O'Bannon signs deal with New Jersey

The Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Ed O'Bannon, the ninth player selected in last June's NBA draft, signed with the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday.

Under terms of the league's new rookie salary scale, O'Bannon has a three-year contract that will pay him between $3.25 million and $3.90 million.

Despite leading UCLA to the NCAA title, O'Bannon seriously injured his knee as a freshman, causing him to drop in the draft.

But the Nets were optimistic the 6-foot-8-inch forward's knee would remain strong and his offensive skills would help a team that finished 30-52 and missed the playoffs last season.

''Ed is a young man who has gone through some adversity and has proven to be a winner,'' general manager Willis Reed said. ''I think he will bring a lot t othis team this year. We look forward to having Ed on the floor for a very long time.''

O'Bannon averaged more than 20 points a game as a senior and was the most outstanding player of the Final Four.

''I feel lucky and blessed to be going to the NBA,'' O'Bannon said. ''The Nets are a great organization and they are well-coached and have a lot of talent. I look forward to going out and playing as hard as I can to help the team get better.''

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Tyus Edney, the Sacramento Kings' second-round draft choice, reached a contract agreement with the team today.

Edney, the 47th player chosen in the 1995 draft, began working out with the Kings this morning.

Terms of the agreement were not announced.

''He has an opportunity to make an immediate contribution to the success of this team,'' Sacramento vice president Geoff Petrie said.

Edney was a key player in UCLA's NCAA basketball championship team this year.

The 5-foot-10, 152-pound point guard averaged 12.1 points, 5.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game in his UCLA career. He averaged 14.3 points per game last season, and is the UCLA career leader in steals with 224.

The Kings reportedly have reached agreement with top draft choice Corliss Williamson of Arkansas. But that three-year deal has not been signed.

PHOENIX The Phoenix Suns, gearing up for the start of training camp this weekend, signed two free-agents Tuesday guard Orlando Smart and forward Steve Turner.

Both players were signed to make-good contracts and financial details were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-9-inch Turner played at Ball State University from 1990-93. He has played oversees since then for teams in Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela and Argentina.

Smart, out of the University of San Francisco, finished his college career last year as the West Coast Conference's all-time leader in assists (902) and steals (282).

The Suns, who begin preseason practice Friday in Flagstaff, signed free-agent center John Coker on Sept. 25 and second-round draft pick Chris Carr on Monday.

Phoenix's two first-round choices Michael Finley and former Arizona State forward Mario Bennett remain unsigned.

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