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Van Exel act gets him exiled to the Nuggets

SHARE Van Exel act gets him exiled to the Nuggets

Nick Van Exel's days of pouting and popping 3-pointers for the Los Angeles Lakers are over.

The Lakers traded the All-Star point guard to Denver for forward Tony Battie and the rights to draft pick Tyronn Lue late Wednesday night.Drafted by the Lakers in 1993, Van Exel became an All-Star last season, but his career in Los Angeles was marked by turmoil.

He openly argued with coach Del Harris on the bench during the 1997 playoffs and, at times, he refused to follow Harris' instructions during games.

"I really like Nick a lot, but I just think that a change of scenery will be good for everyone," said Jerry West, Lakers executive vice president.

The Nuggets, beginning a major overhaul of a team that was the worst in the NBA last season, were delighted to get Van Exel. "You have to love his (Van Exel's) competitiveness. He's an All-Star point guard we're going to build this team around," said Nuggets general manager Dan Issel.

Van Exel underwent surgery on his right knee last season, and his left knee is chronically sore.