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Knicks sign former Raptors pick Bender to contract

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The Sports Network
12/13/2009 12:12:37 PM
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Knicks signed free agent forward Jonathan Bender to a contract on Sunday.

Bender returns to the league after a lengthy absence while battling chronic knee pain.

"Jonathan has worked extremely hard in preparing himself for a return to the NBA," said Donnie Walsh, New York president of basketball operations. "I know him to be a young man of the highest character from my relationship with him that dates back 10 years to his rookie year and I think he will be a fine addition to our team both on and off the court."

The 7-foot, 230-pound Bender hasn't appeared in a game since November 5, 2005 against Philadelphia as a member of the Pacers.

Originally taken fifth overall by Toronto in the 1999 draft, Bender has averaged 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 237 games, all with Indiana.

New York Knicks (Photo: NBA)

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