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Jazz entertain free agents

Published July 18, 2005 1:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jazz vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor met with free agent guard Antonio Daniels on Sunday.

O'Connor flew back-and-forth to San Antonio, where Daniels owns a home, for what he called "an information gathering" trip with the unrestricted free agent and his agent, Tony Dutt.

Asked if he made any progress in recruiting Daniels, O'Connor said, "I'm going to give you my pat answer: 'No comment.' "

Daniels averaged 11.2 points a game last year in Seattle, but opted out of his contract that would have paid him $2.2 million next season to become a free agent.

It looks like a good move.

With Ray Allen, Michael Redd, Larry Hughes and Cuttino Mobley off the market - and Phoenix apparently ready to do whatever it takes to keep restricted free agent Joe Johnson - Daniels is one of the top guards still available.

It's likely he will command a team's $5 million salary cap exception, with the top suitors being Miami, Washington, the L.A. Lakers, Portland, Cleveland, Toronto and Utah.

The Jazz have their mid-level exceptional available, but it's not known whether O'Connor is willing to give Daniels a four- or five-year deal worth a total of $20 or $25 million that it could take to sign him.

The Jazz envision Daniels as part of a 1-2 punch at point guard, where he would help mentor first-round draft pick Deron Williams. He also has the ability to play shooting guard, where Utah has already lost free agent Raja Bell to the Suns.