F Darius Songaila signs with Wizards

Updated: July 19, 2006, 6:33 PM ET
SportsTicker

WASHINGTON - The Washington Wizards added some toughness to their frontcourt Wednesday, signing free agent forward Darius Songaila.

Terms were not disclosed, but ESPN.com reported Monday that Songaila's deal was worth $23 million over five years.

The 6-8, 240-pound Songaila averaged 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 62 games with the Chicago Bulls. The native of Lithuania played four years at Wake Forest and spent his first two seasons with the Sacramento Kings.

"Darius is hard-nosed competitor," Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said. "He has a good mid-range jump shot, he is an excellent free-throw shooter and a very solid rebounder. Darius will add depth to our frontcourt and he has knowledge and experience of our system."

Songaila has shown a willingness to mix it up inside and also can make a mid-range jumper. That makes him more versatile than any of Washington's returning big men - center Brendan Haywood, forward Etan Thomas and reserves Michael Ruffin and Calvin Booth.

"Darius provides us with physical toughness in our frontcourt and on the defensive end," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "At the same time, he is a reliable scorer. Darius has a great work ethic and will be a very good teammate."

In 216 career games, Songaila has averaged 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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