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Olowokandi Deadline May Not Produce Deal

September 18, 2002|Elliott Teaford

The Clippers and center Michael Olowokandi on Tuesday were no closer to reaching an agreement on a long-term contract extension worth more than $80 million. Olowokandi's agent, Bill Duffy, set a deadline for today for re-signing with the team.

Neither Duffy nor the Clippers would comment Tuesday, but the deadline is expected to come and go without an announcement of a new contract. Clipper General Manager Elgin Baylor is believed to be interested in completing a deal, but he is awaiting the approval of owner Donald Sterling.

Duffy said last week he issued the ultimatum because he doesn't want Olowokandi to concern himself with contract negotiations after training camp begins Oct. 1. Duffy also indicated that Olowokandi would seek offers from teams other than the Clippers when he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Duffy did not rule out re-signing with the Clippers next summer.

Teams have until Oct. 31 to re-sign players in contract situations similar to Olowokandi's. In addition to Olowokandi, the Clippers have four other players eligible for long-term contract extensions.

The Clippers say they are focused on re-signing only Olowokandi and power forward Elton Brand before next month's deadline. Brand's agent, David Falk, said Tuesday that talks continue for a new deal.

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