Hornets agree to terms with guard Bobby Jackson


OKLAHOMA CITY -- The New Orleans Hornets agreed to terms Sunday with free-agent guard Bobby Jackson, adding another veteran presence to an improving team.

Jackson`s agent, Andy Miller, said Jackson had agreed to a multi-yeal deal with the Hornets but wouldn`t disclose the terms.

NBA teams were allowed to begin negotiating with free agents on Saturday but cannot officially sign players until July 12. Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said the team planned to sign Jackson after the moratorium ends, but declined further comment, citing league rules.

Jackson averaged 11.4 points and 2.1 assists coming mainly off the bench for Memphis last year. Word of his plans to sign with New Orleans came a day after the Hornets confirmed they had reached agreement with three-time All-Star Peja Stojakovic. Stojakovic`s agent, David Bauman, said that five-year deal would be worth $64 million.

Jackson and Stojakovic, who were teammates with the Sacramento Kings for five seasons, will join a Hornets team that had a 20-win improvement this past season and stayed in the Western Conference playoff race until the season`s final week, finishing 38-44.

The 6-foot-1 Jackson, who won the NBA`s Sixth Man Award in 2003, became a free agent after one season with the Memphis Grizzlies. He made $3.375 million last season, the last in a six-year deal he signed with the Kings in 2000. Sacramento traded Jackson to Memphis last August.

Jackson played 71 games for the Grizzlies last year, but missed big portions of his final three seasons with Sacramento because of injuries. He sat out 51 games in 2004-5 because of a torn ligament in his wrist.

Jackson has a 10.2-point career scoring average. Hornets coach Byron Scott said last month that the team`s top offseason priorities were to add a shot-blocker and rebounder and a shooter or two to open the game up for leading scorers David West (17.1) and Rookie of the Year Chris Paul (16.1).

The Hornets used their two first-round draft picks on big men, Hilton Armstrong of Connecticut and Cedric Simmons of North Carolina State.

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