Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Raptors, Davis agree on five-year deal

Forward to sign contract worth more than $60 million

July 12, 2001

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— Antonio Davis and the Toronto Raptors have agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $60 million, his agent said. The agreement, which cannot be signed until July 18, allows the team to hang on to a coveted free agent after a string of high-profile defections. It also should help the Raptors re-sign superstar Vince Carter, who will be a free agent after next season, agent Bill Duffy said.

"I think Antonio was the first one to step up and say, 'Hey, this is a good situation and they take care of their players and they pay them fairly,"' Duffy said.

Re-signing Davis would be important for a franchise that has been unable to keep such stars as Damon Stoudamire and Tracy McGrady or attract big-name free agents.

The 6-foot-9 forward had been wooed by Orlando, Chicago, Seattle, Golden State and Houston, among others.

Later Wednesday, ESPN reported that the Raptors and free agent forward Jerome Williams agreed to a seven-year deal and that point guard Alvin Williams was close to reaching agreement on a five-year deal with Toronto.

Davis was a force for the Raptors in the playoffs, despite being hampered by an injured arm. Toronto was a shot away from making the Eastern Conference finals, losing to Philadelphia by a point in Game 7 of the semifinals.

Davis, 32, spent six seasons with Indiana before coming to Toronto in a deal before the 1999-00 season for the rights to forward Jonathan Bender. He had his best season in 2000-01, averaging 13.7 points and 10.1 rebounds in the regular season.

Duffy, in a conference call from California, said Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald caused a "huge turn of events" late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Memphis vote required

Memphis, Tenn. Public money cannot be used to build a new $250 million arena for the relocating Vancouver Grizzlies without a public vote, Chancery Judge Walter Evans ruled Wednesday. Evans made the ruling on a lawsuit filed by Memphis lawyer Duncan Ragsdale, who contended that public funding for the arena wrongly benefited the Grizzlies' owners at the expense of himself and other Shelby County taxpayers.

Lenard cut in attack

Denver Denver Nuggets shooting guard Voshon Lenard was attacked outside a strip club in Miami on Tuesday. Lenard received five stitches in his left hand after he was hit with a bottle by an unidentified man early Tuesday, police and a Nuggets spokesman said. Lenard, entering the final year of his contract, received cuts on his head, nose and left hand, according to officer Rudy Espinosa.

Sprewell settles lawsuit

Waukesha, Wis. New York Knicks standout Latrell Sprewell and his father settled a lawsuit with a Wisconsin family involving a 1998 boating accident.

Sprewell's lawyer, Eric Darling, did not disclose terms of what he called a "small settlement."

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