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Charlie Villanueva

Charlie Villanueva

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Houston Rockets center Yao Ming's broken left foot could be a "career-threatening" injury.

Team physician Dr.

Tom Clanton told the Houston Chronicle on Monday that Yao's injury "has the potential for him missing this next season and could be career-threatening." The 7-foot-6 All-Star center suffered a hairline fracture of the tarsal navicular bone during a May 8 playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The team said last week the injury hasn't healed, and he was out indefinitely.

Yao played in 77 regular-season games in 2008-09, his most injury-free year since 2004-05, when he played in 80.

Before last season, he missed chunks of the previous three seasons with leg and foot injuries.

He is due to make over $16 million next season with a player option for 2010-11 that would pay him over $17 million.The Rockets already expect Tracy McGrady to miss at least the first half of next season after microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Bucks: Milwaukee made qualifying offers to restricted free-agent guard Ramon Sessions and forward Ersan Ilyasova before today's deadline, but won't make an offer to Charlie Villanueva — allowing the forward to become an unrestricted free agent.

With Sessions and Ilyasova, the Bucks have the right to match any contract offers from other teams.

Villanueva averaged a career-best 16.2 points per game last season.

With a mid-level exception at its disposal, Cleveland is Advertisementexpected to have interest in signing Villanueva — and the interest sounds mutual.

Perhaps anticipating his free agency, Villanueva posted Sunday that "Cleveland fans are showing me mad love on twitter, appreciate the love."General manager John Hammond didn't want to elaborate on the reasons behind the free-agent decisions.

But he did address another issue: first-round draft pick Brandon Jennings' involvement in a profanity-laced video clip that was posted on YouTube.

The clip, which had profane comments that Jennings made concerning the New York Knicks for not drafting him, had been removed as of Monday afternoon.

"He did not know he was being taped and it's already been addressed to Brandon by the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as Bill Duffy and BDA Sports," said Ilana Nunn, spokeswoman for the Walnut Creek-based sports agency.Timberwolves: Four days after Ricky Rubio was drafted by Minnesota with the fifth overall pick, it appears the Spanish teenager has become the most wanted man in the NBA.

Team executives are flooding Timberwolves president David Kahn's office with calls offering trades for the point guard.

Kahn is declining comment on Rubio for the time being.

Rubio's availability for the upcoming season has been cast into doubt by a $6.6 million buyout of his contract with DKV Joventut in Spain.

There also is some question as to whether Rubio wants to play in the relatively small Minnesota market.Jazz: Kyle Korver decided to stay with Utah.

He could have opted out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer.

The reserve shooting guard is guaranteed $5.2 million next season.

Utah still is awaiting word from Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, who also have the option of voiding the final year of their contracts.

The deadline to opt out of deals is today.Pacers: Indiana won't exercise its team option on Marquis Daniels.

The veteran guard would have made $7.3 million next season but now is an unrestricted free agent.

Daniels averaged a career-high 13.6 points per game last season, but Brandon Rush emerged late and is the favorite to start at shooting guard next season.

Nets: New Jersey is picking up the $2.06 million contract option on forward Jarvis Hayes for next season.Pistons: Center Kwame Brown decided to play out the last year of his contract and not become an unrestricted free agent.

He'll make $4.1 million next season.
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