A Cleveland newspaper reported Friday that the Jazz are one of the top contenders to land Toronto free-agent swingman Mo Peterson.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had been among several teams with supposed interest in the seven-season veteran from Michigan State, but The Plain Dealer reports that now "it appears Peterson will not play with the Cavs next season."
According to the Cleveland paper, "the Jazz and the New Orleans Hornets have become the front-runners."Peterson, a potential successor to the departing Derek Fisher as Utah's starting shooting guard, is expected to be in town beginning Sunday for a visit with Jazz brass.
HMMM: The Jazz "will likely trade one of their shooting guards this summer," the Daily Herald newspaper reported after listening to Jazz owner Larry H. Miller speak this week to Rotary Club members in Provo.
The Jazz currently have four shooting guards on their roster: veteran backup Gordan Giricek; restricted free agent C.J. Miles; 2006 first-round draft choice Ronnie Brewer, also a small forward; and 2007 first-rounder Morris Almond."I know a lot of people have been nervous about our log jam at shooting guard," the paper quoted Miller as saying. "With our draft pick (Almond) we have four. Before the end of the summer we may be down to two or three. There will be some activity at that position for us almost surely as we move to bolster other things. We do have players on the team at 2 (shooting guard) who a lot of other teams like, so we can help ourselves at other positions."
ALUMNI UPDATES: Catching up with a few ex-Jazz players now shopping their services in the NBA's summer free-agency market ...
According to the Chicago Tribune, former Jazz and current New Jersey free-agent center Mikki Moore planned to visit with Bulls brass Friday after Philadelphia big man Joe Smith visited Chicago and before Los Angeles Lakers center Chris Mihm came to town. The Jazz expressed preliminary interest in Moore, but their recruiting is not known to have progressed beyond that. The 76ers also have inquired, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ex-Jazz starting point guard Keith McLeod's agent, Mark Termini, told McLeod's hometown newspaper, The (Canton, Ohio) Repository, that the Indiana Pacers have "expressed interest in signing him, but we're very early in the process." After getting traded to Indiana by Golden State, McLeod, an unrestricted free agent, averaged 11 points in 28 minutes, shot 50 percent from the field and hit 46.7 percent from 3-point range in the Pacers' final seven games of the season.
The Washington Post reported Friday that "league and Wizards sources confirmed that the team offered unrestricted free agent shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson a four-year deal worth approximately $12 million." That's apparently up from an initial three-year, $9 million offer to Stevenson, the 2000 Utah first-round draft choice who played last season in Washington.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, ex-Jazz guard and Utah native Devin Brown has expressed a desire to re-sign with the Hornets but has been contacted by five teams and may "begin serious negotiations with all teams interested." That, the newspaper suggested, is because "it appears the Hornets are waiting to see what the market dictates before they decide if they will offer Brown a contract."
AND FINALLY: The Associated Press reported that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant spoke with Fisher last Monday, the same day the veteran guard announced he was walking away from the final three years and $20.58 million left on his contract with the Jazz so he could live close to the best possible medical care for young daughter Tatum, who is battling a rare form of childhood eye cancer.The Lakers are believed to be a top contender to sign Fisher, who does not want to retire.