The New York Knicks' renovation project added another plank Friday with the signing of free-agent forward Buck Williams to a multiyear contract.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but when the Knicks traded guard Hubert Davis to Toronto on Wednesday for a first-round draft choice, general manager Ernie Grunfeld indicated the $1.15-million in salary-cap savings from Davis' exit would be used to sign a versatile front-court player.
"Buck's a pro's pro. He is one of the classiest and most respected players in the NBA," Grunfeld said in a release. "He will fit in very well with our club to add veteran depth to our front line. He's a very good rebounder and defender and has tremendous playoff experience, including two NBA Finals."
Williams, drafted with the third pick overall by the New Jersey Nets in 1981, spent the past seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. The former three-time all-star has career averages of 13.5 points and 10.4 rebounds. Last season, however, he scored 7.3 points a game and averaged 5.8 rebounds.
"Buck will fill a void in our front court and provide veteran leadership," said Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy. "He's a terrific low-post defender, a rebounding force, and he's been a consistent winner. We're looking forward to having him be a contributing factor to the success of our ballclub."
Williams, rookie of the year in 1982, was traded to the Blazers after the 1988-89 season for Sam Bowie and a 1989 first-round draft choice, which turned out to be Mookie Blaylock.
He was named to the NBA's All-Defensive first team in 1989-90 and 1990-91 and to the second team in 1987-88 and
BUCKS: Ray Allen, the fifth overall selection in June's NBA draft, signed a a three-year contract with the team.
Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Milwaukee acquired Allen from the Minnesota Timberwolves for fourth overall pick Stephon Marbury and a future first-round selection.
Allen, 21, averaged 23.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game for the University of Connecticut last season.
He was the Big East Player of the Year and a first team All-America selection.
BLAZERS: The arraignment of point guard Isaiah Rider on minor drug and gambling charges was postponed, and his lawyer said a plea bargain is under negotiation.
Police charged him with misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, gambling and possession of an illegal cellular phone.
CAVALIERS: They signed first-round draft pick Vitaly Potapenko, selected 12th overall.
The NBA rookie pay scale entitles Potapenko to a three-year deal worth $3,071,500. He'll earn up to $890,300 this year, with incremental raises the following two years.
The Cavaliers said Potapenko, a native of Ukraine, is scheduled to attend the rookie and free-agent camp, which begins Monday.
LAKERS: So much for another Magic comeback.
Magic Johnson, who said last week he was leaning toward yet another comeback with the team after it signed Shaquille O'Neal, won't be doing so, his agent said.
Instead, Johnson is planning to buy back his percentage of ownership in the Lakers from Dr. Jerry Buss.
BULLETS: The team signed free-agent Lorenzo Williams to a multiyear contract. Terms were not disclosed.
Last year, the Gainesville native averaged 8.0 rebounds and 1.88 blocks while playing 27.8 minutes a game for the Mavericks, dividing time with Cherokee Parks.
WARRIORS: Police said they are investigating allegations that Joe Smith was involved in a barroom brawl that ended with a male dancer badly cut.
Chesapeake police spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones said witnesses at Ridley's Restaurant and Lounge told investigators Smith was part of a crowd that attacked a male dancer around 1 a.m. Friday after an argument.
Jones said no one had been charged as of late Friday. She said Smith was not at the club when officers arrived.