Warriors keep Azubuike, match Clippers' offer

Updated: July 24, 2008, 4:49 PM ET
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kelenna Azubuike will return to the Golden State Warriors after the club matched the Los Angeles Clippers' three-year, $9 million contract offer for the shooting guard on Thursday.

Azubuike averaged 8.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 81 games last season with the Warriors, who signed the former Kentucky guard out of the NBA Developmental League in January 2007. He started 17 games for Golden State, and he should see more playing time next season after Baron Davis' departure for the Clippers, Mickael Pietrus' signing with Orlando and Monta Ellis' expected move to point guard.

"We are pleased to have Kelenna back in the fold," said Chris Mullin, the Warriors' top basketball executive. "He's a young and talented player who has continued to improve during his two seasons with our team. His versatility, athleticism and ability to shoot the 3-pointer certainly fit our style of play."

Azubuike, a restricted free agent, signed the offer sheet with the Clippers last Friday, giving Golden State seven days to match it. The Warriors, who earlier signed high-scoring free agent swingman Corey Maggette from the Clippers, also signed forward Ronny Turiaf away from the Lakers last week with a similar offer-sheet deal.

Golden State also signed forward Richard Hendrix, its second-round pick in last month's draft.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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