Miller: Goodbye, Shandon
Jazz owner says player's agent has said 'don't call'
Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller said free-agent guard Shandon Anderson and his agent have ended negotiations with the team, claiming Anderson doesn't like the Utah lifestyle.
"The message we have gotten from Shandon is that, for whatever reason, he does not want to be here," Miller told the Deseret News on Wednesday.While the negotiations with Anderson's agent Dan Fagan have been bitter at times, Miller said he was surprised to hear late last week that Anderson brought up "lifestyle issues" for not wanting to come back. "Apparently he doesn't want to live here or play here," Miller said. "At this point we just have to move on. But don't get me wrong, we would love to have him back, but at this point it looks extremely unlikely."
Miller said that both Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and forward Bryon Russell have talked to Anderson in the past few days and he told them that he had no desire to return to Utah -- even if it means taking less money to play elsewhere.
"They have told us that they are not willing to negotiate with us on any basis, at any time, please don't call us," Miller said.
The Jazz had told Anderson that he would start at the shooting guard position opposite John Stockton with Jeff Hornacek coming off the bench. Now the Jazz will have to rely on Hornacek to play more minutes with first-round draft pick Quincy Lewis taking on a more significant role than he would have played had Anderson returned.
Instead, Anderson will pursue contract options with the Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors. The Pacers expressed interest in Anderson and recently made available $4.5 million under the NBA salary cap by trading Antonio Davis to Toronto.
The Jazz offered Anderson a four-year contract worth about $15 million.
Anderson, 25, averaged 8.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 50 games last season.
Also pending are contract talks with Hornacek and John Stockton, but both guards usually negotiate directly with Miller, and both are expected back.
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