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Bulls Sign St. John's Star

Ron Artest, the Chicago Bulls' second first-round pick and the 16th player taken overall in last month's NBA draft, signed a three-year contract with the team on Thursday.

Under terms of the NBA rookie salary scale, Artest must be paid $899,800 the first year, $967,300 the second and $1,034,000 the third. The team has has option for a fourth year. Exact terms weren't revealed.

"It's a privilege to wear the Bulls uniform," Artest said in a statement. "I'm going to work extremely hard to justify the Bulls' selection of me."

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in two years at St. John's.

"At St. John's, Ron sacrificed much of his individual game to fit the specific needs of the team," Bulls general manager Jerry Krause said. "His ability and willingness to sacrifice his own game will make him an excellent NBA player."

Artest will take part in the team's minicamp beginning next Wednesday.

Artest's former AAU teammate, Elton Brand, the NBA's top draft pick, has not yet come to terms with the Bulls.

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