Utah Jazz: Agent, Jazz to meet next week
As Chris Paul neared agreement on a contract extension with New Orleans, Deron Williams' agent said Tuesday that he and Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor had not spoken since the NBA's free-agent negotiating period opened late Monday.
That doesn't mean, however, that Williams and the Jazz won't be able to come to an agreement as easily as Paul and the Hornets. Williams' agent Bob McClaren said things were still on track for a meeting between the two sides in the middle of next week.
"Everybody understands the mutual interest that we share in trying to get something done," McClaren said, adding that there was no "urgency" on either side to complete a deal right away.
From July 1 though Oct. 31, the Jazz have an exclusive window during which they could sign Williams to an extension that could be worth as much as $90 million for the maximum five years.
Williams is set to leave on vacation this week and did not reply to an e-mail. O'Connor did not return messages Tuesday. Paul's agent, Lance Young, told several media outlets that he would be flying to New Orleans today to finalize a maximum-salary extension with Hornets general manager Jeff Bower. Young said Paul would be signing for either four or five years.
McClaren would not say which direction Williams was leaning as far as contract length: "We have some thoughts to share with Kevin and Mr. Miller [Jazz owner Larry Miller] and we'll just see how they feel about it."
From his last conversation with O'Connor, McClaren said he thought Miller would participate, even though the Jazz owner was hospitalized last month.
Meanwhile, the Jazz expressed interest about a handful of free agents at the start of the negotiating period.
They are one of several teams after L.A. Clippers guard Corey Maggette, according to the Los Angeles Times, along with Orlando, Miami, Boston. The Jazz signed Maggette to a six-year, $42 million deal as a restricted free agent in 2003 only to have the Clippers match the offer sheet.
The Jazz contacted agent Mark Bartelstein about L.A. Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf and Memphis center Kwame Brown while also talking about Dallas' Devean George, Boston's James Posey and New Orleans' Jannero Pargo.
Bartelstein added that he was planning to talk with O'Connor later Tuesday. The Jazz also inquired about Minnesota forward Ryan Gomes, though agent Bob Myers wrote in an e-mail, "I don't believe anything will transpire over the next couple weeks."
Brown, a former No. 1 overall pick, is an unrestricted free agent - "He's a young, talented guy," Bartelstein said. "Obviously, he hasn't had great success yet but in the right situation it definitely could happen for him" - while Turiaf and Gomes are both restricted.
There was no word from Jazz guard C.J. Miles or his agent, Billy Ceisler. One team to watch with Miles could be Seattle, where assistant general manager Troy Weaver was formerly the Jazz's director of player personnel.
Also: The Jazz announced the schedule for this month's Rocky Mountain Revue. The Jazz will open with a July 18 game against San Antonio at Salt Lake Community College. Lottery picks Brook Lopez (New Jersey) and Anthony Randolph (Golden State) are expected to play in the Revue. Iran's Olympic team also will play two games against Dallas and Utah.
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