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Magic adds Grant, size

The Magic took another step in its quest to get bigger, deeper and more experienced when it signed power forward/center Horace Grant to a free-agent contract Thursday.

The Orlando Sentinel reported the contract was worth more than $7-million over three years.

"It's great to be home again," said Grant, whom the Magic traded in 1999 after four seasons. "This is where my heart has always been, among friends. I just want to thank the Magic family for giving me this opportunity to come back here and hopefully retire here."

The acquisition of the 6-10 Grant came a day after center Patrick Ewing signed a two-year contract worth about $4.2-million.

Ewing, 38, and Grant, 36, have a combined 30 years of NBA experience. Ewing is an 11-time All-Star, and Grant has four championship rings.

"I think that with our experience and the things we do on the court, we can contribute and this team can go places," Grant said. "With the talent and depth this team has right now, we have a very good chance of doing some great things right now."

Last season Grant started for the champion Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 8.5 points and 7.1 rebounds and ranked 12th in the NBA in offensive rebounding.

Grant earned another three championship rings as a member of the Chicago Bulls from 1987-94.

But Grant, who has a home in Orlando, said he was never tempted to stay in Los Angeles.

Coach Doc Rivers said Ewing and Grant won't make the team a half-court snail because their rebounds will help the fastbreak.

"Before, we could only run mostly off turnovers," Rivers said. "Now, we know we'll get the rebound instead of hoping to get it."

General manager John Gabriel said: "I think we've addressed a lot of our needs. But we still have some holes to fill."

AMAECHI TO JAZZ: Utah, hoping for more production at center, signed Magic free agent John Amaechi to a multiyear contract. Terms weren't disclosed. Amaechi averaged 7.9 points and 3.3 rebounds last season. It appears the Jazz has parted with journeyman center Olden Polynice, who opted out of his contract in May.

HEAT: Free-agent point guard Anthony Carter re-signed, reportedly for $12-million over three years. Miami paying Carter starter-type money could be a sign that free agent Tim Hardaway, 34, is on his way out.

LAKERS: Guard Mitch Richmond reportedly made a verbal agreement for $1-million, and the team has targeted Spurs forward Samaki Walker to replace Horace Grant.

PACERS: First-round pick Jamaal Tinsley agreed to a three-year contract worth slightly more than $2-million.

RAPTORS: Alvin Williams agreed to a multiyear deal.

76ERS: Center Dikembe Mutombo, the defensive player of the year, signed a four-year deal worth more than $65-million.

SUNS: Free-agent forward Dan Majerle returned to Phoenix, where he spent his first seven seasons. The one-year deal is worth $1-million.

WIZARDS: Forward Christian Laettner re-signed, reportedly for $21-million over four years.

NEW LEAGUE: An eight-team professional league is being formed after the financial collapse of several teams in the International Basketball League. The league, scheduled to begin play this fall, includes four former Continental Basketball Association franchises: Rockford, Sioux Falls, Gary and Grand Rapids.

SUNS: Free-agent forward Dan Majerle returned to Phoenix, where he spent his first seven seasons. Terms were not disclosed.


HOUSTON: All-Star Tina Thompson was suspended for tonight's game and fined $500 for trying to punch Orlando's Jaclyn Johnson on Wednesday.