Peterson would fill the Jazz's needs for a three-point shooter and perimeter defender, though he also would add to the team's congestion of players at the shooting guard and small forward positions.
Peterson, who turns 30 on Aug. 26, played seven seasons with the Raptors and was a full-time starter until this season. He would come to the Jazz with the intention of starting at shooting guard, a job held by four different players this season.
In addition to the Jazz, Peterson received interest from Miami, New Orleans, Golden State, Sacramento and Cleveland at the start of the negotiating period.
The Jazz also called to express interest in New Jersey center Mikki Moore, who played for Utah in the 2003-04 season, as well as Dallas forward Devean George, Miami forward James Posey and Nets guard Eddie House, according to agent Mark Bartelstein.
Peterson, meanwhile, is said to "love" the prospect of playing for the Jazz, a team he considers to be "a piece away from being in the NBA Finals next year," the source said.
The Jazz are looking to add a veteran like Peterson to their young team that reached the Western Conference finals, leading to a situation that the source, who is close to the player, called "a perfect fit."
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Peterson is a shooter first and foremost, taking some 57 percent of his shots this season from the three-point arc. He averaged 8.9 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 35.9 percent from three-point range.
It was a season in which Peterson lost his starting job and saw the end of his league-leading consecutive games streak at 371. Peterson played in every game from February 2002 to November 2006 before an elbow injury sidelined him.
This season, Peterson watched as Anthony Parker, Fred Jones and Joey Graham all started ahead of him, though the Raptors did turn to Peterson for his defense against longtime teammate Vince Carter in the playoffs against New Jersey.
Peterson is only a year removed from the best season of his career, when he started 77 games, averaged 16.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, and shot 39.5 percent from three-point range. He is a career 37.1 percent three-point shooter.
The Jazz did not make a contract offer to Peterson when they made contact immediately after the negotiating period opened at 10:01 p.m. Saturday.
Peterson made $4.5 million last season and likely wants a deal for either all or part of the $5.5 million midlevel exception. Teams can begin signing free agents July 11.
Kevin O'Connor, the Jazz's senior vice president of basketball operations, declined to comment on Peterson or any specific players.
"[Saturday] night and [Sunday], it was a feeling-out process,'' O'Connor said, adding, "We're kind of going along at our own pace and whatever the pace dictates."
The Jazz ranked 29th in three-point shooting (33.5 percent) this season and were scorched for 50-point games by the likes of Michael Redd, Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen and Gilbert Arenas. Peterson would bring the combination of both shooting and defense.
What the Jazz would do with six shooting guard-types on the roster, though, remains to be seen. They auditioned C.J. Miles, Ronnie Brewer, Gordan Giricek and Derek Fisher at the position and finished the season with Fisher starting. The Jazz drafted another shooting guard in Morris Almond and want the 20-year-old Miles, a restricted free agent, to return.
The Jazz like that Brewer and Almond have the size to play at small forward, which Peterson also could do at times. Fisher can play both point guard and shooting guard, and Giricek could be a trade candidate with his $4 million expiring contract.
Nets, Carter have agreement
Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets have the framework in place for a contract that guarantees the All-Star $61.8 million over four seasons, with the team holding an option for a fifth year, according to a report on the Web site of The Star-Ledger of Newark.
* 6-foot-7, 220 pounds
* Born: Aug. 26, 1977
* Played on 2000 NCAA championship team at Michigan State.
* NBA-leading consecutive games streak (371) ended this past season.
* A career 37.1 percent three-point shooter and 12.0 ppg scorer.
* Has hit seven three-pointers in game three times in career.
The Jazz are trying to woo veteran Morris Peterson, and the former Toronto guard reportedly shares their enthusiasm
The veteran guard, who has played the last seven seasons for the Toronto Raptors, reportedly wants to play in Utah
Toronto lures Kapono from Miami
Toronto reached agreement on a four-year, $24 million contract with Miami's Jason Kapono in the opening hours of the negotiating period. Kapono led the NBA in three-point shooting percentage this season.
Lakers to re-sign Walton
ESPN.com reported that unrestricted free agent forward Luke Walton reached agreement Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers on a six-year, $30 million contract.
- Combined news services