NEW YORK (AP) -- An arbitrator upheld the NBA's penalties against Joe Smith, virtually assuring that the player will leave the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Arbitrator Kenneth Dam ruled Thursday that NBA commissioner David Stern did not overstep his bounds when he voided Smith's contracts for the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons.
Smith, a free agent, now has no financial incentive to stay in Minnesota since the Timberwolves can only offer him a one-year contract for $611,000. Other teams, including the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, can offer Smith a much more lucrative contract.
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