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Kings Sign Center Vlade Divac


The Sacramento Kings, who began the day searching for big men, ended Friday with a solid front line.

The Kings signed free agent center Vlade Divac to a six-year, $62.5 million contract and re-signed small forward Corliss Williamson to a one-year deal reportedly worth $500,000.

Earlier Friday, power forward Chris Webber joined the team after skipping Thursday night's opening practice. Webber was traded to the Kings in May.

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  • "With Chris and Corliss, we have one of the best front lines in the league," said Divac, who spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the Charlotte Hornets.

    Divac, one of just five active NBA players with 8,000 career points, 5,000 rebounds, 1,500 assists and 1,000 blocks, said he wants to break a streak of 15 consecutive losing seasons by the Kings -- a league record.

    "That's one of the biggest challenges in my career now, to make Sacramento a competitive team," he said. "It's a very big challenge, and I like challenges."

    Divac, 30, has averaged 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds throughout his NBA career. The 7-foot-1 Divac averaged 10.4 points last season for Charlotte.

    While Divac was expected to sign with the Kings and had considered playing in Sacramento two years ago, Williamson's re-signing was somewhat of a surprise.

    The Kings had offered Williamson a six-year, $42 million deal that he rejected. But as the free agent market became clearer when the NBA lockout ended this week, Williamson realized he might be left out of a big contract.

    So he chose to take a one-year deal for a much smaller amount, hoping he'll get a huge free-agent deal from the Kings or another team next season.

    "He looked at all his options and the best one was for him to stay in Sacramento," said Kings vice president Geoff Petrie.

    Williamson, 25, who has spent three years with the Kings, averaged 17.7 points last season. The 6-7 forward has increased his scoring average by six points in each of the past two seasons.

    In order to mae room under the salary cap, the Kings renounced the rights to guards Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Anthony Johnson, forwards Billy Owens and Mark Hendrickson, and centers Olden Polynice and Michael Stewart.

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