Jackson leaves Bobcats for Bucks in 3-way deal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Bobcats sent top scorer Stephen Jackson to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday in a three-way trade involving the Sacramento Kings that gave Charlotte two picks in the top nine of the NBA draft.

In another sign of owner Michael Jordan’s rebuilding effort, the Bobcats also sent the 19th pick _ Tennessee’s Tobias Harris _ and backup point guard Shaun Livingston to the Bucks. Milwaukee, in desperate need of added scoring, also was to receive guard Beno Udrih from the Kings.

Charlotte got the No. 7 overall pick from Sacramento _ Congo’s Bismack Biyombo _ and forward Corey Maggette from Milwaukee.

Guard John Salmons went Milwaukee to Sacramento. The Kings also got the 10th pick from the Bucks: BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.

The deal, struck just hours before the draft and announced as the second round was under way, continued Jordan’s familiar theme of late: shedding veterans.

Last year, the Bobcats allowed guard Raymond Felton to leave in free agency and traded Tyson Chandler to Dallas to clear salary-cap space. In February, the Bobcats traded the franchise’s only All-Star, Gerald Wallace, to Portland for two first-round picks.

The 33-year-old Jackson, who averaged 18.5 points last season, is the latest to go following a disappointing 34-48 season that saw coach Larry Brown fired and replaced by Paul Silas.

The sometimes volatile Jackson, who is owed nearly $20 million over the next two seasons, has a similar deal to Maggette, who is to receive just over $21 million over the next two years. Livingston, who has worked his way back from a serious knee injury, is owed $3.5 million next season.

The Bucks understand that Jackson may be reluctant to move again _ the third time in just over five seasons to the seventh team in his career _ but are hopeful that he’ll become a floor leader who excels in the fourth quarter, something Milwaukee missed last season.

The moves also gave the Bobcats two high picks in what is considered a weak draft while also shedding future payroll. The Bobcats are hoping to make a splash in free agency in the summer of 2012.

The Bucks were the worst-shooting, lowest-scoring team in the NBA last season, averaging just 91.9 points per game. Salmons, who came in a trade deadline deal two seasons ago, sparked Milwaukee to its first playoff berth in four seasons and a 22-8 record down the stretch.

But after he signed a $40 million, five-year deal in the offseason, he slumped to 14 points per game and failed to provide the dynamic scoring the Bucks had hoped for.

Maggette was a bad fit from the start after needing ankle surgery that slowed him early in training camp. When he returned, he failed to break in as the sixth man in the rotation and was left with little playing time, no real role and a bloated contract.

The money-losing Kings were able to unload Udrih, who averaged 13.7 points a game last season, but is owed nearly $22 million over the next three seasons. Fredette, a prolific scorer in college, could help boost Sacramento’s backcourt.

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