The New York Knicks blocked the fewest shots in the NBA last season. But signing Dikembe Mutombo should change that.
Mutombo, 37, inked a multi-year contract with the Knicks shortly after clearing waivers on Thursday.
Earlier reports pegged the pact at $9-million US over two years.
Mutombo joined the Knicks just two days after negotiating an estimated $30-million US buyout with the New Jersey Nets.
The 7-foot-2 Congolese centre had two years and $37 million US remaining on his contract with the Nets.
"I know Dikembe very well through the years and there is no question he'll fit right into our system and thrive," Knicks head coach Don Chaney said of Mutombo, an eight-time NBA all-star and four-time defensive player of the year.
"There aren't many players in NBA history that can change the course of a game as much as he does."
- Dikembe Mutombo bio
"Adding a shot blocker and rebounder of Dikembe's calibre to our team dramatically improves key areas that we were looking to upgrade," Knicks president and general manager Scott Layden said.
Mutombo missed 56 games last season with torn ligaments in his right wrist and averaged 5.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocked shots and 21.4 minutes in 24 appearances -- all career lows.
His previous lows were 10.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 34.5 minutes.
Mutombo fared even worse in the post-season, averaging 1.8 points on 7-of-15 shooting, 2.7 rebounds and 11.5 minutes in 10 playoff games for the two-time Eastern Conference champions.
He later became expendable when the Nets lured free-agent centre Alonzo Mourning away from the Miami Heat.
Ironically, Mourning was a teammate of Mutombo at Georgetown.
"You cannot have enough Georgetown guys," laughed Layden, who drafted Hoyas legend Patrick Ewing first overall in 1985.
Mutombo is a career 52 per cent shooter averaging 12.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 36.0 minutes in 864 NBA games, including 856 starts.
He has played for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Nets since being drafted fourth overall in 1991.
"His basketball resume is so impressive that having the chance to add him to our club was something we were not going to pass up," Layden concluded.
with files from Sports Network