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Malone Set To Re-Up With Jazz


Karl Malone won't be a free agent for long.

The Utah Jazz reportedly will sign the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player to a four-year contract worth the maximum $67 million under NBA salary cap rules.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported the pending contract, and Malone as well as Jazz owner Larry Miller confirmed for the Associated Press that a Sunday press conference is planned to announce Malone's re-signing.

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The NBA's new collective bargaining agreement allows Malone to receive $14 million next season, plus annual 12 percent raises over the next three seasons.

Malone, voted MVP in 1997 and again this season, just completed a four-year deal worth $20.2 million, an amount he grumbled about for years.

The 35-year-old forward also has been an All-Star 11 times, has two Olympic gold medals and ranks among the league's career scoring leaders.

Malone played in 49 of 50 games last season, missing one due to suspension. He averaged 23.8 points in 1999, his lowest since 1986-87, his second year in the league. His rebounding average was down to 9.4, lowest since his rookie year.

Malone led the Jazz to a 37-13 record last season, but it ended on a bitter note when Utah was eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals by the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the series-clinching loss, Malone finished with a career playoff-low eight points on 3-of-16 shooting.

Jazz guard John Stockton, the NBA's career leader in assists and steals, also becomes a free agent on Sunday but is expected to re-sign with the team. Forward Shandon Anderson and guard Jeff Hornacek are the other prominent Jazz players who will become eligible for free agency Sunday.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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