Wizards sign former Magic guard Stevenson

Updated: August 5, 2006, 10:31 AM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com

Free agent DeShawn Stevenson agreed to terms with the Washington Wizards on Thursday, his agent, Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.com.

Shooting Guard
Orlando Magic

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
82 11.0 2.9 2.0 .460 .744

According to Bartelstein, Stevenson agreed to a two-year contract worth the NBA minimum salary. Since he has six-plus years of service, that would be $932,015 for the first year. Stevenson has a player option in the second year of the contract. The deal was officially signed on Saturday.

The deal is a pretty big blow to Stevenson financially. He opted out of a contract this spring that would have paid him $3 million and then turned down a three-year, $10 million contract from the Magic in early July.

Stevenson then changed agents and agreed to the deal with the Wizards.

"There just isn't much money left out there," Bartelstein said. "This gives DeShawn an excellent opportunity to play significant minutes on a very good team. I think by next summer, the rest of the league will see his real value and he'll earn back the money he lost."

"I had way more money on the table, but that's part of life," Stevenson said Saturday. "Sometimes you've got to go two steps backward to take five steps forward. I look at this as a stepping stone."

The next big step for the Wizards will be deciding whether to match the Knicks' offer sheet to restricted free agent Jared Jeffries.

The Knicks made Jeffries a five-year, $30 million offer that the Wizards have until Monday to match. Several sources familiar with the Wizards' thinking believe that they are leaning against matching the offer due to luxury tax concerns. Matching the Knicks offer would put the Wizards over the luxury tax threshold.

Stevenson was the No. 23 overall pick by Utah in 2000. He played 3½ seasons with the Jazz before being traded to Orlando. He has averaged 7.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists during six NBA seasons.

"DeShawn is an explosive player who can drive to the basket," coach Eddie Jordan said. "He is a sound perimeter defender who will add toughness to our team."

Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider