Tar Heel Pros News & Notes

This week's update on former Tar Heel hoopsters. Pictured - Derrick Phelps

PHELPS BACK IN GERMANY

* Derrick Phelps has returned to play in Germany after being released in November by Idea Slask Wroclaw (Poland). Phelps led his new team, EnBW Ludwigsburg, to a victory over the weekend scoring 18 points.

In four games in Germany's Federal League (BBL), Phelps is averaging 14.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 35.1 minutes per game.

Prior to playing for Limoges CSP in France last season, Phelps starred in Germany for ALBA Berlin, Telekom Bonn and TTL Bamberg.

FOX COMES OFF INJURED LIST

* Rick Fox did not play for the Lakers on Saturday in Utah, but he was added to the active roster along with Kobe Bryant.

Fox has been rehabbing a torn tendon in his foot for eight months and is ready to rejoin the team and see if he is physically ready for life in the NBA. "We're going to find out," Fox told the LA Times. "I've been guarding Kareem Rush and Kobe Bryant [in practice]. I don't know of many small forwards that are that quick."

Although Fox hasn't played yet, he did get off a shot on Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic in Sports Illustrated. "Peja is the best shooter in the league right now. But, is he the best since Larry Bird? No. I think you've got to be able to make them in the playoffs too," concluded Fox.

The Lakers have home games on Wednesday (vs. Seattle) and Friday (vs. Minnesota).

McINNIS SENT TO CLEVELAND

Jeff McInnis is now the starting point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers after being traded by Portland last week for Darius Miles. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Cavs' GM Jim Paxson said the trade means rookie LeBron James will move from point guard to shooting guard or small forward when he returns from an ankle injury.

Cavs' coach Paul Silas said McInnis would be given a starting role right away. "He's got to learn and get acclimated," Silas told the Plain Dealer. "We didn't bring him in to sit on the bench."

McInnis started for the Cavs on Saturday in a win over Philadelphia.

NETS INTERESTED IN DAVIS

* The Detroit Pistons waived 10-year veteran Hubert Davis last week. According to New York media reports, the New Jersey Nets will be signing Davis when he clears waivers and the Nets clear a roster spot.

Davis has spent most of the year on the Pistons' injured list, appearing in only three games. Davis is second only to Steve Kerr in career 3-point shooting accuracy in the NBA.

ASSISTANT COACH WILLIAMS?

* According to the Arizona Republic last week, the Phoenix Suns have told Scott Williams he could become an assistant coach immediately. When asked about the offer, a smiling Williams told the paper, "I can neither confirm or deny that."

Williams, a 13-year veteran, is currently inactive (injured list - back spasms) and knows the Suns are into a youth movement that leaves his return to active duty in doubt. Williams wants to keep playing, but realizes coaching at the NBA level is "a fantastic opportunity that has to be seriously considered."

* Williams and Brendan Haywood (Washington Wizards) were mentioned in a trade rumor by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently. Citing league sources, the story noted the Dallas Mavericks would like to add a low-priced backup center or power forward.

That would eliminate Rasheed Wallace (Portland - $17M), but include Tsakalidis (Memphis), Pryzbilla (Milwaukee), Woods (Miami), Doleac (New York), Williams and Haywood. The NBA trade deadline is February 19.


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