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Strickland Agrees to Deal With Wizards

February 04, 1999|From Associated Press

Rod Strickland agreed to a contract with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, ending the latest round of nasty negotiations between the team and agent David Falk.

The free-agent point guard, who led the league in assists last season, is to report for his first practice today, one day before the Wizards open their season at Indiana.

The agreement was reached after Wizard owner Abe Pollin intervened in the negotiations for the first time during a lunch with General Manager Wes Unseld.

"He wanted Rod to know that we wanted him," Unseld told WRC-TV. "Against my best wishes, he told me to interject something else into the deal. He's the boss. I did it."

Falk had been asking for a five-year deal worth $55 million--$10 million less than his original offer. The Wizards were offering a three-year deal worth $27 million guaranteed, plus two more years worth $23 million if Strickland met certain performance incentives.

The compromise: a four-year, $40 million deal with $35 million guaranteed, according to the Washington Post. The Wizards have the option of buying out $5 million of the $10-million fourth year if Strickland fails to meet certain incentives.

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Guard Ray Allen has agreed to a self-negotiated, six-year, $70.9-million contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks.

It's the maximum salary allowed a third-year player and is the same contract recently signed by Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Antoine Walker.

Allen, who negotiated the deal with owner Herb Kohl, hired attorney Johnnie Cochran at $500 an hour to look over the contract, which he said could be completed by next week.

The usual agent's cut of about 4% would have been about $2.8 million.

"Nobody can come in right now and say, 'Well, we can get you this much,' " Allen, 23, said. "Because I know what everybody's limit is. So, that renders an agent in my situation moot, because there's nothing more that he can get for me."

Allen also will become the richest player in franchise history. Glenn Robinson got a 10-year, $68.25-million contract as the top draft pick in 1994.

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Wanting a big body to back up Hakeem Olajuwon, the Houston Rockets got one of the biggest by agreeing to contract terms with 7-foot, 290-pound former Clipper Stanley Roberts.

Houston already had signed Antoine Carr to back up Olajuwon, but Carr is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined four to six weeks.

Roberts, 28, averaged 6.2 points and 4.9 rebounds last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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The Phoenix Suns signed free-agent forward Chris Morris, who spent the past three seasons with the Utah Jazz. Morris, 33, averaged 4.3 points and 2.1 rebounds last season. . . . Forward Scott Burrell, a backup for the Chicago Bulls last season, signed a reported one-year, $1-million contract with the New Jersey Nets. Burrell, 28, averaged 5.2 points and 2.5 rebounds last season. The also Bulls signed forward Kornel David, 27, to a two-year contract, making him the first Hungarian to play in the NBA, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported. Also, the Bulls will hold no public ring ceremony for the gutted 1997-98 champions, instead handing out the rings to the remaining seven players Wednesday. Former Bulls, including Scottie Pippen, will receive theirs later. Michael Jordan received his as part of his retirement news conference. . . . The Charlotte Hornets signed veteran forward Joe Wolf. Wolf, 34, played last season with the Denver Nuggets, averaging 1.5 points and 2.2 rebounds. . . . The Vancouver Grizzlies' home opener Monday against the Portland Trail Blazer was spared from being disrupted by a labor dispute as the union that represents about 500 arena employees made assurances that it will take no strike action until meeting with a mediator Tuesday.

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