- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2007

The Washington Wizards reached agreements in principle yesterday on contracts with Oleksiy Pecherov and Nick Young, their first-round picks from the 2006 and 2007 drafts, respectively.

“We are excited to have two very talented first-round picks join our team,” team president Ernie Grunfeld said. “Nick Young and Oleksiy Pecherov both have good size, athleticism and the ability to score. They are hard working and competitive young players.”

The terms of the deals were not released. However, the first two years of each player”s contract will be guaranteed. The Wizards have options for third and fourth seasons for both players.

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The Wizards will have nine players signed to contracts with these signings.

Young, 22, was drafted 16th overall by the Wizards in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. As a junior last season at Southern Cal, Young ranked among the Pacific 10 leaders in scoring (17.5 points, second), 3-point field goal percentage (.440, second) and field goal percentage (.525, fifth).

Pecherov, 21, was drafted 18th overall by the Wizards in the 2006 NBA Draft. He played last season for BC Kyiv in his native Ukraine, where he is a member of the national team.

Both players will participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas beginning next week.

In other news, Spanish guard Juan Carlos Navarro, who was recently given the go-ahead to negotiate a buyout of his contract with FC Barcelona, told the Associated Press he was looking forward to playing in the NBA. The Wizards hold Navarro’s rights.

“I am extremely happy with the help the club has given me … to allow me to make my dream of playing in the NBA,” Navarro said. “I always believed that I could go to the NBA and play against the best players in the world. Now I will try to make all the [3-pointers] possible on the courts of the NBA.”

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