Chicago gains roster spot, cap room

CHICAGO -- Jay Williams, who played one season with the
Chicago Bulls before a motorcycle accident put his NBA career in
jeopardy, and the team agreed on a contract buyout Monday.

Bill Duffy, Williams' agent, said the buyout was in the $3
million range. Williams had two more years worth about $7.7 million
left on his original deal.

"No question it's more than fair," Duffy said. "Usually when
you cut a deal it hurts both parties, but this is great for both

Because riding a motorcycle violates the standard NBA contract,
the Bulls could have terminated Williams' deal after the accident
June 19. Instead, they put the former Duke star and No. 2 pick in
the 2002 draft on injured reserve and continued to pay him.

The buyout allows the Bulls to gain a roster spot and
flexibility with the salary cap.

Williams was riding a new motorcycle June 19 when the bike got
away from him and slammed into a utility pole. He was thrown onto a
grassy curb, face down from the waist up, his left leg tilting
grotesquely upward.

He severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis and
tore three of the four main ligaments in his left knee. He spent
two weeks at a Chicago hospital before being transferred to Duke
University Medical Center, where he continues to rehab, holding
onto hope that he can play again.

Williams 22, led Duke to a national title as a sophomore. He
came to the Bulls a year later with great expectations but had his
ups-and-downs as a rookie, finally losing his starting spot. He
averaged 9.5 points as a rookie.