NBA -- Webber Negotiates Contract With Bullets -- Six-Year Contract Reportedly Worth $58.5 Million

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. - As days go, the Washington Bullets haven't had many better ones. First came the expected announcement that forward Chris Webber had agreed to a new contract and would be on the floor for tonight's scrimmage.

Then, yesterday afternoon, forward Don MacLean signed a one-year deal and joined practice after tiring of waiting for the Boston Celtics to deliver him an offer sheet.

So, three days into training camp - and in time for Thursday's exhibition opener against the New York Knicks - the Bullets have the primary pieces of their new team in place.

All that's left is a fulfilling of high expectations.

"This is an extremely exciting time for us," team owner Abe Pollin said in the news release announcing Webber had agreed to terms. "We are going to bring an NBA championship to Washington, and Chris Webber is going to lead the way."

Webber and the Bullets finished three weeks of negotiations late Saturday by agreeing to a six-year contract believed to be worth about $58.5 million.

Precise numbers weren't immediately available, but Webber will be one of the league's five highest-paid players this season, making approximately $6.5 million.

Only New York's Patrick Ewing ($18.725 million), Houston's Clyde Drexler ($9.81 million), San Antonio's David Robinson ($7.7 million) and Detroit's Joe Dumars ($6.98 million) will make more.

The largest previous contract in Bullet history was Juwan Howard's guaranteed $37.5 million a year ago.

Webber's average annual salary of $9 million-plus is an NBA record for contracts longer than two years.

Webber's agents and the Bullets were set to sign the contract today.

The Bullets surrendered forward Tom Gugliotta and three first-round draft choices to get Webber from the Golden State Warriors early last season.

In 54 games, Webber led the Bullets in scoring (20.1 points per game), rebounding (9.6), steals (1.54) and minutes (38.3).


-- Portland guard James Robinson suffered a broken right hand on the second day of Trail Blazer training camp in McMinnville, Ore., and will be sidelined two to four weeks.