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Wizards Sign Oakley to 1-Year Deal

October 12, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Veteran forward Charles Oakley signed a one-year contract with the Washington Wizards on Saturday, reuniting him with former teammates Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing.

Oakley, entering his 18th NBA season, ``gives us a tough veteran presence in the front court,″ general manager Wes Unseld said. ``He also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help our young big men.″

The 38-year-old Oakley has averaged 10 points and 9.8 rebounds over his career.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the team could not offer more than the $1 million veteran’s minimum under the salary cap. Oakley’s agent, Charles Grantham, has said that several teams were interest in his client, but none was offering more than that salary.

Oakley and Jordan played together in Chicago from 1985-88. Oakley returned to the Bulls last season with mixed results as he openly criticized the team’s rebuilding efforts.

Oakley also played 10 seasons in New York with Ewing, who recently retired to become an assistant coach with the Wizards.

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