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Reports: Yao Signs Five-Year Extension

August 31, 2005

HOUSTON (AP) _ Yao Ming has agreed to terms of a five-year contract extension with the Houston Rockets worth more than $75 million, several media outlets reported Wednesday.

The deal that will keep the 7-foot-6 center with the Rockets through the 2010-11 season was first reported by Houston television station KRIV.

Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson would not confirm the agreement when reached by The Associated Press. Houston media relations officials also refused to comment.

Yao, a native of Shanghai, is in China working with the Chinese National team.

Yao, the first pick in the 2002 draft, will be paid the maximum allowed under the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, according to the reports. The contract will be 25 percent of the salary cap, meaning the first year will be worth an estimated $12.5 million.

Yao averaged 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds and two blocks last season. He has averaged 16.4 points and 8.5 rebounds in his three-year career.

The three-time NBA All- Star has one year remaining on his rookie contract, which will pay him more than $5.5 million next season.

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