The Halifax Rainmen appear poised to add an NBA player to the fold for the first time in franchise history.

Desmond Ferguson, who played seven games for the Portland Trailblazers in 2003-04, is close to signing a contract with the Rainmen, Metro Halifax has learned.

The six-foot-seven forward was a Premier Basketball League all-star last season with the Rainmen’s Atlantic Division rival, the Manchester Millrats, averaging 17.0 points per game.

He was one of the PBL’s most deadly three-point threats, nailing 71-of-168 from beyond the arc for a 42.2 per cent conversion rate.

Ferguson, 32, point guard Jason McLeish and shooting guard Tony Bennett could form the foundation for the Rainmen’s roster in 2010. McLeish, a former Continental Basketball Association star, signed two weeks ago.

Bennett, the Rainmen’s leading scorer last season, hasn’t been announced as a signing yet but told Metro last week he has decided to return.

Returnee Eric Crookshank is another who is projected to make the starting roster.

John Strickland is also expected back, while the Rainmen have already signed depth players Demetrius Howard, Jerwin Callaway and Ronnell Jones.

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