tony battie

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has signed free agent center Tony Battie.  As per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We see Tony Battie as a player who can come in and give us additional depth in the front court while also providing a valuable veteran presence for our younger players both on and off the court,” Stefanski said.

Battie (6-11, 240) recently completed his 12th NBA season and is averaging 6.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.90 blocks in 772 career games with 418 starts.  He has also appeared in 51 playoff games with 30 starts and was a member of the Orlando Magic’s Eastern Conference Championship team in 2008-09.

Originally the fifth overall pick by Denver in the 1997 NBA Draft, Battie was traded twice following his rookie season, ending up in Boston.  After five full seasons with the Celtics, he was sent to Cleveland early into the 2003-04 campaign, which coincided with LeBron James’ rookie season.

In July of 2004, the Cavaliers packaged Battie in a trade to Orlando, one month after the Magic added Dwight Howard with the first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.  Battie spent the next five seasons with the Magic, including 2005-06 when he started all 82 games with averages of 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds while playing alongside Howard.

Last summer, Battie was traded to New Jersey as part of Orlando’s draft day deal for Vince Carter following the Magic’s run to the NBA Finals in 2009.  Battie appeared in 15 games for the Nets last season.

A standout at Texas Tech, Battie left as the Red Raiders all-time leader in blocks despite forgoing his senior season.  His brother, Derrick, played basketball at Temple.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Yes, Battie is still alive and well, and in the league. No idea what he has left in the tank. Obvious assumption is that he’s good for 5-8 minutes per game to bang into some people.