Bucks' Welsch signs with Malaga in Spain

MILWAUKEE -- Former first-round draft pick Jiri Welsch will
leave the Milwaukee Bucks after signing with a professional team in
Spain, his agent said Monday.

Agent Sam Goldfeder said that while the Bucks did not try to
re-sign Welsch, several NBA teams expressed interest in him. But by
choosing instead to play for the Malaga team in Spain, Goldfeder
said Welsch hopes to earn more significant playing time and
eventually return to the NBA in a more prominent role.

Welsch, 26, averaged 4.3 points in 58 games for Milwaukee last

A native of the Czech Republic, Welsch was taken by the
Philadelphia 76ers with the 16th overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft
and immediately traded to Golden State. He has played for four NBA
teams in five years.

Welsch's most successful season came after he was traded to
Boston in October 2003. He started 68 games for the Celtics in the
2003-04 season, averaging 9.2 points per game.

He was traded to Cleveland in February 2005, then to Milwaukee
before last season. He started only two games for Milwaukee last

Four other Bucks players from last season remain unsigned free
agents: forward Toni Kukoc, guard Reece Gaines, guard
Jermaine Jackson and center Ervin Johnson.

Kukoc, who won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls,
has played in Milwaukee the past four seasons. His agent, Herb
Rudoy, said in an e-mail that he has had discussions with several
teams and hoped to have a decision in the "next couple of weeks."