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Stackhouse commits to Wizards

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WASHINGTON — Rather than test the free-agent market, Jerry Stackhouse agreed to a two-year contract extension worth about $18 million with the Washington Wizards on Thursday.

Stackhouse had until July 1 to opt out of the final two years of his present contract, which is worth about $15 million. The new deal starts when the current one expires, committing him to the team for the next four years for about $33 million.

"Where the market stands right now, to be able to secure four more years going into my early 30s was an opportunity I couldn't pass on," Stackhouse said. "It's like the first real commitment I've had from any team since I've been in the league."

Stackhouse, acquired from Detroit in the Richard Hamilton trade a year ago, averaged 21.5 points last season, but he was unhappy with his role and was sometimes critical of Michael Jordan and coach Doug Collins.

Jordan is no longer with the team, and Collins was fired. Stackhouse said new coach Eddie Jordan was a "major reason" he decided to re-sign. The Wizards also are pursuing Milwaukee's Ernie Grunfeld to replace Michael Jordan in the front office.

Stackhouse realizes he'll be expected to be the team's on-court leader.

"I welcome that," Stackhouse said. "Last year, with Michael being on the team, no matter what, he's always the focus. Now we're just moving on. We've got young guys. We've got a new coach. The possibility of bringing in Ernie Grunfeld. We're going in the right direction."