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AP source: Hawks close to deal with Pachulia

POSTED: July 9, 2009 12:16 a.m.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks are making moves to keep together a roster that has made two straight playoff appearances.

The Hawks have reached an agreement to re-sign center Zaza Pachulia to a four-year contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person requested anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The agreement with Pachulia, who has been a starter or top backup for four seasons with the Hawks, comes one day after the team agreed to a three-year deal to re-sign starting point guard Mike Bibby.

The 7-foot Pachulia averaged 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 77 games, including 26 starts. He has played primarily as a backup behind Al Horford the last two years after starting in 125 games in his first two seasons with the team.

Hawks general manager Rick Sund declined comment.

Even after trading for guard Jamal Crawford last month and reaching agreements with Bibby and Pachulia, Sund still has unfinished business.

Another Atlanta starter, forward Marvin Williams, and top backup, Flip Murray, also are restricted free agents.

Crawford may fill the role of Murray, who averaged 12.2 points as the top scorer off the bench.

Williams made $7.4 million last season.

Williams, who averaged 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds last season, is only 22 and is an important part of a young nucleus that also includes Horford, forward Josh Smith and guard Joe Johnson.

The Hawks could still match any NBA offer to former sixth man Josh Childress, who played in Greece last season.

The Hawks, who in 2008 reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999, took another step in the 2008-09 season when they won 47 games and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals.



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