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NBA briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 18, 2001


Magic to sign Grant, Ewing

ORLANDO -- The Magic has reached contractual agreements with free agents Patrick Ewing and Horace Grant, Florida Today reported Tuesday.

The Magic officially will sign the two veteran post players today, the first day that teams may begin signing players.

"We've gotten Horace and Patrick, and I'm looking forward to a big double press conference," coach Doc Rivers told Florida Today for its Web site.

Ewing, 38, played with New York for 15 seasons before getting traded to Seattle last summer.

Grant, 36, played with the Magic from 1994-99 before being traded to Seattle in 1999.

Around the league

Chris Webber is having second thoughts about returning to the Sacramento Kings, his agent said hours before the NBA's 21/2-week moratorium on free-agent signings was to expire.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. today, free agents could sign with the teams of their choosing.

Webber was widely expected to sign a seven-year deal with the Kings, but his newly rehired agent, Fallasha Erwin, said Webber changed his mind.

"He's having second thoughts. He's going back and forth and he's not sure what he wants to do," Erwin said.

If Webber decides he does not want to return to the Kings, his options would be limited. The Pistons, who met with Webber two weeks ago and have more than $13-million in salary cap space, can offer him a six-year contract worth $95.7-million.

The Bulls and Clippers can offer Webber similar deals, but neither is considered a viable option.

The Pacers are eager to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Kings, but they only could do so if Webber forced the Kings' hand by telling them he will sign with the Pistons unless he is traded to the team of his choosing.

Webber, who has said little publicly since becoming a free agent July 1, was not available for comment, Erwin said.

Most prominent free agents reached agreements on new contracts during the moratorium, and several of those deals are expected to be announced today.

Among the major ones:

Dikembe Mutombo and Aaron McKie will re-sign with the 76ers.

Antonio Davis, courted by Orlando and Chicago, will re-sign with Toronto for $55-million over five years. The Raptors also will re-sign forward Jerome Williams and are trying to re-sign guard Alvin Williams.

Michael Finley will re-sign with Dallas for seven years, about $102-million.

Allan Houston will re-sign with New York for $102-million.

Eddie Robinson will leave Charlotte to sign with Chicago for $30-million over five years.

Hakeem Olajuwon told the Houston Chronicle that he has not decided whether to return to the Rockets.

John Amaechi of Orlando was mulling offers from the Lakers, Jazz, Bulls and Heat.

Anthony Mason, Tim Hardaway and Dan Majerle might not be back with Miami. Mason's agent, Don Cronson, said his client hoped to be sent elsewhere. Hardaway's starting point guard job has been all but given to Anthony Carter, who re-signed for three years and $12-million. Majerle has said he would prefer to play for Phoenix.

PRESEASON IN CHINA: Gary Payton, Ray Allen and Shareef Abdur-Rahim will be among a group of players who will travel to China and Taiwan in September for two preseason games against local players. The first is Sept. 16 at Shanghai Stadium; the second Sept. 19 at Taipei.

SIXERS: Samuel Dalembert, a first-round draft choice, had throat surgery that went well, team physician Jack McPhilemy said.

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