Report: Hornets sign free agent Ely to contract

NEW ORLEANS -- Free agent forward/center Melvin Ely has
reached an agreement with the Hornets on a contract, an NBA source
Wednesday told The Associated Press.

The source confirmed the signing but did not want to be
identified before Thursday's formal announcement was made.

Ely, 29, 6-10, 260 pounds, is a fifth-year veteran traded by the
Charlotte Bobcats to the San Antonio Spurs in February. He played
in six games for the Spurs but was inactive for the playoffs. The
Spurs won their third NBA championship in June against the
Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Los Angeles Clippers drafted Ely in the first round of the
2002 draft out of Fresno State. He played two seasons with the
Clippers before they traded him to the Bobcats.

Ely's best season was in 2004-05, when he averaged 7.3 points
and 4.1 rebounds for Charlotte.

Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower said the team was looking to
sign a center to provide depth behind starter Tyson Chandler and
second-year player Hilton Armstrong.

Ely's signing likely is the Hornets' last major roster addition
before training camp begins next month. The Hornets open against
the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 31.