The Birdman will fly once more

The Times-Picayune is reporting that the New Orleans Hornets are prepared to sign Chris “Birdman” Andersen, dismissed from the NBA two years ago for drug use.

Commissioner David Stern is expected to lift the ban today; if so, and Andersen passes the physical, the Bees, who have first rights to his services, will have 30 days to offer him a contract equivalent to what he was making before the suspension: $3.5 million a year, prorated for the rest of this season. If they don’t, Andersen will become a free agent and can negotiate with any other team.

The Hornets can definitely use a big man — the Birdman is 6-10 — to spell center Tyson Chandler, so look for this deal to come down pretty quickly.

Update: It’s official. If all goes well at the physical, he’ll be in uniform as soon as he gets a new number: #12, which he used to wear, now belongs to Hilton Armstrong.

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