The Golden State Warriors traded veteran guard Jason Richardson to the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday for the rights to North Carolina forward...

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors traded veteran guard Jason Richardson to the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday for the rights to North Carolina forward Brandan Wright, the eighth overall pick.

Charlotte also got the rights to Alabama forward Jermareo Davidson, Golden State’s choice with the 36th selection.

Rod Higgins, the Bobcats’ general manager, was the top assistant to Golden State’s Chris Mullin until last month, and the former teammates quickly came together on a deal that sends a proven scorer to the young Bobcats while adding Wright’s athletic talents to the Warriors.

“I’ll miss Jason, of course,” Mullin said, ” … but we feel good about Brandan coming in. That doesn’t make it any easier.”

Richardson has spent all six of his NBA seasons with the Warriors, but returned slowly from knee surgery last season while Golden State built the team that ended the franchise’s 12-year playoff drought. He averaged 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 51 regular-season games, then scored 19.1 points in 11 playoff games.

Richardson, 26, comes at considerable expense: He’s owed about $51 million in the next four seasons.

Assuming the Bobcats re-sign small forward Gerald Wallace — and managing partner Michael Jordan says that’s still a top priority — this franchise is just about done with offseason transactions to improve a team intent on its first playoff appearance.

“We wanted a veteran player who could be a go-to player,” Jordan said. “A guy who could create shots for himself and others.”

Celtics’ Pierce “thrilled”

In adding seven-time All-Star guard Ray Allen from the Sonics, the Celtics subtracted any reason for not being a contender.

With scorers such as Paul Pierce and Allen opening up the floor for Al Jefferson, who turned into an inside force in his third season, and speedy point guard Rajon Rondo, the Celtics should give defenses trouble.

“They have no excuses, this team out there,” said Danny Ainge, executive director of basketball operations.

The trade for Allen should quiet Pierce’s comments, voiced several times, about being dissatisfied with the youth movement that could keep Boston from contending during his career. Ainge said Pierce was “thrilled to death” about the trade.


Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah, the players who returned to Florida to lead the Gators to a second straight national championship, became the first trio of college teammates to be selected in the first 10 picks of the draft. Two more Gators were taken in the second round: center Chris Richard and guard Taurean Green. It was the 10th time five players from the same team were taken in one draft. The record is six by UNLV in 1977.

Greg Oden and Kevin Durant were the first freshmen to go with the top two picks.

• The selection of Oden as the No. 1 pick brought the Big Ten into a tie with the Atlantic Coast Conference for most overall top picks with nine.

Paul Westphal, out of the league since being fired as the Sonics’ coach 15 games into the 2000-01 season, has been hired as an assistant coach by the Dallas Mavericks.