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Blazers sign Grant to 1-year contract

Gary Grant signed a one-year contract with the Trail Blazers Saturday.

Terms were not disclosed.

Grant, 34, has played 11 seasons, including stints with the Clippers, New York and Miami. He has spent part of each of the past two seasons with Portland.

In 24 games, Grant averaged 4.4 points and 3.7 assists with an 85.7 free-throw percentage.

The 6-foot-3 Grant was selected by Seattle in the first round of the 1988 draft and was traded to the Clippers for Michael Cage.

MAVERICKS: Don Nelson can breathe a little easier after free-agent forward Gary Trent turned down a three-year, $11.28-million offer from the Sonics.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Trent wanted more money than the Sonics were offering. Unless Seattle comes up with a better offer, or another team steps up, Trent might stay in a Mavericks uniform.

"I'm happy that he turned the Seattle offer down, but I'm not surprised," said Nelson, who doubles as coach and general manager. "I think that was the right thing to do."

According to terms of the collective-bargaining agreement, the Mavericks can offer Trent a one-year, $2-million contract, or a two-year, $4.2-million deal. In today's market, that's not much, but at least Nelson can cling to the fact that he's still in the race to sign Trent.

"I've always thought our chances were good," Nelson said. "I think I mentioned that early on. But until he signs with us, we're vulnerable."

The Sonics are still confident they can put a package together to sign Wizards free-agent guard Mitch Richmond. They also are pursuing Mavericks free-agent forward Cedric Ceballos, Sacramento free-agent guard Vernon Maxwell, Utah free-agent forward Shandon Anderson and Cleveland free-agent forward Cedric Henderson.

SUNS: A jury has ordered forward Charles Barkley to pay $12,900 for injuring another man in a car accident.

Both the plaintiff, Jason Buckingham, 23, of Houston and Barkley, 36, said the 11-1 verdict on Friday vindicated their respective sides.

"I think we didn't have to go through this at all. If he had asked me to pay his medical bills a year ago, it would have been fine," Barkley was quoted as saying in the Houston Chronicle. "Lawyers didn't have to get involved."

Barkley said Buckingham did not mention he was injured when they spoke for two hours while waiting for police to investigate the Feb. 26, 1996, accident.

Barkley's attorney, Richard Joseph, said Barkley's insurer, All-state, offered to settle for about the same amount the jury awarded.

Joseph said the lawsuit was a scam to try to extort money from a celebrity.

Buckingham, whose lawyer asked jurors to award at least $29,000, said he was pleased because his medical expenses of $11,000 will be covered.

"That's all I was looking for," he said.

Buckingham has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his neck that he contends is from the accident.

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