The Jazz's pursuit of free-agent swingman Morris Peterson is expected to include a visit to Utah for the longtime Toronto Raptor. Peterson, it's believed, will be in Salt Lake City beginning Sunday for a visit with Jazz brass.
The Michigan State product is seen as a potential successor to veteran Derek Fisher, who won't be back next season as Utah's starting shooting guard.
Peterson has spent his entire seven-year NBA career in Toronto, averaging 12.0 points per game during that span and 8.9 points this past season. The career 37.1-percent 3-point shooter peaked during the 2005-06 season, averaging 16.8 points over 82 games.
A native of Flint, Mich., who turns 30 years old next month, Peterson helped lead Michigan State to the 2000 NCAA championship.The Jazz are thought to have made him a top target in this summer's free-agency market, and he is thought to have Utah high on his list of prospective new teams. But there are several other suitors, reportedly including Cleveland, New York, Golden State, New Orleans, Sacramento, Miami and, especially now that veteran swingman Grant Hill reportedly has agreed to leave Orlando for Phoenix, the Detroit Pistons.
NAME DROPPING: Utah is known to have expressed interest in several other free agents, including Dallas swingman Devean George, ex-Jazz center Mikki Moore of New Jersey, New Orleans guard Jannero Pargo and Milwaukee guard Charlie Bell, a former teammate of Peterson's at Michigan State.Bell, also a Flint native, spent the past two seasons with the Bucks but has played in Italy and Spain for much of his pro career.
JAZZ MUST SHARE FLASH: The Jazz will share their new D-League affiliate with the Boston Celtics, the NBA announced Thursday.
Both Boston and Utah will affiliate with the Orem-based Utah Flash, which will begin play in the 2007-08 season as a D-League expansion franchise.
The Flash's general manager is Dave Fredman, a longtime Jazz scout and scouting director who also worked as assistant GM of the Denver Nuggets. Boston's tie to the Orem team is Celtics basketball operations executive director and former BYU star Danny Ainge, who spent his college days in Provo and still maintains close Utah County ties.
"The Jazz and Celtics are both organiations that one would do well to emulate," Fredman said. "My experience with the Jazz obviously goes way back and I have known Danny Ainge for a long time as an opponent. It will be nice to finally be able to work together."
When the Jazz announced their affiliation with the Flash, there was no mention of having to share the minor-league team with another NBA club.
NBA franchises are permitted to send up to two players at a time down to the minors, though both must be first- or second-year NBA players and neither can make more than three trips down per season. NBA-rostered players sent to the D-League still earn full NBA pay while in the minors.The Jazz's most-recent D-League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, now will affiliate with Portland and Seattle. Jazz restricted free agent C.J. Miles spent time with the Stampede this past NBA season.
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