The Corey Maggette sweepstakes are on, and the Jazz are just one in a pack of plenty of teams with interest in the longtime Los Angeles Clippers swingman.
The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that the NBA-champion Celtics already have made a contract offer to Maggette, one of the top available free agents in the league's summer shopping market.
The San Antonio Express-News citing "two NBA sources, one from each conference" reported Wednesday that that Spurs were "preparing to make an offer to Maggette."
And Yahoo! Sports reported late Tuesday night that the San Antonio Spurs "have targeted" Maggette "and are the front-runners to sign" him, citing multiple unidentified league sources.
It remains to be seen, however, if that report turns out to be premature.
It's also not known if the Jazz have prepared an offer, though they were identified Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times as having expressed interest in the 28-year-old shortly after the market opened late Monday night.
Reached Wednesday night, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor had no comment on any and all questions involving free agency.
Even beyond Boston, San Antonio and Utah, the list of Maggette suitors is long.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday that the Miami Heat "also has expressed interest in Maggette;" the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that Maggette is among three outside free agents the Hornets are "targeting;" and Maggette himself reportedly has expressed interest in possibly returning to the Orlando Magic, who previously were identified as having interest as well.
However, none of those teams including the Jazz can offer more than full mid-level money, which is a five-year deal starting at upwards of $6 million per season.
That specific figure won't be set by the NBA until sometime next week.
That being the case, ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan reported Wednesday night that before making a decision, Maggette who opted out of a contract with the Clippers that would have paid $7 million next season may wait to see if there is any proposal from an under-the-cap team that can offer more than that mere mid-level money.
Maggette, according to ESPN.com, "could emerge as a top target" of under-the-cap Philadelphia if the 76ers ... "are unable to sign restricted free-agent forward Josh Smith away from the Atlanta Hawks."
"Yet," ESPN.com also reported, "Maggette could also wind up as a target for the (Golden State) Warriors, who without (Baron) Davis' salary suddenly have the financial flexibility to re-sign prized youngsters Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins and make a splashy signing or two from the outside."
Whether or not money ultimately influences where Maggette goes, however, remains to be seen.
The Boston Globe reported that an unidentified NBA source said Maggette's management had "asked the Clippers for a contract starting at $11 million next season" before the Clippers decided Tuesday to add Davis, but "he said he could be willing to take a pay cut for Boston."
"It's not always about money," Maggette told the Globe. "I've been in the league a long time and I've made a lot of money. I'm tired of losing. I want to get back to the playoffs and win."Maggette averaged a team-high 22.1 points per game last season, his eighth with the Clippers. The Duke University product signed a six-year, $42 offer sheet from the Jazz in 2003, but the Clippers matched that offer and he stayed in L.A.
INTEREST IN MILES: Jazz restricted free-agent swingman C.J. Miles may have a suitor as well.
Booth Newspaper, a collection of suburban Michigan newspapers, reported Wednesday that the Detroit Pistons "are expected to spend the early part of free agency focused on landing one" among Portland's James Jones, Miles or Golden State's Mickael Pietrus.The Jazz have the right to match any offer Miles receives.
ALUMNI UPDATES: According to the Rocky Mountain News, an unidentified source "said the Denver Nuggets have had discussions about Carlos Arroyo," the ex-Jazz point guard who played most recently with the Magic.Also, the San Antonio Express-News reported that ex-Jazz point Jacque Vaughn will "return to San Antonio for the final year of his deal." Vaughn is scheduled to earn the veteran minimum next season, but he kept himself off the market by deciding not to opt out of his contract.
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