- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2006


While the Washington Wizards have broken off talks with forward Jared Jeffries, it isn’t as if the team doesn’t hold a trump card or two of its own.

Jeffries, a 6-foot-11 restricted free agent, is believed to be looking for a four- to five-year deal that would pay him more than $5 million annually. The Wizards are allowed to match whatever offer Jeffries receives from potential suitors. The biggest problem for Jeffries is that with all the signings that have taken place, the number of teams with available cap room has pretty much dwindled to just two — Toronto and Atlanta. Charlotte also has cap space but is not believed to be interested in Jeffries.

Because most teams are over the cap, the only cash most can offer Jeffries would be the mid-level exception over five seasons.

Jeffries’ best option to get more money out of the Wizards at this point is to hope that the salary cap takes a nice jump when it is announced next week from the $49.5million mark at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season. The new cap is expected to be in the neighborhood of between $52 million and $53 million.

Jeffries might even consider signing the team’s qualifying offer of approximately $2.8million. If he opts to go that route then he would become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

John N. Mitchell

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