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Timberwolves Sign Billups, Smith

August 8, 2000 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Minnesota Timberwolves began shoring up their roster Tuesday with the free-agent signings of guard Chauncey Billups and forward Joe Smith.

It’s believed Smith signed a one-year deal for $2.35 million and Billups a three-year contract for the salary cap exception of $2.25 million in the first year.

Billups played at Orlando last season and will help fill the void left by the death of Malik Sealy, who was killed in a traffic accident last spring.

Billups was the third overall pick in the 1997 draft out of Colorado. He has played for Boston, Toronto, Denver and Orlando but has been undermined by injuries.

For his career, Billups has averaged 11.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds.

Smith averaged 9.9 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Timberwolves last year. He was the No. 1 overall selection by Golden State in the 1995 NBA draft. He appeared in 78 games last season, shooting a career-beset 46.4 percent after missing the entire preseason with a broken foot.