Jazz notes: Jazz could next target Hornets free agent Butler

Published: Monday, July 3 2006 12:00 a.m. MDT

With dominoes dropping left and right since the NBA's summer free-agency market opened late Friday night, the Jazz remain in the game hoping to catch one of the falling pieces.

Utah — knowing it could not afford him due to being over the league's team payroll salary cap — never really was in the running for Indiana small forward Peja Stojakovic, who agreed Saturday to accept a five-year, $64 million offer from New Orleans/Oklahoma City.

Stojakovic's move, however, could prompt the Jazz to make a play for Hornets swingman Rasual Butler.

The 6-foot-7 La Salle product is a career 40 percent shooter over four NBA seasons, including three with Miami. He averaged 8.7 points in 79 games for the Hornets last season.

The Jazz apparently would consider making an offer to 27-year-old Butler but only if they can't re-sign their own free-agent swingman, 30-year-old veteran Matt Harpring.

Harpring, meanwhile, continues to pursue a long-term contract and establish his open-market value.

Potential interest in Harpring from both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers could have dried up after the Lakers got forward Vladimir Radmanovic to agree Saturday to leave the Clippers and the Clippers responded by luring forward Tim Thomas from Phoenix.

But it's possible now that Indiana will show interest in Harpring. Phoenix, another potential suitor, could also use money saved by Thomas' departure to pursue Harpring.

While all that unfolds, the Jazz are preparing for perhaps having to replace Harpring.

Besides Butler, another Utah possibility is longtime Lakers forward Devean George. The seven-year veteran becomes obtainable now that Radmanovic is changing Staples Center lockerrooms.

TRADE TALK: If the Jazz can't find shooting help via free-agency, they may have an alternate route to fill their glaring need.

It's believed Utah has spoken with Golden State about trading for veteran guard Derek Fisher, and a proposal may be on the table.

The 31-year-old Fisher has played 10 NBA seasons, eight with the Lakers. It's not known what the Jazz would have to give to get him.

TRADE TALK II: Phoenix evidently dangled its Nos. 21 and 27 first-round picks trying to move up in last Wednesday's NBA Draft, but the Jazz — one of the teams whose higher pick the Suns tried to obtain — didn't bite.

Utah wound up taking University of Arkansas shooting guard Ronnie Brewer at No. 14 .

Phoenix — thought to have been targeting either 7-foot Senegalese center Mohammed Saer Sene, who went 10th to Seattle, or University of Memphis swingman Rodney Carney, who ended up with Philadelphia — eventually traded out of the first round altogether.

"Teams offered us some opportunities (to move back)," Jazz basketball boss Kevin O'Connor said, " . . . (but) the two guys that were left (on Utah's top-14 list, including Brewer) we really felt comfortable about — so we just said, 'No,' flat-out."

NO PETRO: Sene is scheduled to play with the Sonics later this month in the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league at Salt Lake Community College.

According to the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune, however, Seattle's other young centers — Johan Petro and Robert Swift — won't play in the Revue. Petro reportedly will be with the French national team, while Swift "will remain in Seattle working out at the team's practice facility."

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