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Peterson may base final decision on dollars

Guard reportedly asking for 5-year, $32M contract

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The almighty dollar could ultimately determine whether or not former Toronto Raptors swingman Morris Peterson plays in Utah.

So Jazz coach Jerry Sloan seemed to suggest Wednesday, the first full day this summer that NBA free agents are permitted to sign new contracts.

"I don't have any idea," Sloan said when asked if he expects to soon see Peterson in a Jazz uniform.

"I never know just from sitting and talking with a player, and him asking questions, what his thoughts are — because I don't get involved in the money part of it," added Sloan, who leaves such negotiations to basketball operations senior vice president Kevin O'Connor. "Everybody tells you they'd like to play — until it comes down to the money part."

Peterson and his agent are thought to be seeking full midlevel team payroll salary cap exception money and terms — a five-year contract starting at $5.356 million next season and worth about $32 million in total.

The Jazz are believed to want to pay less than that, in part so they can address other needs with the rest of their midlevel money.

"So, from my standpoint, everything is fine," said Sloan, who along with O'Connor met with Peterson last Monday. "But there are other people involved."

Sloan did have high praise for the Michigan State product who has spent all seven of his NBA seasons in Toronto. But he also offered some caution regarding Peterson, who is expected to also visit New Orleans before making up his mind.

"He's a player that can shoot the ball some. He seems to have a little bit of toughness. He seems to understand an offense," Sloan said.

"But you never know," the Jazz coach added. "You get a guy in here, and you have no idea how he's gonna do until he's here."

INTEREST IN ROBERTS: After two years in Memphis, Mississippi State product Lawrence Roberts told The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal he won't be re-signed by the Grizzlies — but that the Jazz have interest.

"Roberts said his agent, Eric Fleisher, has been in contact with several teams," the newspaper reported Wednesday. "A few have expressed interest, one of them being the Utah Jazz," Roberts said.

The Jazz are known to like the 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward who averaged 5.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 54 games last season.

CHRISTIE SEARCHING: He is 37 years old and has played only 14 NBA games in two seasons since having bone spurs surgically removed from his left ankle. But 15-year NBA veteran Doug Christie wants to keep playing.

"The teams that I feel I can help at this point are the Cavs, Jazz, Suns and Bulls," the swingman told RealGM.com, "but I'm still evaluating how the others come together and will decide closer to the beginning of the season."

It's not known if Utah indeed has interest.

ALUMNI UPDATES: Catching up with a few ex-Jazz players in the NBA's summer free-agency market:

"According to team sources," the Washington Post reported Wednesday, "the Wizards and unrestricted free agent shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson have reached an impasse in negotiations. The Wizards have offered a four-year, $15 million contract, but Stevenson is seeking closer to $18 million over four years."

"I was pretty honest in saying I was waiting to see what (the Hornets, his most-recent team) were going to do, and I thought something would be done by now," guard Devin Brown told The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. "It's to the point now that I've got to look out for Devin ... I gave New Orleans every opportunity, but now I'm trying to give (other) teams showing a lot of interest a fair look."

Center Mikki Moore met with reps from Chicago and Memphis after "a deadline passed for accepting the Nets' initial three-year offer — worth at least $11 million, sources said" — but his agent suggested Moore remains interested in staying with New Jersey, the New York Post reported.

Guard Mo Williams is torn between re-signing for significantly more money and staying in Milwaukee, or chasing an NBA title in Miami, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

HE SAID IT: Sloan, when asked Wednesday if first-round draft choice Morris Almond is picking things up in this week's Rocky Mountain Revue training camp: "Well, the ball."

But seriously ... "He seems to be interested learner would be the one thing that I'd say about him right now," the Jazz coach said. "And that you're happy about."

AND FINALLY: Jazz 2006 first-rounder Ronnie Brewer had hoped to practice Wednesday morning, but didn't because of a strained right hamstring aggravated when Revue camp opened Monday.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com