Free agent Morris Peterson of the Toronto Raptors, whom the Hornets' targeted as their top priority to sign in free agency, agreed to a four-year, $23 million contract with the Hornets on Friday.
Peterson will become the team's starting shooting guard and Peja Stojakvoic will be moved to small forward, his natural position. In 2004, the Hornets signed Peterson to an offer sheet but the Raptors matched it.
"Morris feels blessed for this opportunity to play for Coach Byron Scott with a great style of play,'' Peterson's agent, Rob Pelinka said. "To play with one of the top point guards in the NBA in Chris Paul and to play for an organization in a city where so much has happened that's just a part of Morris because he has family there.''
Negotiations between Pelinka and Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower moved at a brisk pace late Thursday night before the agreement was reached Friday afternooon. Peterson narrowed his choice between the Hornets and the Utah Jazz, whom he visited with earlier this week.
Peterson, 6 feet 7, is a seven-year veteran who has played his entire career with the Raptors. He is a career 37.1 percent shooter on 3-point attempts, but last season he averaged 8.9 points after losing his starting job.
Nice signing, the Hornets were after him in the offseason of 2004.