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mavsfanforever
07-03-2003, 07:53 AM
Bucks first team to sign their top pick

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ESPN.com news services


MILWAUKEE -- T.J. Ford became the first of this year's NBA first-round draft picks to sign, agreeing to a four-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The 6-foot point guard from Texas was the eighth overall selection in last Thursday's draft. He played two seasons with the Longhorns, leading the team last season in scoring, assists and steals.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed but according to the 2003-04 NBA rookie scale, a four-year deal for the No. 8 pick would be worth about $8.8 million.

"I think what you're going to get in T.J. Ford is, first off, he's a winner," Bucks general manager Larry Harris said Wednesday.

Ford led Texas to the Final Four in April for the first time since 1947.

Harris said he would not put an unreasonable amount of pressure on the 20-year-old.

"We're going to allow him to grow," Harris said. "I don't want to have unreal expectations of him."

Ford again rejected claims that his size -- 6-0, 165 pounds -- would hinder his play in the NBA.

"I just believe in myself," he said. "I know what I'm capable of doing."

MavKikiNYC
07-03-2003, 07:54 AM
Great. Now he can go in for that spinal surgery that they're thinking he'll need.