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Cavs deal Welsch to Milwaukee

Associated Press

Just hours before his first NBA draft as Cleveland’s general manager, Danny Ferry traded small forward Jiri Welsch to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday for a second-round pick in 2006, freeing up $2 million to spend in free agency.

Welsch’s departure leaves the Cavaliers with seven players under contract.

Ferry continued trade talks with other teams, trying to get the Cavs back in this year’s draft. Cleveland previously traded its two 2005 picks.

Ferry, who was hired on Monday, wasted no time in beginning to remold Cleveland’s roster. In dealing Welsch, a major disappointment in his brief tenure with the Cavs last season, Ferry assured he will have roughly $28 million to use on the free-agent market.

The Cavs will attempt to surround star LeBron James with talent this summer. Last week, James said he hoped to offer advice into the club’s decision making and rattled off Michael Redd, Ray Allen, Larry Hughes, Joe Johnson and Eddy Curry as players he would like to see pursued by the Cavaliers.

Hoiberg undergoes surgery

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg underwent heart surgery to correct an enlarged aortic root and was in fair condition.

The surgery was performed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., by Dr. Hartzell Schaff, who corrected a bulge in the root where the artery meets the heart’s aortic valve, according to a release from the team.

Just when the 10-year veteran will be able to resume his career, if ever, is uncertain.

Last season, Hoiberg averaged 5.8 points and led the NBA in 3-point accuracy, shooting a career-high 48.3 percent from behind the arc.

Players approve agreement

NBA players approved their new labor agreement, and Chicago Bulls center Antonio Davis was elected president of the players’ association at the union’s annual convention in Las Vegas.

About 60 players were in attendance, and the vote to ratify the tentative labor agreement was “overwhelmingly in favor,” union spokesman Dan Wasserman said.

The union reached agreement with the league on a six-year deal on June 21.

Once the new agreement is finalized and put into writing, all players will have the opportunity to vote by mail, Wasserman said.

Davis was elected to replace Michael Curry, who is retiring after an 11-year NBA career.

Derek Fisher of Golden State was elected to Davis’ former post of first vice president, and P.J. Brown was chosen to the union’s executive council.

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