Harpring agrees to stay with Utah Jazz

Published: Tuesday, July 4 2006 10:51 a.m. MDT

The Jazz and veteran forward Matt Harpring have reached oral agreement on a long-term deal that will keep the gritty free agent in Utah for a fifth season and likely beyond.

"I know he's pleased to make a decision," Harpring's Atlanta-based agent, Richard Howell, said Tuesday morning. "He and (his) wife feel good about it."

The deal is believed to be four years in length, though it's not known if the fourth season in fully guaranteed. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the contract is thought to be worth approximately $25 million.

According to rules of the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players association, the earliest Harpring is permitted to sign the deal is July 12.

"He reached an agreement (Tuesday) morning," Howell said, "and he intends to sign July 12."

Citing legal rules, Jazz basketball operations senior vice president Kevin O'Connor declined to comment on the agreement.

Harpring, 30, has played the past four seasons in Utah.

The team co-captain averaged 12.5 points over 71 games last season, and has averaged 14.9 points per game throughout his four years with the Jazz.

Harpring is on vacation and could not immediately be reached for comment.

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