The Jazz are one of four teams identified as having expressed interest in Corey Maggette, the longtime Los Angeles Clippers swingman who put himself on the NBA's summer free-agency shopping market Monday.
Citing "a source close to him who requested anonymity because negotiations are still in the early stages," the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site Tuesday that "Maggette has been contacted by several NBA teams regarding his availability," including Orlando, Miami, Boston and Utah.
The Jazz actually signed Maggette to a six-year, $42 million offer sheet in 2003, when he was a restricted free agent. But the Clippers matched that offer, retaining his rights.
Trade rumors involving Maggette and the Jazz have cropped up at times since, though nothing developed.
And now the Jazz are hardly his only suitor.
The Magic "are expected" to offer Maggette a long-term deal starting at mid-level exception pay, the Orlando Sentinel reported earlier this week.
A mid-level deal would start at around $5.5 million to $5.8 million per season, though the exact figure has not yet been set by the NBA.
But, the Sentinel also reported, Maggette "is likely to receive a more lucrative offer and go elsewhere."
The capped-out Jazz also are armed with nothing more than mid-level exception money, though general manager Kevin O'Connor suggested last week that the team plans to be aggressive in the market and may be interested in any one among a number of various unidentified restricted free agents.
Maggette, 28, opted out of the final year of his Jazz-initiated contract, which would have paid $7 million, on Monday.
That and the decision by big man Elton Brand to opt out of the final $16.4 million year of his contract with the Clippers gave the Clippers enough room under the NBA's team-payroll salary cap to make a lucrative offer to yet another opt-out free agent, Golden State point guard Baron Davis.
Davis on Tuesday night reached a verbal agreement on a five-year, $65 million deal with the Clippers, according to an ESPN.com report citing unidentified NBA sources.
The Clippers struck that deal after first trying, but failing, to land Sacramento point guard Beno Udrih, who instead decided to re-sign with the Kings for what ESPN.com reported to be a full five-year, mid-level money deal worth approximately $33.3 million.
Brand also reportedly plans to re-sign with the Clippers.
Free agents can't actually sign new deals until July 9, when the NBA's annual moratorium on such transactions expires.
If the Clippers do indeed actually sign Davis and retain Brand as well, they wouldn't have the financial wherewithal to also keep Maggette and they would have to renounce their rights to him.
If that's indeed the case, it means Maggette would be an unrestricted free agent and the Clippers would not be able to involve him in a sign-and-trade to facilitate sending him elsewhere.
And that may make it tougher for the Jazz to actually land Maggette, as the only way they or any other capped-out club could sign him to a deal worth more than mid-level money would be if they involved him in a sign-and-trade as a restricted free agent.
Maggette, who averaged 22.1 points per game last season, played the first of his nine NBA seasons in Orlando before moving to the Clippers.
The Orlando Sentinel also reported that Maggette "has told friends that he hoped the Magic would make him a competitive offer, welcoming a return to Orlando."
E-mail: [email protected]