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Denver severs Williams talks

The Nuggets broke off contract talks with forward Brian Williams, putting an end to the negotiations just a day after an agreement appeared to be all but finalized.

Nuggets general manager Bernie Bickerstaff said he thought he had an agreement with Williams' agent, Fred Slaughter, on Wednesday. But Bickerstaff said Slaughter changed the offer after the team's game with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

"The games are over with me," Bickerstaff said. "There's no more juice in the turnip."

Slaughter said he was just doing his job when he changed the original offer _ reportedly a $12.2-million, five-year deal _ because Williams rejected the proposal.

"I never agreed to the deal," Slaughter said Thursday. "When my client rejects it and I report that back, I'm told I can't do that because some way or another I accepted those terms."

Bickerstaff said the Nuggets will not trade Williams, who averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds last season after being obtained in a trade with the Orlando Magic.

"We're prepared to go without him for the season," Bickerstaff said.

"If (Bickerstaff) says talks have broken off, I agree. Talks have now broken off," Slaughter said.

Around the league

Clippers: Forward Lamond Murray, the seventh pick in the draft, signed a five-year, $13.5-million contract, ending a two-week holdout. "I wasn't looking to get $100-million or anything like that," Murray said. He broke Kevin Johnson's career scoring record at California and led the Pac-10 last season with a 24.3 scoring average.

Lakers: Backup guard Sedale Threatt rejoined the team at practice. Threatt will be fined for missing three preseason games and any practices since he went AWOL last Saturday in Honolulu, the team said. Lakers public relations director John Black said he was told Threatt's absence was due to unspecified "personal reasons," not a contract dispute.

Cavaliers: Guard Gerald Wilkins will miss the season after having surgery on his ruptured right Achilles' tendon. Doctors said he should recover and be able to play next year. Wilkins, 31, tore the tendon Tuesday in a game against the Boston Celtics.

Spurs: Dennis Rodman participated in a two-hour workout with the team he stood up Thursday night. Rodman was fined $15,000 after missing the San Antonio's 125-109 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. "I hope Gregg (Popovich) buys a new Rolex watch with the money I gave him," Rodman said. Popovich, the Spurs director of basketball operations, said the fine was large because of Rodman's history.

76ers: Center Shawn Bradley will miss up to six weeks with sprained ligaments in the same knee that kept him off the basketball court for 2{ months last season, the team said.

Mavericks: Owner Don Carter is selling a stake in the team. Thomas Hicks, chairman of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc., said Carter "has committed to allow me to purchase a partnership unit in the Dallas Mavericks." Hicks' share was not revealed.

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