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Allen inks $85 million pact, stays in Seattle



Published: Thu, August 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



He talked with the Cavs, Hawks and Clippers before signing for five years.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ray Allen listened to pitches from Cleveland, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Clippers and others.

In the end, the All-Star guard decided staying with the Seattle SuperSonics was the right choice for him.

"I wanted someone to say something to knock me off my feet. And I was very disappointed," Allen said Wednesday after signing a five-year contract extension with the SuperSonics. "This organization, I knew what it was all about."

Coming off the best season of his career, Allen signed a deal worth as much as $85 million -- $80 million in salary and as much as $5 million in incentives. Allen's agent, Lon Babby, announced July 5 that an agreement had been reached, but the deal wasn't signed until Wednesday.

"The importance of getting Ray done; that was our No. 1 priority in the off-season," Seattle general manager Rick Sund said. "He's really taken this team under his control in terms of leadership."

Allen, who just turned 30, returns to a different Seattle squad than the one that surprised the NBA by winning 52 games and the Northwest Division title last year.

Most notably, coach Nate McMillan darted down Interstate 5 to Portland to become the Trail Blazers' coach. Reserve guard Antonio Daniels and starting center Jerome James also left, signing free-agent contracts with Washington and New York, respectively.

Suns

Phoenix signed free agent Raja Bell to a five-year contract worth just under $24 million. The Suns insisted they never pursued Bell to hedge against the loss of Quentin Richardson and Joe Johnson. "People speculated that signing Raja was an insurance policy," team president Bryan Colangelo said. "That is not the case. We signed Raja Bell because we thought we were greatly improving our team, the makeup of the organization." Bell, who has started just 80 of his 299 career games, is likely to be a regular this season.

Lakers

Kwame Brown says he's ready for a new beginning. Brown, drafted first overall in 2001 by Washington, was introduced by his new team at a news conference Wednesday, a day after the completion of a trade that brought the 6-foot-11 forward and forward Laron Profit to the Lakers in exchange for Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins. "I just thank God that I'm out of Washington and looking forward to getting here and turning things around for myself and my family," Brown said. Brown acknowledged four troubled years with the Wizards, including two arrests and two suspensions, the last during last season's playoffs. "There were situations I could have handled a little more professionally that I didn't, and that I learned from," he said. Brown jumped from high school to the NBA as an 18-year-old.

Moves

Portland waived veteran guards Nick Van Exel and Derek Anderson. ... Bucks center Zaza Pachulia signed a $16 million, four-year offer sheet with Atlanta. The 21-year-old Pachulia is a restricted free agent, meaning the Bucks have seven days to match the offer. ... Backup center Chris Andersen re-signed with the New Orleans Hornets. The Magic signed free agent point guard Keyon Dooling. ... The Raptors signed Spanish point guard Jose Calderon. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Calderon spent the previous six seasons in the Spanish pro leagues.




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