Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Jazz go after Miller

Team reportedly offers Pacers center six-year, $50 million deal

Enquirer wire services

Indiana Pacers free-agent center Brad Miller reportedly has been offered a six-year, $50 million contract by the Utah Jazz.

Newspapers in Salt Lake City and Denver, both of which Miller visited over the weekend, reported Monday that Miller was offered about $8.7 million a season, which is more than $3 million higher than the $5.3 million he made with the Pacers last season.

"We're in a meeting right now about that," Pacers president Larry Bird told the Associated Press on Monday before declining further comment.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, the Nuggets were willing to offer a six-year deal for more than $40 million, and that Miller did not expect the Nuggets to improve their offer to match Utah.

Jazz owner Larry Miller said Friday that Brad Miller was upset because the Pacers have not yet made a firm offer.

Miller, who went undrafted out of Purdue, averaged 13.1 points and 8.3 rebounds and made his first All-Star appearance last season. He was acquired in February 2002 from the Chicago Bulls in a seven-player deal.

HORNETS: New Orleans signed 11-year veteran Sean Rooks to a one-year, $1 million contract, agent Bob Myers said.

The 6-foot-10 Rooks, 33, gives the Hornets an experienced center to play behind Jamaal Magloire. Rooks averaged 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds with the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

LAKERS: Coach Phil Jackson is "saddened" by the sexual assault charge filed against star guard Kobe Bryant, who has his full support.

"He has consistently demonstrated responsible behavior to me both on and off the basketball court," Jackson said in a statement issued through his attorney Todd Musburger.

"I was saddened by the allegations against Kobe. Obviously, there are some difficult days ahead for the Bryant family. As his coach and mentor, he has my full support," he said.

• Free-agent forward Samaki Walker was charged with drunken driving after an accident earlier this month in Newark, Ohio.

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