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Bulls set to hire Del Negro

AROUND THE NBA

June 10, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Vinny Del Negro, the Phoenix Suns' assistant general manager who has never coached, is expected to be introduced this week as coach of the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

The deal isn't complete, but the newspaper said Del Negro, 41, will sign a two-year contract with a team option for a third and be paid about $2 million per season, making him one of the NBA's lowest-paid coaches.

Del Negro's hiring would end a 52-day search that included courtships of Mike D'Antoni and Doug Collins.

Del Negro would take over a team that went from 49 wins to 49 losses this season and missed the playoffs after reaching the second round in 2007.

The Bulls also have the first pick in the draft this month.

A sluggish start cost coach Scott Skiles his job in December, and interim coach Jim Boylan was fired April 17.

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After only one year as an assistant, Michael Curry will be introduced today as coach of the Detroit Pistons, said Joe Dumars, the team's president of basketball operations.

The Pistons and Curry agreed on a three-year, $7.5-million deal. The team holds an option for a fourth season.

Curry was an assistant last season under Flip Saunders, who was fired last week.

Curry, 39, played with Dumars more than a decade ago and with current Pistons Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince during the 2002-03 season. He also played with Rasheed Wallace in Washington.

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Washington guard Gilbert Arenas opted out of the final year of his six-year, $65-million contract, the Wizards said.

Arenas, 26, can begin negotiating with any team, including the Wizards, on July 1. He has said he won't return to the Wizards unless they also re-sign Antawn Jamison, who is also set to become a free agent.

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