<
>

Restricted free agent eligible to talk with any team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One day after the New Jersey Nets made a qualifying offer to Kenyon Martin, the Utah Jazz have emerged as surprise suitors for the All-Star power forward, ESPN's David Aldridge reports.

A restricted free agent, Martin is eligible to talk with any team during the first two weeks of July. The Nets will have 15 days to match any offer he receives, team president Rod Thorn said Tuesday.

The Spurs and Nuggets also have strong interest in Martin, Aldridge reports. Martin has a strong relationship with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dating back to their time together on the U.S. Olympic team last summer.

The Nets' offer was extended to Martin on Monday. Last season, Martin
averaged 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds a game and was selected to
his first All-Star team. He has said he wants to stay with the Nets.

Also Tuesday, the Nets promoted Ed Stefanski to general manager.
Stefanski served as senior vice president of basketball operations
last season. He was the Nets' director of scouting the previous four years.

Stefanski will have new responsibilities, but Thorn said he will continue to make decisions on trades.