- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2006

Negotiations between the Washington Wizards and restricted free agent Jared Jeffries have reached an impasse and no new negotiations are scheduled, according to Jeffries’ agent.

“I would characterize the talks as both sides making an effort, but as of today it looks as if those efforts have been futile,” agent Andy Miller said yesterday.

‘We have spoken frequently. Jared likes Washington and the role that he has carved out there. The problem is because he is selfless and sacrifices for everyone on the team and does the intangibles, it’s unfortunate but the role seems to be one not as valued as much as he would like.”

Jeffries’ worth to the team is the apparent sticking point. The Wizards’ position appears to be that while Jeffries played an important role — one in which he started 77 games and averaged 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds — they have no intentions of overpaying him. As a restricted free agent the Wizards can match any offer Jeffries receives.

The Wizards, at least for now, don’t appear to be interested in doing a sign-and-trade, despite that fact that Philadelphia and Phoenix are believed to have approached the Wizards, who already have tendered Jeffries the required one-year qualifying offer.

Miller’s position is that Jeffries’ value to the Wizards is higher than what it is for other teams because he knows the system well. The 6-foot-11 Jeffries played all five positions last season.

“He wants to do something that he will be happy with over the next five years,” Miller said.

In another development, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Wizards have become the front runner for Magic shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, who started all 82 games for the Magic last season.

Stevenson opted out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent. Stevenson is seeking more than the $3 million he was scheduled to make this season.

The Sentinel reported that Stevenson is looking to earn $4.5 million this season in the first year of what the player would like to be a four- or five-year contract. Stevenson averaged 11.0 points and 2.9 rebounds a game last season.

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