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Utah Jazz 'emerging as a suitor' for power forward Udonis Haslem

Published: Friday, July 9 2010 4:10 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz just might find a roster replacement for Carlos Boozer in the departed power forward's favorite offseason destination.

Free agent Udonis Haslem has been contacted by several teams, and the Jazz are "emerging as a suitor" to the Miami power forward, according to a report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Haslem, who just turned 30, averaged 10.0 points on 49.9 percent shooting and 8.1 rebounds in seven seasons with the Heat. He was a starter most of his career before being relegated to a reserve role last season, when he averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 boards and 27.9 minutes.

It remains possible Miami could re-sign Haslem — and staying in South Beach is believed to be his first choice. But that depends on the Heat's salary cap structure after LeBron James' contract situation is resolved.

The Heat and Cleveland are still working on a sign-and-trade deal, which might allow Miami to sign one of its free agents, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Currently, the most the Heat can offer Haslem is the NBA veteran minimum of $1.1 million. By contrast, Haslem earned $7.1 million in 2009-10.

Yahoo.com reported New Jersey "will turn its attention to trying to sign (Haslem)" now that Charlotte landed forward Tyrus Thomas to a five-year, $40-million contract.

Haslem might be deemed a good fit for the Jazz by some, if for no other reason than he made it into the NBA after going undrafted out of Florida in 2002.

AFTER AMUNDSON: Fanhouse.com reported that agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed the Denver Nuggets "are having a lot of talks with him" about client Louis Amundson, the ex-Jazz and Phoenix Suns free agent big man.

The Jazz also are known to have interest in Amundson, who previously played one game for them.

Amundson told Fanhouse.com he's not likely to return to Phoenix because the Suns only offered him a one-year contract.

WANTED IN UTAH?: Guard Randy Foye came to terms with the Los Angeles Clippers this week, but he told the Washington Post the Jazz were among the teams that met with him. Foye added that he "had a blast" while being recruited as a free agent before the former Washington Wizard agreed to a reported $8.5 million, two-year deal in L.A.

Fisher meeting with Heat

MIAMI — Los Angeles Lakers free agent point guard Derek Fisher has a meeting scheduled with Miami Heat president Pat Riley today, according to a source close to the situation.

Fisher's preference remains to re-sign with the Lakers, but he feels the need to explore his options and listen to Riley's pitch after the Heat landed free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Miami also re-signed Dwyane Wade and was rumored to be closing in on Mike Miller.

According to a source, negotiations between Fisher and the Lakers have remained positive and the team has put an offer on the table that was stronger than what's been previously reported (one year, $2.5 million). The Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets have also expressed an interest in Fisher, a five-time NBA champion.

Contributing: Tim Buckley

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

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