Free agent guard Juan Dixon and the Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to a three-year contract worth around $8 million, according to Dixon's agent, Calvin Andrews. Contracts can't be officially signed until the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement is ratified, which should be early next week.
Dixon, a Baltimore native, was selected with the 17th overall pick of the 2002 NBA draft by the Wizards after starring at the University of Maryland, where he led the Terrapins to the 2002 NCAA championship. Dixon finished his college career as Maryland's all-time leading scorer.
In three seasons with the Wizards Dixon played in 176 games, had 23 starts and averaged 8.2 points and 1.6 assists.
"Juan will always love Washington and the entire Washington area because he has so many great memories there," Andrews said. "But he's excited about going to Portland, where he'll have the opportunity to expand his game and be a part of a young and improving team."
Dixon's departure from Washington was all but ensured when the Wizards acquired point guard Chucky Atkins, shooting guard Caron Butler and shooting guard Antonio Daniels this offseason. Restricted free agent guard Steve Blake, another former Maryland star, also has had conversations with other teams but the Wizards have the option of matching any offer Blake receives.
Last year, the Wizards declined to pick up an option on Dixon worth $1.76 million and left him unprotected in the expansion draft, but Charlotte declined to take him.
-- Ivan Carter