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Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Drobnjak signs contract with Tau Ceramica

Associated Press

VITORIA, Spain -- Forward-center Peja Drobnjak, who began his professional career in Europe before joining the NBA, signed a three-year contract with Spanish powerhouse Tau Ceramica on Wednesday.

Drobnjak, 29, averaged 8.4 points and 3.4 rebounds last season with the Atlanta Hawks before becoming a free agent. In four seasons with Seattle, the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta, the native of Serbia Montenegro has averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 278 games.

The 6-11 Drobnjak is expected to play for his homeland in 2005 Eurobasket in September, where countries will be trying to qualify for the 2006 World Championships. He helped the erstwhile Yugoslavia win the 2002 World Championships and played for Serbia Montenegro in the 2004 Olympics.

With Tau, Drobnjak will be part of a frontcourt rotation that includes NBA draft pick Luis Scola, future NBA draft pick Tiago Splitter and former NBA player Kornel David, who recently agreed a new deal to stay in Vitoria.

Drobnjak is the second new arrival at Tau, which lost in the final of both the Spanish ACB and the Euroleague last season. The team also signed Croatian international point guard Roko Leni Ukic of KK Split.

Ukic was a second-round pick of Toronto in the June draft but is expected to remain in Europe at least one more season.

"My aim after playing for Split is to play for another one or two years in Europe and then move to the NBA," Ukic said. "I didn't doubt for an instant when I knew Tau were interested in me. You don't have to go to the NBA at whatever price and it will be good for me to play in Spain."