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Nets Give Kittles Extension


Kerry Kittles, the athletic shooting guard who was the eighth pick in the 1996 NBA draft, signed a six-year contract extension with the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.

Nets spokesman Gary Sussman said the team would not disclose terms of the deal. Kittles was not immediately available for comment with the team in Miami.

The signing comes just one day after New Jersey conditionally signed point guard Stephon Marbury to a six-year, $70.9 million contract. The deal won't go into effect unless the Nets' nine-player trade involving Milwaukee and Minnesota is finalized with all the players involved passing physicals.

Marbury, Kittles and power forward Keith Van Horn are all represented by super agent David Falk.

Kittles and the Nets had until midnight Saturday to reach an agreement on the extension. If they had not, Kittles would have become a free agent on July 1, eligible to negotiate with all 29 teams.

Kittles had a spectacular first two seasons with New Jersey, averaging 16.4 and 17.2 points respectively. However, with contract problems hanging over his head this season and a pre-season knee injury bothering him, he has slumped this year.

In 16 games, Kittles has averaged 13.4 points while shooting just 34 percent from the field. He's also averaging 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

The 6-foot-5 Kittles is a key ingredient in John Calipari's style of up-and-down-the-court play.

Kittles' career highs were 40 points in his rookie year against Milwaukee and 13 rebounds last season against Vancouver. The Villanova product only missed five games in his first two seasons, although the knee injury caused him to miss three this year.

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