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SUNS DEAL MAJERLE, LANG, NO. 1 PICK FOR CAVS’ HOT ROD

SHARE SUNS DEAL MAJERLE, LANG, NO. 1 PICK FOR CAVS’ HOT ROD

The Phoenix Suns shook up their lineup Saturday by trading Dan Majerle for Cleveland center John "Hot Rod" Williams. They shook up Charles Barkley as well.

The Suns included second-year forward Antonio Lang and a first-round draft choice in the deal. It gives the Cavaliers, who may exercise the draft choice in any of the next three years, an outside shooter to replace Mark Price and brings Phoenix a shot-blocking center.Suns coach Paul Westphal said Williams would play ahead of Joe Kleine, who started 41 games last season.

The day before, Barkley criticized the front office for failing to trade for a dominant inside player. But by Saturday night, he was incensed that the Suns would use one of his best friends as trade bait.

"I think I've said on occasion that Majerle, Kleine and (Danny) Manning were the three guys I wanted on this team no matter what, and one of them's gone," Barkley said.

"You can't have it both ways," team president Jerry Colangelo responded.

Colangelo said Majerle, 6-foot-6 swingman with leaping ability, had been everything to the Suns, but what he could never be - a strong center.

"You have to give something to get something, and we were able to pick up a player, we think, who will make us much more formidable up front," Colangelo said.

Colangelo met with Majerle and executive vice president Cotton Fitzsimmons, Majerle's coach his first four seasons, in the morning and told him what was going on.

"We have a definite need in the middle because we just can't block shots," Fitzsimmons said. "Somebody gets loose, I mean, it's a layup."

He joked about Barkley's feeling of being left out.

"We really don't confer with Charles Barkley about our personnel," Fitzsimmons said. "(76ers owner) Harold Katz used to in Philly, and they weren't very good when Charles came to us."