The list of available free agent power forwards diminished again yesterday when Corie Blount agreed to play for the Phoenix Suns this season for the $1.1 million NBA salary cap exception, according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein.
Blount was said to have been one of the next two free agent power forwards the Washington Wizards were considering as a potential starter after 11-year veteran Grant Long signed late last week with the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Dickie Simpkins, the other power forward ranked highly by the Wizards, likely will make a decision within the next 48 hours, a source close to him said. As of last night, Simpkins had not been offered a contract by the Wizards, a source close to the situation said.
Simpkins, originally from Prince George's County, said this summer that he wants to play here. He has been offered a one-year, $3 million contract by his former team, the Chicago Bulls, who are trying to reach the NBA minimum ceiling on team payrolls. The deal is 50 percent higher than the maximum the Wizards can offer in the first year of a multiyear deal.
Wizards Notes: Long was offered the same three-year contract starting at the $2 million salary-cap exception that he accepted in Vancouver, agent Charles Tucker said. . . . Center Calvin Booth, the team's second-round draft choice, received a two-year contract when he signed on Tuesday, according to agent Mark Termini.