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Rich signs

Washington Wizards guard Mitch Richmond, the best

remaining free agent on the market, reportedly has agreed to terms on an

incentive-driven four-year, $40 million contract.

Broadcast reports indicated Richmond, one of the

NBA's best and most underpaid shooting guards,

has decided to remain with Washington. The report

said the Wizards have a buyout option after the

second year and Richmond can void the option by

reaching certain incentives.

The Washington Post, citing an unidentified source

close to the negotiations, is reporting the Wizards

can buy out the six-time All-Star for $10 million after

two years and $5 million after three years.

With an annual average

of $10 million, the

contract makes the

34-year-old Richmond

the NBA's highest-paid

shooting guard. Guards

Latrell Sprewell, Allen

Iverson, Kobe Bryant

and Reggie Miller all

have deals paying them

in the $9 million range

next season.

The agreement appears

to give the Wizards

assurances should Richmond begin to slow down.

Although he led the Wizards with 19.7 points per

game last season, it was the lowest average of his

10-year career.

The deal is similar to the one the Wizards struck

prior to last season with Rod Strickland. The point

guard signed a four-year, $40 million deal which has

a $5 million buyout after the third year.

Richmond was a 1988 first-round pick of the Golden

State Warriors. In May 1998, he was acquired with

Otis Thorpe for Chris Webber from the Sacramento

Kings, where he spent seven seasons. He has

played in only 21 career playoff games.

Richmond was the 1989 Rookie of the Year and

1995 All-Star Game Most Valuable PlayerPrior to

last season, he never averaged less than 21.9 points

per game, with a high of 25.9 in 1996-97.

Earlier today, the Wizards signed free agent forward

Aaron Williams, who had been with the Seattle

SuperSonics. During the offseason, they allowed

Thorpe to depart via free agency and acquired center

Isaac Austin from Orlando for forwards Terry Davis and Ben Wallace and

guards Tim Legler and Jeff McInnis.

Copyright 1999 SportsTicker Enterprises,L.P.

© 1999 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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