Diaw confirms five-year contract agreement with Suns
Diaw confirmed the agreement after the Suns beat Sacramento in a preseason game on Thursday night. He did not comment on the terms, but a source told The Associated Press it was worth $45 million.
"We didn't sign anything yet but we're going to make it tomorrow,'' Diaw said.
The Suns scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference for Friday.
The deal was finalized Thursday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because the team was not scheduled to officially announce the extension until Friday.
The agreement will keep the 6-foot-8 forward under contract through the 2011-12 season. It was first reported by Phoenix radio station XTRA Sports late Thursday afternoon.
After Saturday's preseason game against Sacramento, Diaw confirmed that a deal had been reached.
The 24-year-old Frenchman came to the Suns as part of the trade that sent Joe Johnson to Atlanta a year ago and responded with a standout season that earned him the NBA's Most Improved Player award. He moved into the starting lineup in place of injured Amare Stoudemire in the preseason and averaged 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists in the regular season.
"I'm really happy because I had a great season,'' Diaw said. "It was a lot of fun. I'm happy I can still be with this team for a long time because I like the city, the team and the organization.''
Diaw's season included four triple-doubles. In 20 playoff games, Diaw's scoring average climbed to 18.7 with 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
He scored a career-high 34 points, including the winning turnaround jumper, in a 121-118 victory at Dallas in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
In his first two NBA seasons with Atlanta, Diaw had averaged 4.6 points per game, and he was considered little more than a throw-in when Johnson asked to be traded to the Hawks. Coach and general manager Mike D'Antoni has acknowledged that he had no plans to make Diaw a regular until his skills became apparent last preseason.
Eventually, the offense ran through him more often than not because of his ability to pass and see the court as well as score. He had 16 assists at Golden State on April 14.
Diaw was captain of the French national team that finished fifth at the world championships this year in Japan.
He is the second rising young Suns star to get an extension this year.
Leandro Barbosa signed a five-year, $33 million extension in August, a deal that also keeps him under contract through 2011-12.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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