Lakers offer Heat's Douglas reported $17 million contract

December 14, 1991

Point guard Sherman Douglas has signed an offer sheet with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team said yesterday. Terms were not announced.

Douglas, a restricted free agent, hasn't played this season because of a contract dispute with the Miami Heat.

Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy, interviewed by a Miami radio station, would neither confirm nor deny a report that the Lakers had offered a seven-year deal worth $17 million.

However, Douglas and the Heat were discussing a salary in that annual range -- $2.4 million -- when negotiations broke down last summer.

The Heat, for whom Douglas played the past two seasons, has 15 days to match the Lakers' offer or give up rights to the former Syracuse star. If the Heat doesn't match the offer, the Lakers get Douglas without having to make any compensation.

Douglas averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 assists for the Heat last season, both team bests. He also led the team in field-goal percentage (.504), minutes played (35.1 per game) and steals (1.66 per game).

However, with two highly rated young players, Steve Smith and Bimbo Coles, in Douglas' place, the Heat has had its best start. Heat players have suggested publicly that Smith is more unselfish than Douglas.

* WARRIORS: Rod Higgins was placed on injured reserve because of a broken wrist. Club officials said he may miss the rest of the season.

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