Blair, Spurs reach a deal
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Pitt All-American DeJuan Blair is going to make his millions after all.
Blair, a 6-foot-7, 265-pound forward who turned professional after his sophomore season with the Panthers only to fall into the second round of the NBA draft, signed his first professional contract yesterday with the San Antonio Spurs.
Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but according to a source familiar with the negotiations, Blair signed a four-year contract worth almost $4 million dollars. Three of those years are guaranteed with guaranteed money approaching $3 million.
Only first-round draft picks in the NBA receive guaranteed contracts, but Blair's agent, Happy Walters, delivered on his promise that he made the day after the draft that Blair would receive guaranteed money.
"He's getting paid a lot more than a lot of first-round picks are getting paid," Walters said last night. "He's getting paid like he was drafted in the [late first round]. He's happy and relieved that it's done."
Blair was playing in a Spurs summer league game in Las Vegas last night and could not be reached for comment.
The Spurs finished first in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference this past season, then were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.
Walters said the day after Blair fell to the Spurs with the 37th pick in the second round that he might pursue a two-year contract because he was confident Blair would out-perform his first contract. But Walters said last night that the Spurs made this contract satisfying enough that they decided to sign a longer-term deal.
"He ended up with a great team and they really wanted to develop him," Walters said. "They wanted to show a commitment to him. He's just happy to be playing basketball and now he's able to take care of his family."
Blair played two seasons for Pitt and burst onto the national scene this past season when he was named Big East co-player of the year and a first-team All-American. He was the nation's top offensive rebounder.
First Published July 17, 2009 12:18 am