Bulls, Jay Williams OK 3-Year Deal

Thursday, July 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Duke star guard Jay Williams, the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-2 Williams, who helped Duke win the national title in 2001, left school after his junior season, when he won the Naismith and Wooden awards, was the AP Player of the Year and was a unanimous First Team All-American. Williams also was an All-American as a sophomore, when the Blue Devils won the national championship.

``We're ecstatic, it's the culmination to two months of effort on our part and on their part to get it together,'' said Williams' agent Bill Duffy. The deal, he said, is worth close to $10 million.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, rookie first-round contracts are for three years with a team option for a fourth season. Last year, the No. 2 overall pick, the Bulls' Tyson Chandler, had a salary of $3.3 million for his first season.

``Its a true honor to be part of an organization that every little kid once dreamed about,'' said Williams, who will begin his professional career next week in the Rocky Mountain Revue, a summer league based in Salt Lake City.

After he was selected by the Bulls and met several of his new teammates last month, Williams said he couldn't wait to get started in the NBA.

``As soon as I stepped in this city and I met these guys, I knew there was a connection,'' he said. ``I just knew I clicked with these guys and everything was easy. You didn't have to work to make something happen, it just happened.''

During his three-year career with the Blue Devils, he averaged 19.3 points and six assists, helping Duke to a 95-13 record. The Bulls desperately need a point guard with his leadership skills.

``Once you complete a dream, you don't want to be content with just that dream,'' said Williams. ``You always want to set another goal to push for afterward. After I shook David Stern's hand, it was time to move on to the next dream, and that's to win a world title.

``I know this team is going to do whatever it takes to get there again.''