Bobcats reach agreement with Carroll, sign Dudley

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Guard Matt Carroll and the Charlotte Bobcats have come to terms on a six-year contract.

The deal is worth $27 million, according to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

Agent Paul Nadel, a partner with Fegan and Associates, said
Wednesday that Carroll is expected to sign the deal next week when
he returns from a trip to China.

Carroll, signed by Charlotte out of the NBA's developmental
league midway through the 2004-05 season, quickly became a key
contributor. A 3-point specialist, he averaged nine points in 25
games to close that season, then 7.6 points the following year.

Last season, Carroll averaged a career-high 12.1 points and shot
42 percent from 3-point range, moving into the starting lineup late
in the season.

"I'm very excited about Matt being back in the fold," Bobcats
coach Sam Vincent said. "The guys who are part of this thing last
year and have gotten us to this point are special to this
organization. The more of those guys that we can keep around,
that's what we're trying to do."

Carroll, who was undrafted out of Notre Dame, was cut by
Portland, San Antonio and Golden State early in his career. But his
game blossomed while playing for Roanoke in the NBDL. He averaged
more than 20 points a game before he was signed by Charlotte.

Due to his humble beginnings, Carroll said late last season that
he wanted the security of a long-term deal. Carroll received some
interest from other teams, but the Bobcats were the only team that
could have offered him a six-year contract, the maximum length
allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

The 6-foot-6 Carroll will face more competition for playing time
next season after the Bobcats acquired fellow shooting guard Jason
Richardson in a draft night trade. But part-owner Michael Jordan
had said they wanted to retain Carroll to keep depth at the

The Bobcats also said Wednesday that they had signed first-round
pick Jared Dudley to his rookie contract. Under terms of the
collective bargaining agreement's rookie scale, Dudley will receive
$947,500 next season and $1.018 million in the second year. The
Bobcats hold team options for a third and fourth year.

Dudley, the 22nd pick in the draft, averaged 19 points and 8.3
rebounds as a senior at Boston College last season and was named
the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. At 6-foot-7 and
219 pounds, the Bobcats plan to use Dudley at both small forward
and power forward.

The Bobcats' major offseason concern remains unsettled. Forward
Gerald Wallace, the team's top scorer last season, remains
unsigned. Vice president of basketball operations Bernie
Bickerstaff and Wallace's agent, Rob Pelinka, have been in talks
since early Sunday.

Wallace has received inquiries from at least seven other teams.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report