Webber to Sign with Detroit Pistons


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Chris Webber will sign with the Detroit Pistons, returning to the area where he starred in college and was tarnished in a booster scandal.

The five-time All-Star was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers last week. He becomes an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers Tuesday, freeing him to sign a new deal.

"Joining the Pistons will allow me the opportunity to play the game I love in my hometown of Detroit surrounded by my family," Webber said in a statement Monday.

The Pistons said they wouldn't comment until Webber clears waivers at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The 76ers cut ties Thursday with Webber by buying out the final 1½ years of his contract, which called for him to make nearly $21 million this season and $22 million next year.

Webber is coming back to familiar territory. He was born in Detroit and was one of the nation's outstanding college players at Michigan. His accomplishments, however, were clouded by his ties to a booster that resulted in federal charges against him and NCAA sanctions against the university.

Webber, the No. 1 pick overall in 1993, wants to contribute to a contender, and Detroit gives him a chance to do that.

"I look forward to joining a roster of talented athletes and working towards a fourth NBA title for the Pistons and the great city of Detroit," he said.

Webber, 6-foot-10, could start at center next to power forward Rasheed Wallace. The Pistons have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and are the first team since the early 1990s to advance to four straight conference championships.