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Bulls Sign Brand New Member

Elton Brand, the NBA's top draft pick, signed a three-year contract Monday with the Chicago Bulls.

A team source who spoke on condition of anonymity said Brand signed for a package that totals about $10 million.

"I'm really excited to be with the Bulls and I'm looking forward to joining (coach) Tim Floyd and the rest of the team in Utah," Brand said in a statement released by the team.

The Bulls are playing in the Rocky Mountain Summer League in Utah, and Brand was expected to report on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward spent the last month playing with the U.S. national team in the Olympic-qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico.

"I realize the expectations that come with being the overall No. 1 draft pick, and I'm going to work hard to live up to those expectations," Brand said.

The Bulls got the first pick by winning the draft lottery drawing on May 22. They finished 13-37 during the season and got into the lottery by virtue of not making the playoffs.

The Bulls were six-time NBA champions in the 1990s, but slipped to near the bottom of the league when Michael Jordan retired and All-Star Scottie Pippen was traded. Role players such as Dennis Rodman, Luc Longley, Steve Kerr also left the team.

Their .260 winning percentage was the lowest in franchise history, beating out the 1975-76 squad, which finished 24-58 with a .293 winning percentage.

Their average of 81.9 points was the lowest scoring average in NBA history since the inception of the shot clock. Entering this season, the lowest average was 87.4 points in 72 games by the Milwaukee Hawks in 1954-55, the season the clock was adopted.

Brand, a unanimous AP All-American this spring, averaged 16.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.88 blocks his two years at Duke. As a sophomore, he led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring with a 17.7 average and rebounding with a 9.8 average. Brand averaged 17 points and 9.2 rebounds in six NCAA tournament games as Duke finished as the 1999 runnerup.

Chicago's other first-round selection, Ron Artest of St. John's, signed a three-year pact on July 15.

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