Web Posted: 07/08/2009 5:21 CDT
Antonio McDyess accepts Spurs' offer
By Mike Monroe- Express-News
The Spurs on Wednesday landed free agent power forward-center Antonio McDyess, a 6-foot-9 Olympic gold medal winner and veteran of 14 seasons who remains one of the NBA’s premier post players.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford confirmed the agreement.
Sources close to McDyess said he will sign a three-year contract with the Spurs, starting at the full, mid-level exception to the NBA’s salary cap restrictions, $5.845 million.
The third season is believed to be partially guaranteed. McDyess has expressed his desire to play only two more seasons.
McDyess averaged 9.6 points and 9.8 rebounds as the starting center for the Detroit Pistons last season. Though he will turn 35 on Sept. 7, he has played in 109 fewer games, regular season and playoffs, than has 34-year-old Spurs captain Tim Duncan.
The Spurs also reached agreement Wednesday with free agent power forward Marcus Haislip, the 13th selection, by the Milwaukee Bucks, in the 2002 NBA draft. Haislip, also 6-9, has played in Turkey and Spain since leaving the NBA in 2005. He played last season for Unicaja Malaga, of the Spanish League, averaging 16.5 points and 5.2 rebounds.
McDyess chose the Spurs over the Pistons, who could not match the money the Spurs offered. The Orlando Magic, who played in the NBA Finals in June, also are believed to have offered full mid-level money.
The second pick in the 1995 draft by the Clippers, McDyess went to the Denver Nuggets in a draft-night deal. He also has played for the Suns and Knicks, but enjoyed his most successful run with the Pistons, an Eastern power who reached the Eastern Conference Finals four times in his five seasons there.
McDyess has career averages of 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds. He also has played in 84 playoff games, including the seven games of the 2005 NBA Finals, when the Spurs defeated the Pistons. He was a key backup, behind Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace, on that team. He was one of the Pistons’ most productive playoff performers last season, averaging 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in a first-round series against Cleveland.
The Spurs now have four players – Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and McDyess – who have been All-Stars during their NBA careers.
Fiercely loyal, the decision to join the Spurs was difficult for McDyess. He had returned to the Pistons after Detroit general manager Joe Dumars traded him to the Nuggets in November, part of the blockbuster trade involving Chauncey Billups and Allen Iverson.
Since he was in the final season of his contract with the Pistons, the Nuggets negotiated a buyout of the $6.8 million he was owed, and then waived him. The Spurs were one of several teams that tried to sign him then, but after waiting an NBA-mandated 30 days, he re-signed with the Pistons, mostly out of loyalty to Dumars.
The Spurs had targeted both McDyess and his Pistons teammate, Rasheed Wallace, this summer. They turned their attention to McDyess after Wallace announced his intent to sign with the Celtics, which he did on Wednesday.
Though McDyess doesn’t have Wallace’s 3-point range, he is an outstanding mid-range shooter and a more consistent rebounder and defender.
McDyess considers winning a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, the highlight of his basketball career. Ironically, he was named to the 2000 U.S. team as a replacement for Tim Duncan, who withdrew from the team in mid-August, 2000, because of a knee injury.
Now, McDyess hopes to team with Duncan to achieve the only goal he deems greater than winning Olympic gold: An NBA title.
Sorry about the misspelling in the title.