Facebook Twitter

Webber’s new deal fiscally fit for a King

SHARE Webber’s new deal fiscally fit for a King

Chris Webber is staying with the Sacramento Kings. Patrick Ewing, Eddie Robinson, Avery Johnson, Horace Grant and Tyronn Lue are moving on.

The free agent signing season opened several hours late Wednesday after attorneys from the league office and the players union argued over salary cap calculations before finally releasing the new figure: $42.5 million — a $7 million increase from last season.

Webber ended the suspense over his future, announcing he will return to the Kings. He'll sign a seven-year, $123 million contract Friday or Saturday, agent Fallasha Erwin said.

Among players changing teams, Ewing went from Seattle to Orlando, Robinson moved from Charlotte to Chicago, Lue left the Los Angeles Lakers to play for Washington and Johnson agreed to terms with Denver.

Other signings, including Horace Grant's move to Orlando and Clarence Weatherspoon joining the New York Knicks, were held up by the delay in calculating the new salary cap.

Four trades that were agreed to in principle were officially completed. Phoenix sent four-time All-Star Jason Kidd and center Chris Dudley to New Jersey for Stephon Marbury, Johnny Newman and Soumalia Samake.

Detroit acquired forward Cliff Robinson from the Suns for forwards John Wallace and Jud Buechler. The Pistons also acquired the rights to forward Zeljko Rebraca from Toronto in exchange for a a 2002 second-round draft choice.

Also, Shareef Abdur-Rahim went from Memphis to Atlanta for Lorenzen Wright, Brevin Knight and 7-footer Pau Gasol, the third overall pick in the draft. Gasol will sign with the Grizzlies after arranging a contract buyout with F.C. Barcelona, Memphis general manager Billy Knight said.

The trade sending Charles Oakley from Toronto to Chicago for Brian Skinner was delayed until Thursday.

A day after his second thoughts made the prospects of Webber staying in Sacramento somewhat uncertain, he decided to stay.

"He's going back to Sacramento. He always wanted to go back with the Kings," Erwin said. "They had to do something to drive him away rather than someone else win him over."

Webber's decision ends a year of speculation on the talented power forward's future. After examining many options and seriously considering Indiana and Detroit, Webber apparently determined that a return to Sacramento was the best decision.

"He has a lot of respect for Joe Dumars, he's always idolized Isaiah Thomas, but from the very beginning I think his mind was set on going back to the Kings," Erwin said. "It wasn't a difficult negotiation at all. The Maloofs wanted to make Chris happy, and we wanted to make sure we got everything we could."

The Kings re-signed Doug Christie to a seven-year, $48 million contract. Also staying with their former teams were Aaron McKie (76ers: seven years, $42 million), Jerome Williams (Raptors: seven years, $40.8 million), Nazr Mohammed (Hawks: five years, $25 million) and Milt Palacio (Celtics: two years, $1.43 million).

The Bulls were able to sign Robinson to an offer sheet worth $30 million for five years. The Hornets have 15 days to match, although Charlotte would have to clear substantial salary cap space to get far enough under the cap to match the dollars offered by Chicago.

The 6-foot-9 forward played two seasons in Charlotte, averaging 17.3 minutes, 7.2 points and 2.9 rebounds.

Ewing, who made $14 million with Seattle last season, will earn about $2.25 million with the Magic.

"It wasn't a money issue," Ewing said. "It's about being somewhere where you're wanted, somewhere where you can make a difference, somewhere where you can be happy."

Ewing, 38, and Grant, 36, would bring a combined 30 years of NBA experience to Orlando. Ewing is an 11-time All-Star, and Grant has four championship rings.

Johnson, 36, got a three-year contract worth $14.4 million. He started 20 games for the Spurs last season, averaging 5.6 points and 4.3 assists

Guard Mitch Richmond made a verbal agreement with the Lakers for the veteran's minimum of $1 million, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Richmond has already received a $10 million buyout from the Wizards.

The Lakers have targeted Spurs forward Samaki Walker to fill the void left by Grant, the starting power forward on last year's championship team. Los Angeles has already traded backup center Greg Foster, leaving Shaquille O'Neal, Stanislav Medvedenko and Robert Horry as the only big men on the roster.

Lue, who played on Los Angeles' back-to-back NBA championship teams, signed a two-year deal with Washington. He averaged 4.1 points in three seasons with the Lakers.

Lue is not yet sure if he'll have Michael Jordan as a teammate. Neither is Jordan.

At a golf tournament in Long Grove, Ill., Jordan said he will make up his mind about a comeback later this summer.

"Give me another month and a half," Jordan said. "Middle of September."