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Hornets to Sign Stojakovic

July 02, 2006|From the Associated Press

The New Orleans Hornets made the first splash of the NBA's free-agent signing period, agreeing to terms Saturday with three-time All-Star Peja Stojakovic.

Stojakovic, who last week opted to become a free agent instead of continuing his deal with Indiana, will sign a five-year deal worth about $64 million with the Hornets, said his agent, David Bauman.

Bauman says Stojakovic will sign as soon as the NBA's moratorium ends next week. NBA teams were allowed to begin negotiating with free agents on Saturday but cannot officially sign players until July 12.

"The Hornets are setting their cap room aside for Peja, and Peja is taking himself off the market," Bauman said.

Stojakovic has a career average of 18.4 points a game.

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Carmelo Anthony has agreed to a maximum contract extension with the Denver Nuggets.

About 12 hours after NBA free agency began, Anthony's agents and Nuggets director of player personnel Mark Warkentien worked out a five-year deal worth approximately $80 million, the same terms under which Cleveland star LeBron James and NBA Finals most valuable player Dwyane Wade can sign this summer.

Last season at 21, Anthony turned into the star many predicted he'd be when he was chosen third overall in the 2003 draft after leading Syracuse to the national championship his freshman year. He averaged 26.5 points and made the All-NBA third team.

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Jason Terry lasted only about 12 hours on the free-agent market, agreeing to a six-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Agent Dan Fegan declined to give specifics, other than saying "there is a hometown discount."

"I'm excited," Terry said, his enthusiasm evident in his voice. "It's definitely something I wanted to do. It's just about being part of an organization that cares and a city that cares about the team. I've grown to love the fans and they love me."

Terry averaged 17.1 points in the regular season, then 18.9 points in this year's playoffs.

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