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Davis to play forward, center for Pistons

DETROIT -- Dale Davis signed a two-year, $7 million contract
with the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, adding depth to their
frontcourt.
"He went to the finals once in Indiana, and he's really hoping
to get back there with the Pistons," agent Chubby Wells said. "He
knows a lot of players on the team and [president of basketball
operations] Joe Dumars, so he's really comfortable with the
organization from top to bottom."
Davis has averaged 8.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks with
Indiana, Portland and Golden State during his 14-year career.
Behind starters Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace, the 6-foot-11,
252-pound center likely will come off the bench after Antonio
McDyess and might take away playing time from Darko Milicic.
The Pistons were interested in signing free agent Michael Finley
and briefly considered adding free agent Latrell Sprewell to add a
scorer behind small forward Tayshaun Prince and shooting guard
Richard Hamilton.
But Finley made it clear he didn't want to join the Pistons, and
they appear to have decided to not sign Sprewell. The Pistons might
end up going into the season hoping Carlos Delfino will provide a
much-needed contribution off the bench after he was injured during
much of his rookie season.
Detroit used part of its mid-level exception to sign Davis,
keeping about $2 million available to add another player if it
decides to make another move.
The Pistons will go into the 2005-06 season with the same
starters they've had the past two seasons in which they lost at San
Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals after winning the title in
2004. They will be coached by Flip Saunders. Larry Brown, who
coached Detroit the past two seasons, was fired.
Saunders will have a talented, veteran team -- with Davis as the
third or fourth player off his bench -- to coach after he was fired
last season by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Davis spent his first nine seasons with the Pacers after they
took him with the 13th pick overall in the 1991 draft. He was
traded in 2000 to Portland for Jermaine O'Neal.
He was dealt last year to Golden State where he played 36 games
before being traded to New Orleans, which released him. After
pondering an offer to join the Pistons, Davis went back to Indiana
late in the regular season. In 13 playoff games for the Pacers,
including six in May against Detroit, the 36-year-old Davis was a
starter and averaged 5.3 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Cleveland and Seattle were also in the running to sign Davis.
"I talked to Dale," Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said. "I told him
either we'd be able to keep him or he'd get a better deal. He got a
better deal."