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Clips Don’t Offer Taylor Extension

September 24, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Los Angeles Clippers have decided not to offer third-year forward Maurice Taylor the contract extension requested by agent David Falk, at least for now.

Taylor, the 14th overall selection in the 1997 NBA draft, will earn $1,367,400 in the upcoming season _ the final season of his three-year rookie contract.

Taylor, who averaged a team-leading 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last season, was seeking a six-year deal for around $71 million _ the maximum allowed under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement.

``I have the utmost respect for Maurice Taylor and the role that he plays in contributing to our team’s development,″ Clippers vice president Elgin Baylor said in a statement. ``However, it would be best if Maurice were to have the opportunity in the final year of his contract to further develop his game and therefore justify an agreement to extend him a long-term contract of $12 million a year.″

Falk said previously he would ask the Clippers to trade Taylor if an extension is not done before Oct. 5, but Baylor indicated such a move would not be made.

``At the present time, we are not seeking a trade involving Maurice Taylor,″ Baylor said. ``He is under contract for the 1999-2000 season and he is expected to be on board and ready to play.″

The Clippers did make a trade Thursday, acquiring point guard Eric Murdock from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for forward Johnny Newman.

Murdock, an eight-year NBA veteran who played for Clippers coach Chris Ford in Milwaukee, averaged 7.9 points, 4.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 15 games last season. He missed 35 games with a sore left knee and strained left groin.

Murdock, taken by Utah with the 21st pick in the 1991 NBA draft, has averaged 10.5 points and 5.0 assists in his career.

Newman, a 13-year NBA veteran, was acquired by the Clippers from the Cleveland Cavaliers last month along with Derek Anderson in exchange for Lamond Murray.

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