CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Guard Matt Carroll and the Charlotte Bobcats came to terms on a six-year, $27 million contract.
Agent Paul Nadel, a partner with Fegan and Associates, said Wednesday that Carroll is expected to sign the deal next week when he returns from a trip to China.
Carroll, signed by Charlotte out of the NBA's developmental league midway through the 2004-05 season, quickly became a key contributor. A 3-point specialist, he averaged nine points in 25 games to close that season, then 7.6 points the following year.
Last season, Carroll averaged a career-high 12.1 points and shot 42 percent from 3-point range, moving into the starting lineup late in the season.
``I'm very excited about Matt being back in the fold,'' Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. ``The guys who are part of this thing last year and have gotten us to this point are special to this organization. The more of those guys that we can keep around, that's what we're trying to do.''
Carroll, who was undrafted out of Notre Dame, was cut by New York, Portland, San Antonio and Golden State early in his career. But his game blossomed while playing for Roanoke in the NBDL. He averaged more than 20 points a game before he was signed by Charlotte.
Due to his humble beginnings, Carroll said late last season that he wanted the security of a long-term deal. Carroll received some interest from other teams, but the Bobcats were the only team that could have offered him a six-year contract, the maximum length allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
``He's very excited. This is where he wanted to be,'' Nadel said.
The 6-foot-6 Carroll will face more competition for playing time next season after the Bobcats acquired fellow shooting guard Jason Richardson in a draft night trade. But part-owner Michael Jordan had said they wanted to retain Carroll to keep depth at the position.
``He's a pure shooter,'' Bobcats guard Raymond Felton said. ``He can put the ball on the floor. He can shoot the ball well. I love that he's coming back.''
The Bobcats also said Wednesday that they had signed first-round pick Jared Dudley to his rookie contract. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement's rookie scale, Dudley will receive $947,500 next season and $1.018 million in the second year. The Bobcats hold team options for a third and fourth year.
Dudley, the 22nd pick in the draft, averaged 19 points and 8.3 rebounds as a senior at Boston College last season and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. At 6-foot-7 and 219 pounds, the Bobcats plan to use Dudley at both small forward and power forward.
The Bobcats' major offseason concern remains unsettled. Forward Gerald Wallace, the team's top scorer last season, remains unsigned. Vice president of basketball operations Bernie Bickerstaff and Wallace's agent, Rob Pelinka, have been in talks since early Sunday.
Wallace has received inquiries from at least seven other teams, but Vincent is confident they'll keep him.
``I feel great about Gerald,'' Vincent said. ``I shouldn't say I'm expecting it to happen soon, I'm hoping it happens soon. But I feel good about it.''

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