin Durant scored 21 points and reserve James Harden added 16 to lead the visiting Thunder to a 106-92 victory over defending champion Dallas.

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