Center Biedrins re-signs with Warriors
ESPN.com reported Sunday night that the restricted free agent and the Warriors had reached a verbal agreement, enabling Golden State to realize its top offseason priority -- re-signing Biedrins and fellow restricted free agent Monta Ellis.
NBA front-office sources said Monday night that Biedrins' deal will pay $9 million annually for each of the next six seasons, with a player option included for Biedrins to return to free agency in the summer of 2013 after the fifth year.
Biedrins averaged career-highs with 10.5 points and 9.8 rebounds with the Warriors last season, his fourth with the club that drafted him with the 11th overall pick in 2004. He also led the NBA in field-goal percentage, making 62.6 percent of his shots.
After fielding interest from at least one Russian club this summer, the Latvian center elected to rejoin Ellis, who signed a six-year, $66 million deal to return to Golden State last Thursday.
"We're extremely happy to have Andris under contract for many years to come," said Chris Mullin, the Warriors' top basketball executive. "He is clearly one of the top young centers in the NBA, and much like [Ellis], he has continued to improve every season. It's not easy to find quality young big men in this league, but we certainly think we have one of them, and he's only 22 years old."
Biedrins has improved his scoring average in each of his seasons with Golden State, developing from a skinny rebounding specialist into an all-around player and a low-post scorer for the uptempo Warriors.
"The organization and fans have been terrific to me over the last four years, and I'm looking forward to building on some of the success that we've had in the last couple of years," Biedrins said.
The Warriors' latest signing might finally finish one of the busiest offseasons in club history. Golden State added three free agents and retaining three more in the four weeks since Baron Davis announced his plan to spurn the club by signing a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Golden State countered by signing swingman Corey Maggette away from the Clippers and grabbing forward Ronny Turiaf from the Lakers with an offer sheet. Meanwhile, forwards Mickael Pietrus (Orlando) and Matt Barnes (Phoenix) went elsewhere.
Although the Warriors elected not to use a $10 million trade exception, they also matched the Clippers' offer sheet for guard Kelenna Azubuike and acquired backup point guard Marcus Williams in a trade with New Jersey.
Biedrins, Ellis and Maggette should join veterans Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington in the starting lineup for coach Don Nelson, whose club led the NBA in scoring last year. Harrington also has quietly explored trade possibilities after falling out of Nelson's rotation at times last year.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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
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