Lakers deal Radmanovic to Bobcats for Morrison, Shannon Brown

The league-leading Los Angeles Lakers tweaked their roster Saturday, dealing little-used Serbian forward Vladimir Radmanovic to the Charlotte Bobcats for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown, a pair of young, unproven players, dpa reported.

It marks the second straight campaign with an in-season trade for the Lakers (40-9), who last week lost starting center Andrew Bynum for at least two months with a torn knee ligament. En route to the 2008 NBA Finals, they dealt Brian Cook to Orlando for swingman Trevor Ariza.

The 6-foot 10-inch (2.08-metre) Radmanovic began the season as a starter, but fell out of favour with Lakers coach Phil Jackson for his lack of defence and was replaced in the lineup by Luke Walton, with Ariza as the backup. He had played just 69 minutes in his last eight appearances and did not get off the bench in Thursday's overtime win at Boston.

"It's unfortunate that there's not more minutes available at that spot," Jackson said at practice in Cleveland.

Radmanovic, 28, is averaging 5.9 points and shooting 41 per cent from 3-point range in 46 games this season, including 28 starts. A 2001 first-round pick of Seattle, Radmanovic also has played for the Los Angeles Clippers and has averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 38.6 per cent from the arc.

In Charlotte, Radmanovic could add long-range shooting to a team that is 19th in the NBA in 3-point percentage and 25th in 3-point attempts.

"Vladimir is a versatile forward who has the ability to play multiple positions in this league," Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins said in a statement. "We saw this as an opportunity to add another experienced player whose skill set is interchangeable with a variety of different lineups."

The 6-foot 8-inch (2.03-metre) Morrison has similar skills but has been hampered by inconsistency and injuries. He was taken third overall by the Bobcats in the 2006 draft and averaged 11.8 points as a rookie. But he missed the entire 2007-08 season due to a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and has struggled to regain a regular spot in Charlotte's rotation, averaging 4.5 points while shooting just 36 per cent from the field.

Morrison, 24, likely will play behind Walton and Ariza. He could eventually become a contributor in an offense that features superstar Kobe Bryant and Spanish star Pau Gasol.

"(Morrison) was a prolific scorer in college," Jackson said. "After a devastating injury, he really hasn't had a chance to develop yet."

The 6-foot 4-inch (1.9-metre) Brown also was a 2006 first-round pick and joins his fourth team. He has played for Cleveland, Chicago and Charlotte and has averaged 4.4 points in 74 games over three seasons.

"He's a developing player yet to define a role for himself but he's very athletic," Jackson said.

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