Update: The Sonics have announced a press conference at 2 PM today to announce they have signed Chris Wilcox to a three year contract.
After a month and a half of sometimes tense negotiations, Wilcox signed a contract this morning, believed to be worth as much as $24 million. It is not clear if the contract is fully guaranteed or incentive-laden.
Same story as above in the Times. They threw this story up so fast I don't think the spell checker even looked at it.
"Playing in a system that's perfect for his style of play, where his talents will shine, it ends up being a truly terrific commercial arrangement for Chris," Fried said. "Chris is extremely pleased."
The Sonics are scheduled to hold a news conference this afternoon.
Fried and Sonics general manager Rick Sund were reportedly as much as $5 million apart in negotiatoins[sic] but made significant progress last week during two days of face-to-face negotiations.
Several other teams were "extremely aggressive" with sign-and-trade possibilities, including Pheonix[sic] and Golden State, but those never panned out, Fried said.
Even though it was always a long shot, new developments with the owner of the lakeside property have pretty much eliminated Renton as a destination for a new Sonic arena, Angela Galloway writes in the P-I today.
Gary Washburn writes that an official announcement regarding Chris Wilcox could come as soon as today. C0ntract terms as have been discussed elsewhere, are in the 3 years, $21 mil range.
Fried and Sund, who had not met face-to-face for more than six weeks, made significant progress during talks last week in Seattle, so much so that Fried is planning a trip to Seattle for a possible news conference later this week.
"We're pretty close," the agent said. "I'm optimistic about the direction of the talks and how this could benefit Chris and the Sonics. This is the place where he wanted to play."
Michael Ko repeats it in the Times.
If you haven't seen it yet, check the upper left hand corner.
Frank trumps the dailies as usual. Fried says Drew Gooden's recently signed contract had no bearing on Chris Wilcox's negotiations. And I believe that as much as I believe the Mariners have a prayer of making the playoffs.
When the negotiations began, Wilcox was asking for $62 million over six years, similar to the six-year, $60 million contract that Denverâ€™s Nene agreed to the first week players would speak with teams. The Sonics offered $40 million.
Eventually, they agreed that a three-year deal was the best fit, because it allows the Sonics to evaluate Wilcox over a longer span than 29 games while giving Wilcox financial security and the opportunity to secure a large contract when he is 26 years old.
â€œReally, itâ€™s just about the perfect fit for Chris,â€ Fried said.
Fried explored sign-and-trade options with a number of teams, but the only substantive offer the Sonics got was from Phoenix, which wanted to swap Kurt Thomas and the remaining $16.3 million left on his contract. Seattle never seriously considered that deal.
Wilcox is the last piece in Seattleâ€™s free agency plans and solidifies its roster with 13 players. Second-round draft pick Denham Brown also has a chance to make the team.
From here, Sund is expected to offer a two-year, $25 million contract extension to Rashard Lewis in late September and discuss possible contract extensions with Luke Ridnour and Nick Collison, whose rookie contracts run out after this season.
Denham Brown eh?
I like the idea of the 2 year $25 mil contract for Rashard as well.
From a GM point of view this has been a pretty successful offseason so far. And it may not be over yet.