Free agent gave up money in Portland

Updated: July 10, 2004, 5:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Unrestricted free agent guard Brent Barry will sign a four-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs for between $22 and $24 million.

The 32-year-old Barry chose the Spurs over a four-year offer for the full mid-level exception from the Portland Trail Blazers, in part because he thought the Spurs were closer to contending for a championship, reports ESPN's David Aldridge. Barry also turned down a three-year offer worth $18 million from his former team, the Seattle Sonics, wanting a four-year offer.

"Brent called and informed us that if everything goes according to plan, he expects to sign with San Antonio," Sonics general manager Rick Sund said Saturday, according to The Associated Press. "If that's the case, we certainly wish him well."

Barry's signing completes a strong 48-hour period for the Spurs; they agreed to terms on Thursday with guard Manu Ginobili. The Spurs will now have a three-guard rotation of Tony Parker, Ginobili and Barry, who can play both guard positions.

The Spurs are now expected to complete their offseason spending by re-signing forward Bruce Bowen, who opted out of the last year of his contract. Bowen is expected to receive a three-year deal from San Antonio worth $9 million.

Barry ranked second in the NBA last season in 3-point shooting, making 45.2 percent of his shots. He averaged 10.8 points and 5.8 assists, but the best measure of his value was Seattle's 7-16 record when Barry missed 23 games with a broken right hand.

Barry took over at the point for Seattle after Gary Payton was traded at the deadline during the 2002-03 season.

He joined the Sonics in an August 1999 trade with Chicago for Hersey Hawkins and James Cotton. A starter in four of his five seasons in Seattle, Barry was the longest tenured member of the Sonics other than forward Rashard Lewis.

Seattle still has depth in the backcourt with All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen, Antonio Daniels, Ronald Murray and Luke Ridnour. The Sonics also took a shooting guard, David Young, in the second round of last month's draft.

Now that the Sonics have lost Barry, however, discussions they were having with the Rockets about trading Daniels for draft picks probably will end as well.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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