Theo Ratliff has gone from backing up Samuel Dalembert to backing up Tim Duncan.

Ratliff, a 76ers' unrestricted free agent, has agreed to a one-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs for a little more more than $1.3 million, the minimum salary for players with at least 10 years of service in the NBA. He spent last season with the Sixers on a similar contract.

Ratliff, 36, who entered the league as a first-round draft choice with the Detroit Pistons in 1995-96, will be playing his 15th season.

''He had numerous offers, but decided San Antonio was the best place for him to be this season,'' said agent Joel Bell.

The 6-10 Ratliff averaged 3.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in 46 games with the Sixers last season. He was critical of the coaching staff after the team was eliminated 114-89 by the Orlando Magic in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs, then skipped his exit meeting.

The Sixers had no interest in re-signing him.