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Chicago JK
07-10-2003, 08:27 AM
Spurs wait for Kidd's call, Nets look to keep it from coming

By Johnny Ludden
San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted : 07/10/2003 12:00 AM

As Jason Kidd spent another day trying to decide which team he wants to pay him $90-plus million, New Jersey sought to sweeten its offer by exploring the possibility of signing Alonzo Mourning.

Kidd continues to be torn between wanting to play alongside Tim Duncan and not wanting to leave the team he has taken to the NBA Finals the past two years, a source close to him said Wednesday. He hopes to make a decision by Monday, two days before teams can start signing free agents, said his agent, Jeff Schwartz.

Spurs officials spoke briefly with Schwartz again Wednesday while continuing to wait as patiently as possible for Kidd to make his decision.

Nets officials, the source said, appeared to be somewhat surprised at Kidd's level of interest in the Spurs after he returned from his day-and-a-half stay in San Antonio. New Jersey president Rod Thorn had dinner with Kidd on Wednesday night and has looked into becoming Mourning's latest suitor.

The Spurs' negotiations with Mourning have not advanced far. Mourning's representatives will not release his medical records until he has been made an official offer and the Spurs won't know how much they have to offer until the league releases its official salary cap calculations Tuesday. If the Spurs were to sign Kidd, they could have anywhere from $2.5 million to $4 million left.

Dallas officials have made Mourning their top free-agent target and are believed to have offered a multi-year deal. Mourning, who also has reportedly received a one-year offer from Miami, did express interest in playing with Kidd when questioned by Miami reporters Wednesday night.

"I want to win and he wants to win," Mourning said. "Who wouldn't want to play with Jason Kidd? He's the best point guard in the league. Seeing what he did with the New Jersey Nets, who knows? I have a lot of different options."

The Spurs also continue to assess their options. Coach Gregg Popovich has spoken with Utah free-agent forward Karl Malone, who is considering accepting the Los Angeles Lakers' $1.5 million exception. Gary Payton committed to taking the Lakers' $4.9 million midlevel exception Tuesday, believing Malone likely would sign, as well.

The Spurs have tried to get Malone to postpone his decision until they get an answer from Kidd. But Malone might not want to wait until the end of the weekend. Sacramento also has explored some sign-and-trade opportunities for Malone, and Dallas might bid for him, as well, depending on its talks with Mourning.

New Orleans free-agent forward P.J. Brown left San Antonio on Wednesday morning after saying he enjoyed his visit with Spurs officials. Brown, who also visited Orlando on Monday and likely will receive a handful of other offers, has said he would like to make a fairly quick decision. The Spurs, however, won't know what they have to offer until they hear from Kidd.

Spurs general manager R.C. Buford also said reports the team "lavishly wined and dined" Kidd and his wife, Joumana, were overblown.

"Our goal when Jason and Joumana visited San Antonio was to give them the feeling for the personality of our organization and our family atmosphere," Buford said. "The lavish partying and pomp and circumstance aren't what Jason and Joumana are all about."

Steve Kerr confirmed Wednesday he is considering resuming his career, but likely won't make a final decision until he speaks with Popovich within the next week. TNT has contacted Kerr about a possible broadcasting job, and the Spurs would gladly give him their own analyst's opening if he wants it.

Kerr's play in the playoffs also has prompted a couple of other teams to inquire about his availability.

"That's been pretty exciting," Kerr said, "but I really don't have any plans to go anywhere else."

Notebook: Speedy Claxton is expected to visit with the Washington Wizards today. ... Stephen Jackson became the first basketball player to be inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast's Sports Legends Hall of Fame in his native Port Arthur on Wednesday. Janis Joplin and Jimmy Johnson are two of the museum's previous inductees. More than 500 people turned out for the event. ... Jermaine O'Neal, who will re-sign with Indiana, called Popovich to thank him for his interest. O'Neal had not returned Popovich's calls until after the Spurs canceled their visit with the Pacers forward. "We had a great conversation," O'Neal told the Indianapolis Star. "He said he would love for me to play for him, but he agreed that what I'm trying to do for my career I'm better off in Indiana. I know him really well. If I don't play for Isiah (Thomas), I'd play for him. He thinks I have the capability of doing what Tim Duncan did. We agreed me and Tim Duncan would be a great combination for years."

Usually Lurkin
07-10-2003, 09:00 AM
great article.

<<Mourning's representatives will not release his medical records until he has been made an official offer>>
They must be expecting better offers from people who don't know the medical details than from people who do know the medical details, right?

I don't know why the spurs wouldn't push harder for JO. Maybe he's just already made up his mind not to leave Indiana. The spurs, though need a replacement for Robinson's inside game more than they need a replacement for Tony Parker.

07-10-2003, 01:02 PM
Because Jo said hes stayin and for good reason hed be given up 30 million dollars to go with the spurs. 2.5- 4 million if kidd signed with the spurs to bid on ZO. Thats a lot of money to be left on the table with ZO. If I were San Antonio I would bid for the candiman and be sure I extend parker, bowen, and Jacksons contracts.

07-10-2003, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by: jayC
If I were San Antonio I would bid for the candiman and be sure I extend parker, bowen, and Jacksons contracts.

No candy for me thank you very much.... As for your comment on extensions.... Bowen is under contract as well as Parker for the next few years, so there is no reason for extending their contract at this moment..... The only free agent is Jackson, who will more than likely resign after everything is set and done.