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Allen returns to Sonics

All-Star guard agrees to new contract with Sonics

Posted: Tuesday July 5, 2005 11:06AM; Updated: Tuesday July 5, 2005 9:59PM
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Ray Allen
With Ray Allen back in the SuperSonics' fold, it's expected Seattle will return much of the team that won the Northwest Division.
Greg Nelson/SI

All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen has agreed to a new contract that will keep him with the Seattle SuperSonics, SI.com has learned.

The SuperSonics and Allen have agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension, his agent Lon Babby said Tuesday in a conference call.

Allen cannot sign the deal until the free-agent signing period begins on July 22, but Babby said Allen intends to sign the contract at the first available moment.

The contract includes $80 million in salary and $5 million in bonuses, although the terms of the bonuses and the yearly breakdown of salary have not been determined.

Seattle spokesman Marc Moquin said the team could not comment on the agreement.

"We did wander in the desert for a while, before we got to the promised land," Babby said in a conference call with reporters. "When Ray became a free agent and we had the chance to explore opportunities, we were able to report back to the Sonics on what the market was dictating, and they essentially responded accordingly."

Allen earned about $14 million last season. The two sides tried to negotiate a new deal during the regular season, but could not come to an agreement.

Last February negotiations broke down on a five-year extension. The Sonics offered $75 million while Allen was holding out for an $80 million deal. The two sides started talking again after the playoffs.

Allen's return to the Sonics is expected to help them in their contract negotiations with coach Nate McMillan, who expressed reservations about returning to Seattle unless Allen and other free agents were re-signed.

"Nate's situation is certainly a factor," said Babby, who would not go into further detail. "[Ray] is committed to seeing this franchise move forward and succeed and I think he welcomes the opportunity to keep the team intact."

Allen is the first of Seattle's nine free agents to agree on a new deal. Other key unrestricted free agents include guard Antonio Daniels and center Jerome James.

Last week, the team extended qualifying offers to four restricted free agents, including key reserve forward Vladimir Radmanovic and starting power forward Reggie Evans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.