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People familiar with negotiations tell AP: Pelicans, Dante Cunningham agree on 3-year deal


NEW ORLEANS — People familiar with the negotiations say the New Orleans Pelicans and forward Dante Cunningham have agreed on a three-year contract extension worth about $9 million.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Saturday because the free-agent contract, which cannot officially be signed until July 9, has not been announced.

The Pelicans first signed the 6-foot-8 Cunningham as a free agent last December. He played in 66 regular season games, starting 27, and averaged 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 25 minutes.

The 28-year-old Cunningham was relied upon mostly for his defense. His contract includes a third-year player option. His return gives the Pelicans nearly all of their regulars back for next season except guard Norris Cole, who remains a restricted free agent.

AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report

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