The Seattle SuperSonics have scheduled a Thursday news conference amid reports that the team has hired P.J. Carlesimo as its new coach.

Team officials refused to comment Tuesday on a report that first appeared on the San Antonio Express-News Web site, which said Carlesimo had been chosen by Sonics ownership. Sam Presti, who spent the last seven years working in the Spurs' organization before becoming Seattle's general manager June 7, was traveling and unavailable for comment.

Carlesimo, 58, has been an assistant the last five seasons in San Antonio and before that was a head coach in Portland and Golden State. The position in Seattle has been vacant since the Sonics fired Bob Hill on April 24 after the team went 31-51.

Magic: Free agent Rashard Lewis agreed to a "maximum contract" with Orlando, his agent Tony Dutt said. Lewis, 28, averaged career-highs in points (22.4), rebounds (6.6) and assists (2.4) per game last season for Seattle. He opted out of the final two years of his contract with the Sonics in late May, leaving behind a guaranteed $21 million. Terms of the deal are still being worked out. He's expected to receive a deal in the range of $15 million per season. The Magic wouldn't comment, citing league rules that an agreement can't be announced until July 11. Orlando can only sign Lewis to a five-year contract, while Seattle could sign Lewis to a six-year deal.


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Dutt said the Magic and Seattle are in discussions about a sign-and-trade deal that would give Lewis that sixth-year, help Orlando clear some salary and give Seattle something in return.

  • The Magic withdrew its qualifying offer for restricted free agent Darko Milicic, ESPN.com reported. In effect, the move makes Milicic an unrestricted free agent.

  • Former NBA star Patrick Ewing was hired as an assistant coach for the Magic, filling out Stan Van Gundy's staff. Brendan Malone, Steve Clifford and Bob Beyer also were hired as assistants.

    Pistons: Point guard Chauncey Billups and Detroit agreed on a five-year, $60 million contact, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press. The source said the final season is a team option, making the deal worth $46 million guaranteed over four years. Billups became an unrestricted free agent last month after opting out of the last year of a six-year deal.

    Trail Blazers: Portland has signed Ohio State center Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in last week's draft. In accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, Oden's deal will be for two years, with team options for the third and fourth seasons. He will make $3.885 million as a rookie and $4.176 in Year 2. The Trail Blazers also signed second-round picks Josh McRoberts of Duke and Taurean Green of Florida.

    Lakers: Georgia Tech point guard Javaris Crittenton, the 19th pick in the NBA draft, signed with Los Angeles. According the league's CBA, Crittenton's deal is guaranteed for two years, with team options for the third and fourth seasons. He will earn $1.071 million as a rookie and $1.151 million in his second year.

    Kings: Sacramento let go of all four assistant coaches who worked for coach Eric Musselman last season. Scott Brooks, Brendan O'Connor, Mark Hughes and Clay Moser were relieved of their duties, president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie said. Reggie Theus was hired last month to replace Musselman, who went 33-49 in his one season as Kings coach.

    Pacers: Indiana signed Lithuanian League star Kareem Rush. The 6-6 guard was a first-round NBA draft pick in 2002. Rush has played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte and Seattle.