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Bucks Ink Draft Picks


The Milwaukee Bucks signed draft pick Joel Przybilla to a multiyear contract and Jason Hart to a two-year deal Saturday.

Przybilla, Houston's ninth overall pick in last month's draft, was traded to Milwaukee on draft day for the rights to Jason Collier and a future first-round pick.

Terms of his contract were not disclosed, but under the terms of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, Przybilla received a three-year, $4,885,200 deal with annual salaries of $1,416,000, $1,628,400 and $1,840,800. The Bucks hold an option for a fourth year.

"Joel is a very big athletic big man," general manager Ernie Grunfeld said. "He's a very good shot blocker, rebounder and passer who we feel has a very good future ahead of him."

Przybilla, who left Minnesota during his sophomore year after being suspended for failing to meet academic requirements, has been working out with the Bucks since Wednesday at their training gym in suburban St. Francis.

"Joel is obviously a young player and we're going to have to work very hard with him, but we really feel very good about his future and think we may have a center here for the next 10 or 12 years," Grunfeld said.

Przybilla led Minnesota with 14.2 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 81 blocked shots last season.

"His reaction to the ball and his shot blocking, along with his instinctive timing is pretty impressive on film," Bucks coach George Karl said. "Offensively, I see him to be a little raw, but we right now don't need a lot of offense. We need the defensive presence and that is his strength; it's a big part of his game."

Hart was the Bucks' second pick in the second round of the draft, 49th overall. Hart, known as a defensive stopper at Syracuse, will challenge Rafer Alston for the job of backup point guard behind Sam Cassell.

Hart finished his four years at Syracuse as its career leader in steals at 329 and second in assists at 709.

"Jason Hart is an excellent defender and was one of the best defensive point guards in college basketball last season," Grunfeld said. "He has very good size, strength, speed and quickness."

Hart and Michael Redd, the Bucks' first pick in the second round and the 43rd player selected, also have been working out with the team. Milwaukee's first summer league begins in mid-July at Atlanta.

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