DETROIT The Detroit Pistons are expected to add center Theo Ratliff next week, a person familiar with the upcoming transaction told The Associated Press on Friday.
The person, who insisted on anonymity, said the move will be made on Tuesday.
The Minnesota Timberwolves requested waivers on Ratliff after reaching an agreement on a buyout of his contract. About one-third of Ratliff's $11.6 million salary remained for this season, but vice president Kevin McHale said the Timberwolves will pay him "a little less" than that.
Ratliff's agent approached the team about the move, which will allow more time down the stretch for young post players like Chris Richard and Craig Smith.
Ratliff's contract was expiring at the end of the season, and the Timberwolves who have the worst record in the Western Conference are busy evaluating what they've got for the future.
WOODSON STAYING WITH HAWKS: Mike Woodson apparently will have the chance to finish out the season with the Atlanta Hawks despite reported efforts by general manager Billy Knight to fire the coach. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on its Web site Friday that the Hawks GM wanted to fire Woodson after Knight traded for point guard Mike Bibby on Feb. 16. The paper reported that two people close to the conversations between Knight and the team's owners said Knight also tried to fire Woodson on two previous occasions. The Hawks' owners have held firm with both Knight and Woodson, who is 91-209 in four years with the team but is on pace to have an improved record for the third straight year.
SWIFT HEADED FOR SURGERY: SuperSonics center Robert Swift is headed for another knee surgery and is likely out for the season after playing in just eight games. The 7-footer, who had been slow to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that cost him all of last season, will undergo surgery March 4 to repair a torn lateral meniscus in the same knee. Seattle's 12th overall pick in the 2004 draft hurt the knee in a game at Portland on Feb. 21.
BOBCATS WAIVE McINNIS: The Charlotte Bobcats waived guard Jeff McInnis on Friday. The team provided no explanation for the decision. McInnis started 26 of the 54 games he played this season, averaging 4.5 points and 4.1 assists. McInnis was criticized by coach Sam Vincent after a loss to Philadelphia a month ago, leading to a testy exchange between the two. A few days later the Bobcats signed point guard Earl Boykins, but McInnis had still been an on-and-off starter.
GRANGER SUSPENDED: The NBA suspended Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger for one game without pay Friday for striking Chicago's Andres Nocioni in the face. The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of Indiana's 113-107 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday. The suspension was for Friday night's game at Toronto.
REST, REHAB FOR BUTLER: Washington Wizards All-Star forward Caron Butler has a prescription of rest and rehab with no plans for surgery to deal with the latest twist in his return from a hip injury. An MRI exam this week found that Butler has a small labral tear of the left hip joint. The injury, which has sidelined him for nearly a month, had originally been diagnosed as a strained hip flexor.
ASSAULT CHARGES DROPPED: Assault charges were dropped against Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston, who was accused of a slashing a man with a knife in a New York nightclub. Prosecutors were unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and the assault and attempted assault charges were dropped Friday, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.