Toronto Raptors centre Andrea Bargnani reportedly has been rewarded with a five-year, $50-million US contract extension.
Bargnani's agent, Leon Rose, told ESPN.com late Tuesday that the Raptors reached an agreement in principle with the 23-year-old Italian, who was drafted No. 1 overall by Toronto in 2006.
The extension commits him to the Raptors through the 2014-15 NBA season.
Toronto is hoping Bargnani's extension and the anticipated signing of free-agent forward Hedo Turkoglu will send a message to marquee forward Chris Bosh that the Raptors are committed to winning.
Bosh, a four-time all-star and the face of the franchise, is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July 1, but the Raptors want to keep him in the fold.
Bargnani set career highs in every major statistical category last season, his third in the NBA.
A stylish seven-footer with a deft passing touch and a penchant for jump shots, he averaged 15.4 points on 45 per cent shooting from the floor, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocked shots and 31.4 minutes in 78 games, including 59 starts.
More importantly, he showed a greater willingness to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket than he did in his first two seasons with the Raptors.
Bargnani has averaged 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 26.9 minutes in 221 NBA appearances (114 starts).With files from The Canadian Press