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Wizards sign Whitney to bolster backcourt

In an attempt to add some stability to their young guard corps, the Washington Wizards welcomed back a familiar face, point guard Chris Whitney, to the roster yesterday, signing him to a free-agent contract.

Whitney, who will turn 32 on Oct. 5, rejoins a Wizards team with which he has spent seven of his 10 NBA seasons. He is the franchise's all-time leader in three-pointers made and free-throw percentage.

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Whitney, who has averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 assists during his career, likely will serve as a backup to fellow free-agent addition Gilbert Arenas and is likely to mentor Steve Blake (Maryland), the Wizards' second-round draft choice.

He also likely will serve as an additional shooting option in late-game situations.

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Whitney, a Washington fan favorite who attended Saturday's Washington Mystics WNBA game, was dealt to the Denver Nuggets near the end of last season's training camp to clear a logjam at point guard with Larry Hughes and Tyronn Lue.

Whitney played 29 games in Denver - starting 20 - before he was released by the Nuggets in February.

He was signed by the Orlando Magic two days after he was cut in Denver, and played 20 games for the Magic in the regular season and all seven games in the playoffs. Whitney became expendable in Orlando when the Magic signed Lue as a free agent in the offseason.


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