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Blazers Sign Grant, Waive Wingfield

March 6, 1998

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ The Portland Trail Blazers waived Dontonio Wingfield on Thursday and signed Gary Grant to a 10-day contract.

The team also placed Vincent Askew on the injured list with a sore back.

Wingfield had been with the Blazers since signing as a free agent in 1995. He played in all but three games last season under coach P.J. Carlesimo, averaging 4.5 points per game.

But he found himself at the end of the bench under new coach Mike Dunleavy. He appeared in just three games this season, scoring one point and grabbing four rebounds.

Wingfield came to the NBA after just one collegiate season at Cincinnati. He was drafted in the second round by Seattle when Bob Whitsitt, the Blazers’ current president, was GM of the Sonics.

``We wish Dontonio the best in his future endeavors,″ Whitsitt said. ``He has an offer to play overseas and this will allow him to take advantage of that opportunity.″

Grant, 32, played seven years with the Los Angeles Clippers, then spent 1996 with the New York Knicks and 1997 with Miami. He was with the Yakima (Wash.) Sun Kings of the Continental Basketball Association when he signed with Portland.

Grant was signed to shore up the Blazers at point guard. Starter Damon Stoudamire sprained his right ankle in Tuesday night’s 98-93 victory over Phoenix and may miss Sunday’s game against San Antonio. Without Stoudamire, Portland had just one point guard, ex-CBA player Rick Brunson.

Grant has averaged 8.1 points and 5.6 points in his NBA career with a .450 field goal percentage.

John Crotty, signed by Portland as the No. 1 backup point guard before the start of the season, has missed most of the year with a knee injury and is recovering from arthroscopic surgery.

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