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Free agency frenzy begins

Published June 30, 2014 11:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As the clock ticked past 10:01 p.m. MDT, the Utah Jazz went to work.According to ESPN, the Jazz reached out to Washington free agent Trevor Ariza. Utah also contacted Wizards forward Trevor Booker.But Gordon Hayward remains the team's top priority.According to the team's radio voice, David Locke, Hayward was the first call the Jazz made when the period opened.Hayward and the Jazz were unable to reach an agreement last fall, with Hayward's camp searching for a deal somewhere south of the max.But his agent, Mark Bartelstein, says there's no bad blood because of it.Hayward played out the season without a deal, and shouldered the load of being the Jazz's top option. He averaged 16 points and better than five rebounds and five assists a game, though he struggled with his shot."Last year was a great learning experience for him," Bartelstein said. "It was the first time he was put in that role. It was a huge adjustment. Teams were game-planning for him. It was a gigantic challenge. There were times he struggled, but those challenges are how players grow. There's no doubt what he went through last year will help him."Will it help Hayward financially?We'll see.Hayward is a talented wing in a free agent class that looks short on them. The 24-year-old will indeed shop around during his first taste of free agency.• Booker, a 6-foot-8 power forward, had a solid season with Washington, starting 45 games and averaging 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 21 minutes a game. The Wizards declined to tender him a qualifying offer, but still hope to re-sign him, according to the Washington Post.• Ariza averaged 14 points and six boards a game, while shooting better than 40 percent from 3. But the small forward will have plenty of suitors. According to ESPN, the Suns, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Mavericks, Cavaliers and Wizards also contacted Ariza late Monday.— Aaron Falk+++A potential target for the Jazz: Lakers RFA Ryan Kelly.Asked about Jazz blueprint for free agency, one league source said "more shooting from more positions on the floor." The Jazz want to add more shooting, and the 6-11 Kelly is a player in the mold of New Orleans' Ryan Anderson.— Tony Jones

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The Jazz and free agent forward Marvin Williams have mutual interest in a deal.Williams has played two seasons in Utah and has indicated a desire to return. The two sides were expected to meet today, according to a source.— Tony Jones

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Fox Sports says ex-Jazzman C.j. Miles will meet with the Pacers this week.