The Rockets signed rookie G Steve Francis to a contract yesterday, five days after acquiring his rights from Vancouver in the largest trade in NBA history. Francis, the second overall pick in the June draft, had refused to sign with the Grizzlies, setting in motion a three-team, 11-player trade. Terms were not disclosed, but Francis is due a three-year contract worth about $9 million under the rookie salary cap.
MORE MOVES: The Lakers acquired F A.C. Green from the Mavericks for F-C Sean Rooks. Green, 36, who hasn't missed a game in 12 years and holds the NBA record with 1,028 consecutive games played, spent his first eight seasons with Los Angeles, helping the Lakers to two titles. He has career averages of 10.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. . . . The Knicks re-signed 13-year veteran G-F David Wingate, who appeared in 20 games for them last season. The 6-foot-5 Wingate, 35, has averaged 5.7 points, 1.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 732 NBA games since playing at Georgetown.
INTERNATIONAL: The NBA is sending a team to Israel for the first time to play an exhibition. The Heat will face perennial Israeli champion Maccabi in Tel Aviv Oct. 11. The Spurs will compete with five other champion teams from around the world Oct. 14-16 at the FilaForum in Milan. The Warriors and the Nets will play in Mexico City Oct. 24.