Calbert Cheaney became the NBA's first first-round draft pick to agree to terms, signing a six-year deal with the Washington Bullets for a reported $18 million.
"We're excited to get Calbert signed early and into our summer league," Bullets general manager John Nash said Monday. "Calbert and his representatives fully recognize the value of summer preparation."We expect Calbert to be among the top rookies and his decision to sign early and get into camp enhances his chances to succeed."
The former Indiana forward, the sixth overall pick in last month's draft, was The Associated Press college player of the year last season and also won the Wooden and Naismith awards as the nation's top player. He's the all-time leading scorer in Indiana and Big Ten history.
Team officials said Cheaney is expected to be on hand Thursday when the Bullets open their rookie camp.
The signing was a change from last year's four-month effort to sign Tom Gugliotta, who entertained offers from Greece and Italy before signing.
"No one wanted to relive what we went through with Gugliotta last year," Nash said. "Actually, we had a similar set of circumstances. But Gugliotta's agent did not believe us when we said there would be more room in the cap if he signed early."