Center Patrick Ewing, the top pick in June's National Basketball Association draft, is seeking a 10-year, $30-million guaranteed contract from the New York Knicks, the Boston Globe reported yesterday.
One NBA source told The Washington Post he understood those figures to be Ewing's "original asking price." Another source said Ewing, who led Georgetown to three NCAA championship games and one title, and the Knicks were "worlds apart" in negotiations.
David Falk of ProServ, which is representing Ewing, and Dave DeBusschere, executive vice president of the Knicks, declined to discuss the negotiations. Bob Woolf, a Boston-based attorney who represents a number of top professional athletes, said he expects Ewing to get about $1.2 million to $1.5 million per year.
The highest base salary in the NBA is $2 million, for center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, the league's leading career scorer. Center Moses Malone of the Philadelphia 76ers makes slightly more than $2 million, including bonuses.
Center Ralph Sampson, top pick in the 1983 draft, makes slightly less than $1 million annually, and center Akeem Olajuwon makes slightly more than $1 million annually. Both play for the Houston Rockets.
John Thompson, Ewing's college coach, said he is not involved in the negotiations. Asked about the reported figures, Thompson jokingly said, "Is that all?"