Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Point guard says he and Kings agree to five-year contract
By Chad Ford
The Sacramento Kings found a way to keep their starting point
guard, Beno Udrih, despite some fierce competition.
Udrih and the Kings have verbally agreed to a five-year contract for the full mid-level exception, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Assuming the full mid-level comes in at $5.5 million this year, Udrih would get a contract worth $33.3 million. The same source said Udrih would have a player option for the fifth year of his contract.
"I am so happy and honored to be returning to the Kings," Udrih told ESPN.com. "They took a chance on me and believed in me. I can't wait to get back to my teammates and the city that has become home to me."
The Kings outbid the Los Angeles Clippers, who also offered Udrih a five-year deal for the mid-level. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
flew to New York and met with Udrih at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning -- the earliest NBA teams were permitted to commence negotiations and strike verbal agreements with free agents. Dunleavy was persuasive, but at the end of the day Udrih wanted to return to the team that gave him his big break.
The new contract is quite a turnaround for Udrih. For his first three
years in the league Udrih was a little used back-up in San Antonio. At the start of last season, he was traded to Sacramento to fill in for the injured Mike Bibby. Udrih broke out and averaged 12.8 points and
4.3 assists for the Kings last season.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.