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Bobcats waive Crittenton, thwarting comeback

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Bobcats waived guard Javaris Crittenton on Friday, sending a short stay in Charlotte as he tries to return to the NBA from an ankle injury and a lengthy suspension for his role in the Gilbert Arenas gun flap.

The Bobcats wanted to give more time to undrafted rookie Sherron Collins, who is line for the No. 3 point guard job behind starter D.J. Augustin and backup Shaun Livingston.

"It was him or Sherron," coach Larry Brown said of Crittenton, who scored 13 points on 4 of 17 shooting in four exhibition games. "We were taking time away from D.J., time away from Sherron. But Javaris did everything I asked."

The Bobcats signed Crittenton to a non-guaranteed contract last month, hoping he could provide depth in the backcourt. Crittenton missed all of last season after two surgeries on his left ankle. He was also suspended for the final 38 games after he and Arenas took guns into the Washington Wizards locker room following a dispute over a card game.

Crittenton, a former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in January and received probation. He became a free agent after the Wizards didn't pick up the option on his rookie contract.

Brown had nothing but praise for Crittenton, except he was too much of a scoring guard instead of a playmaker.

"Any other year, you remember some of the third point guards we have, he would have made our team," Brown said. "He did what I asked of him. He's got strength, quickness. He just needs to be more of a point guard."

That's what Brown likes in Collins, the former Kansas star who also has a non-guaranteed deal. What Brown doesn't like is his weight and conditioning, an issue that helped him go undrafted.

Collins, who has been fighting through ankle, thigh and calf injuries in the preseason, said he's at 213 pounds and wants to lose eight more to get to his college playing weight.

Collins has modest numbers for Charlotte (0-4) in the preseason, averaging 3.3 points and 1.5 assists while making just 6 of 27 shots from the field.

"I think makes my situation a lot better," Collins said after Crittenton's release. "I still have a lot of work to do. Nothing is going to get handed to me."

Notes: The Bobcats are at 17 players, two over the regular-season limit. ... GM Rod Higgins said they'll wait until closer to the Nov. 1 deadline before deciding whether to pick up the fourth-year option of Augustin's contract and the third year on G Gerald Henderson's deal. ... Henderson (hamstring) is expected to play Saturday against Detroit in Columbia, S.C.