HOUSTON, Jan. 19 -- Star forward Scottie Pippen reportedly is leaving the Chicago Bulls, who will sign him to a five-year, $67 million contract and trade him to the Houston Rockets once the lockout is lifted. KRIV-TV in Houston, citing league sources, is reporting that Pippen will be dealt from the Bulls to the Rockets under the 'sign-and-trade' provision of the new collective bargaining agreement. Players traded in those situations must sign deals of at least three years. The report said the trade hinges on contract details still to be worked out with Pippen, who as a 11-year veteran would qualify for a first-year salary of as much as $14 million, with annual escalators of 12 percent. However, the report was not specific regarding the draft picks the Bulls would receive. ESPN is reporting that the Bulls will receive forward Roy Rogers and a second-round pick for Pippen, one of the game's best all-around players. The KRIV report also did not say which players' rights the Rockets would renounce in order to clear the room required to fit Pippen's salary under the salary cap, which is $30 million for each team. The Rockets have four players under contract, but free agents count against the cap as much as 200 percent of their previous salaryuntil they are renounced. 'I would like to thank the Chicago Bulls, the great people of the city of Chicago and all my teammates for 11 wonderful seasons,' Pippen said in a statement released by agents Jimmy Sexton and Kyle Rote, who put together the complex deal that could give Pippen an average salary of $17 million for the rest of his career.
'I would also like to personally thank the Bulls organization for helping me through this period of free agency. I wish them the best because that is what Chicago deserves.' The sign-and-trade transaction enables Pippen to make several million dollars more than he would have if he'd signed with Houston or any other team as a free agent. The most the Rockets could have paid Pippen as a free agent was about $45 million over four years. The NBA and Players Association are expected to finalize the new collective bargaining agreement as early as Wednesday, which should lead to a flood of trades and signings. Along with Michael Jordan, Pippen led the Bulls to six titles in the last eight years. But Jordan announced his retirement last Wednesday, setting a massive rebuilding project in motion. Ironically, Pippen -- who feuded with Bulls management all last season -- joins the team that interrupted Chicago's run of NBA championships. The Rockets won titles in 1994 and 1995, taking advantage of Jordan's first retirement. Pippen, 33, joins a team that includes All-Star center Hakeem Olajuwon and may include star forward Charles Barkley, who is a free agent but can be re-signed without regard to the cap. 'I am excited about my new career in Houston,' Pippen's statement said. 'And even though everything seems to be changing, I hope Bulls fans everywhere will understand that it is time for a a new era to begin Chicago. I wish nothing but the best for the city of chicago and for the Bulls as a team. Chicago has been my home for nearly half of my life and with my family and friends here, I will always treat the city as home. I only hope the people of Chicago will continue to treat me as one of their own. Thanks for all the great memories.' No one has played more high-level basketball than Pippen in the 1990s and it may have caught up with him the last two years. He missed the first 35 games of the 1997-98 season after having surgery to mend a lingering foot injury. He averaged 19.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists and helped the Bulls win their third straight title. But he suffered a back injury in the NBA Finals against Utah and underwent surgery during the offseason. Last season, Pippen threatened to sit out and labeled Bulls general manager Jerry Krause 'a chicken' for not renegotiating his contract. Pippen made $2.77 million and was looking for a multi-year deal that would pay him between $10 million and $15 million per season. Voted one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996, Pippen was a member of the 1992 and 1996 United States Olympic teams. He has played 178 career playoff games, seventh on the all-time list. Selected fifth overall in the 1987 draft out of Central Arkansas, the 6-7 Pippen boasts career averages of 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He has made the All-Star team seven times and has been selected to the All-Defensive Team each of the last seven seasons. Rogers, 24, is a two-year veteran who will join his fifth team. He was selected 22nd overall by Vancouver in the 1996 draft and also has been with Boston, Toronto and Houston. He never played a game for the Rockets, having been acquired in a deal involving Kevin Willis last June. The Pippen dealwas one of three the Bulls effectively agreed to Monday. The Bulls reportedly also: -- Completed a deal that sends center Luc Longley to the Phoenix Suns. Longley will get a deal averaging more than $6 million per season, and in exchange the Bulls will get a Phoenix No. 1 draft pick, plus center Mark Bryant, forward Martin Muursepp and forward Bubba Wells. -- Agreed to a deal that sends guard Steve Kerr to the San Antonio Spurs for forward Chuck Person and a first-round draft pick. Kerr's agent, mark Bartelstein, would only tell the Chicago Tribune that a deal was close, but league sources told the Tribune that Kerr will receive $11 million over five years. Pippen and Kerr both sought sign-and-trade deals from the Bulls because under the new collective-bargaining agreement, a team can sign only its own players beyond the age of 36, thus allowing Kerr and Pippen, both 33, to sign five year deals. And a player's own team can sign him for 12.5 percent annual raises compared with 10 percent for a new team. For Pippen, it meant at least $20 million more over the life of the contract, and perhaps $20 million more on top of that. The reported deals clearly put an end to the Bulls' dynasty of the 1990s. Eighty percent of the starting lineup of the last three Bulls championship teams will not be with the team this season. No deal has been made with forward Dennis Rodman but he is not expected to return. Only starter Ron Harper, sixth man Toni Kukoc and reserve guard Randy Brown remain from the championship teams. Although Harper is under contract for this season, the Bulls may trade him. He said last season that if Jordan and Pippen weren't back he wouldn't want to come back either. 'It would really be a sad situation around here then,' Harper told the Chicago Sun-Times. 'And no veteran really wants to end his career on a low note.'