Jazz Won't Match Wizards' Offer to Brown

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Utah Jazz will not match an offer sheet the Washington Wizards have extended to restricted free agent point guard Dee Brown, according to multiple league sources familiar with the situation.

Brown, who played 49 regular season and eight playoff games as a rookie with the Jazz during the 2006-07 season but played in Turkey last season, agreed to a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Wizards on Wednesday.

The Jazz retained the right to match any offer made to Brown because it tendered him a qualifying offer following the 2006-07 season.

The 6-foot, 181-pound Brown will play with the Wizards' summer league team in Las Vegas next week. Brown, who starred at Illinois along with Jazz all-star Deron Williams, could fill Washington's need for a third point guard, one who can spell veterans Gilbert Arenas and Antonio Daniels and provide insurance in case of injuries.

During one stretch last season, when Arenas was out following left knee surgery and Daniels was out with a sprained knee, the Wizards were forced to play without a true point guard.

"Dee is a player who can bring quickness and energy to our team," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement. "We like that he gives us depth and a different look at the point guard position."

Utah has until Wednesday to match the offer sheet but the team will not do so because it is set at point guard with Williams, Ronnie Price and Jason Hart, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Brown averaged 1.9 points and 1.7 assists while seeing limited playing time with the Jazz. Once Brown officially signs, the Wizards will have 13 players under contract. Arenas is expected to sign the six-year, $111 million deal he and the team have agreed to when he returns from a trip to Asia and Europe next week.

Once Arenas and Brown are signed, the Wizards will still have about $2.5 million under the luxury tax threshold ($71.15 million) to add another free agent.

-- Ivan Carter

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