Official: Pistons, Maxiell agree on $20M, four-year extension
DETROIT -- The Detroit Pistons took another step toward ensuring they will have players to replace their aging frontcourt.
The Pistons and Jason Maxiell agreed on a $20 million, four-year contract extension, a basketball official told The Associated Press on Thursday on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been signed.
The 25-year-old Maxiell is in the final year of his contract and decided to stick with the team that drafted him 26th overall in 2005 instead of becoming a free agent after the season.
He had career highs last season, averaging 7.9 points on 54 percent shooting along with 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 21.5 minutes per game.
The 6-foot-7, 260-pound forward is one of the Pistons' top reserves and likely will have a larger role in the years to come.
Detroit drafted Maxiell late in the first round out of Cincinnati three years ago after coming up just short of repeating as NBA champions.
He played in just 26 games as a rookie, then took advantage of a larger role in each of the next two seasons.
Maxiell averaged five points and nearly three rebounds and a block in 67 games two seasons ago. The barrel-chested forward played in every regular-season game a year ago, scoring on rim-rattling dunks and swatting shots, and then scored in double figures in four playoff games, surprising teams with his midrange shooting.
Maxiell and Amir Johnson are the frontcourt players the Pistons are counting on to fill in when Wallace and McDyess move on, retire or are traded.
The 21-year-old Johnson earned a spot in the starting lineup alongside Wallace this season -- replacing McDyess -- and is in the second season of his three-year, $11 million contract.
"The Pistons are trying to bring the young guys along," Indiana Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said Wednesday night after losing the season opener against Detroit. "They've got the luxury to be able to bring McDyess off the bench with [Rodney] Stuckey and Maxiell."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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