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Old 07-29-2008, 08:54 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Okafor signs

Well, there goes a big name off the market (trade and free agent)

Associated Press

July 29, 2008 at 8:39 AM EDT

CHARLOTTE The Charlotte Bobcats are paying big money to keep top rebounder and shot blocker Emeka Okafor.

The Bobcats have come to terms with the restricted free agent on a six-year, $72 million deal, ending a month of negotiations.

General manager Rod Higgins confirmed the deal Tuesday, which marks the biggest contract the Bobcats have given a player since they entered the league in the 2004-05 season.

ESPN.com first reported late Monday that the two sides were close to an agreement.

Okafor was the second overall pick in 2004 and Charlotte's first draft pick. He turned down Charlotte's offer of $12 million a year last year, but settled on the same figure a year later.

Okafor averaged 13.7 points and 10.7 rebounds a game last season.
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