Reports: Arenas agrees to six-year, $111M contract to help Wizards' future
"What can I do for my family with $127 million that I can't do with $111 million?" he told The Washington Post.
The unpredictable three-time All-Star point guard, in vintage Agent Zero fashion, told the Post and the Washington Times on Thursday that he has agreed to re-sign for $111 million over six years, considerably less than the maximum deal he said the Wizards offered him when the free agency period began on Tuesday.
Arenas negotiated the deal from China, where is traveling as part of promotional tour for a shoe company, and did so without an agent.
"I'm basically giving back $16 million," Arenas told the Washington Times. "This is in line with what I've been saying the whole time. You see players take max deals and they financially bind their teams. I don't wanna be one of those players and three years down the road your team is strapped and can't do anything about it."
Arenas became a free agent after opting out of the final year of his six-year, $65 million contract at the end of last season. He initially said he was opting out to receive a max contract, but he later indicated he would be flexible in negotiations.
Since the NBA's current collective bargaining agreement was put in place in 1999, only five players have signed larger total contracts than Gilbert Arenas (six years, $111 million) agreed to on Thursday night. Here's a look:
|* Agreed to contract|
Arenas also said that he would not re-sign unless the team retained two-time All-Star forward Antawn Jamison. The Wizards lived up to that part of the bargain Monday by giving Jamison a four-year, $50 million deal.
Arenas has proven to be one of the most dynamic players in the NBA when healthy, but a major knee and an overzealous rehabilitation sidelined him for most of the last season. He had a first surgery on the knee in April 2007, tried to come back too soon and had a second operation in November. He missed 66 games before returning late in the season, but he had to shut himself down again during the first-round playoff series against Cleveland.
Arenas has vowed to be more cautious about his rehab this time, and the state of his knee didn't appear to devalue his worth in talks with the Wizards.
The Wizards cannot comment on talks with Arenas or announce the deal until a league-mandated moratorium expires next week.
Arenas has averaged 22.8 points, 5.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds in his seven-season NBA career. He was known as much for his tantrums as for on-court play when he came to Washington from Golden State in 2003, but he began to display more maturity as he developed into a take-over-the-game player with a knack for hitting buzzer-beating shots. Although he still has his many quirks -- yelling "Hibachi!" after making a big shot is just one of many -- he has helped the Wizards became a playoff regular.
Arenas' deal means the Wizards will have room to sign other players -- including free agent guard Roger Mason -- and still remain under the league's luxury tax.
"It's a relief," Arenas told the Washington Times. "It was a burden at the same time. Your whole city is depending on you, wondering if you're going to make the right decision. I'm a franchise player and sometimes franchise players need to make franchise decisions."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Freshman Parker leaving Duke to enter draft
- Melo on free-agency options: 'I want to win'
- Griffin supports medical marijuana in NBA
- Kobe takes next starring role in documentary
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
FREE AGENCY 2008
The NBA offseason has been busier than expected, thanks in part to Elton Brand's joining the 76ers. Keep up with the latest moves. Transactions
News• George's deal with Mavs made official
• Brown returns to New Orleans to back up Paul
• Veteran Finley re-signs with Spurs
• Nuggets re-sign Smith to multiyear deal
• Miles signs with champion Celtics
• George, Mavs agree to two-year deal
• Clips re-sign free-agent center Paul Davis
• Iguodala signs six-year deal with Sixers
• Sources: 76ers, Iguodala agree to multiyear deal
• Hawks match Grizzlies' $58M offer, retain Smith
• Heat's Williams reaches terms with Clippers
• Bobcats' Boykins signs European contract
• Restricted free agent Williams re-signs with 76ers
• Cavs shore up backcourt, sign ex-Grizzly Kinsey
• Arroyo signs with Maccabi Tel-Aviv
• Ex-Clipper draftee Skinner signs deal with team
• Bulls sign Deng to six-year extension
• Sources: Deng, Bulls on verge of deal
• Hawks sign ex-Magic G Evans to contract
• Sources: Okafor, Cats agree on new deal
• Nets lose Krstic to Moscow team
• Clippers sign swingman Davis from Heat
• Vujacic officially signs multiyear deal with Lakers
• Agent: Brown, Pistons agree to deal
• Warriors re-sign Biedrins to 6-year, $62M deal
• Sources: Biedrins, Warriors agree to 6-year deal
• Wolves agree to deal with Gomes
• Lakers, Vujacic agree to 3-year, $15 million deal
• Ellis inks $67 million deal to stay with Warriors
• Summer star Roberson signs with Knicks
• Andersen bolts Hornets to return to Denver
• Telfair re-signs with Timberwolves
• Childress leaves NBA for Greece
• Spurs re-sign Kurt Thomas
• Suns sign ex-Warrior Barnes to one-year deal
• Turiaf to play for Warriors
• Jazz, Williams agree to 4-year extension
• Sources: Clippers, Azubuike agree to offer sheet
• Bucks add veterans Allen, Lue
• Posey agrees to 4-year deal with Hornets
• Arenas signs six-year deal with Wiz
• Mason's hard work pays off in contract with Spurs
• Wright re-signs with Mavericks
• Clippers officially sign Davis to multiyear contract
• Family ties: Brent is 3rd Barry to play for Rockets
• Warriors ink forward Maggette to deal
• Magic sign, introduce ex-Warrior Pietrus
• Nets agree to terms with forwards Najera, Hayes
• Sixers give frontline big boost, sign Brand to deal
• Agent: Bucks to sign Bogut to $60M extension
• Diop rejoins Mavs on 5-year, $31M contract
• Gasol in Memphis: Marc, not Pau, signs contract
• Kings re-sign point guard Udrih to five-year deal
• Heat sign 3-point specialist Jones to 5-year deal
• Sources say Brand will sign with 76ers
• Sources: NBA cap at $58.68 million
• Sources: 76ers confident of getting Brand
• Sixers making run at Brand
• Hawks free agent Smith visits 76ers
• Brand opts out, and Clippers await decision
• Calderon reaches agreement on new Raps deal
• Wizards hang on to Jamison
• Reports: Arenas agrees to six-year contract
• For 2nd year in row, Cats, Okafor to discuss deal
• Artest not opting out of final year of deal
• Paul agrees on four-year, $68M deal
• Davis leaving Warriors for Clippers
• Free Agents: 2008 | 2009 and 2010
Analysis• Hollinger: Hornets pay heavily for Posey's ring
• Martin: Najera's 3-point skills help seal Nets deal
• Stein: Which teams in hot pursuit of free agents?
• Adande: Why Brand left the Clippers
• Broussard: Crushing blow for Clippers
• Arnovitz: Clipper Nation in world of hurt
• Adande: Brand's departure is business as usual
• Hollinger: Brand new Sixers are East challengers
• Hollinger: Five big questions on free agents
• Stein: Davis verbally agrees to go to Clippers
• Broussard: The Clippers' other free agent
• TrueHoop: What is Corey Maggette Worth?
Podcast• Stein on Elton Brand and Baron Davis
• Hollinger on players who may switch teams
• Broussard on the money given to Arenas
• Sheridan on Brand, Davis, Artest and Smith
Video• Bucher on how the Brand deal got done
• Bucher on the latest NBA news
• Arenas agrees to six-year extension