Jazz notes: O'Connor mum on Boozer talk

Published: Tuesday, June 20 2006 12:00 a.m. MDT

Jazz basketball boss Kevin O'Connor shed no light Monday on a weekend newspaper report that power forward Carlos Boozer is the subject of trade talks between Utah and the Memphis Grizzlies.

"I've got no comment," said O'Connor, the Jazz's senior vice president of basketball operations.

Citing unidentified "plugged-in league executives" as its sources, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal revealed Sunday that the Jazz and Grizzlies are talking about Boozer.

While there is reason to believe the report is true, there also ample reasons to suspect that there are no substantive offers on the table for Boozer — and that the Grizzlies are just one among many teams that have been talking with the Jazz about the 24-year-old Duke University product.

Boozer, in fact, has been the subject of frequent trade speculation since the 2005 NBA All-Star break — less than seven months after he left Cleveland for Utah via free agency.

Talks between the Jazz and other teams evidently heated up earlier this month during the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando — with several players, not just Boozer, among the topics of discussion.

It was in Orlando that O'Connor also made the trade sending forward Kris Humphries and center Robert Whaley to Toronto for ex-BYU center Rafael Araujo.

DRAFT WINDS: Add yet another name to the long list of possible picks for the Jazz at No. 14 overall in the June 28 draft.

According to a posting this week by ESPN.com draft analyst Chad Ford, Ukrainian power forward Olexsiy Pecherov "could go as high as No. 14 to the Jazz, and it's doubtful he slips below the Suns at No. 27."

Ford, however, has a different name heading to Utah in his latest mock draft — updated Monday afternoon.

He now projects the Jazz will land Villanova shooting guard Randy Foye — if a "plausible" scenario that Ford readily admits "goes against previous expectations" indeed unfolds. Pecherov may audition for Jazz brass in Utah sometime in the next week, but as of now he's something of a long shot to be taken at No. 14.

The Jazz have workouts scheduled Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday — but have not yet announced which prospects will be coming to town.

Sunday, meanwhile, was the deadline for early entrance candidates to either remain in the draft or withdraw their names from consideration.

Among those withdrawing: shooting guard Brad Newley, who will return to his Australian team, the Townsville Crocodiles.

The Jazz are one of two NBA teams for which Newley worked out, but after the recent Orlando camp it was apparent the Aussie youngster probably would be no higher than a second-round selection this year.

ORTIZ DONE: According to a fiba.com report posted Monday, Puerto Rican forward Jose Ortiz has retired from international basketball.

Selected in the first round (No. 15 overall) of the 1987 draft, Ortiz lasted just two seasons — playing only 64 games — with the Jazz and in the NBA.

The announcement comes on the heels of 42-year-old Ortiz's exclusion from Puerto Rico's rosters for the upcoming Centrobasket tournament in Panama and the Centro American and Caribbean Games in Colombia.

Ex-Jazz point guard Carlos Arroyo of Orlando, meanwhile, is on Puerto Rico's preliminary 19-man roster for the July 408 Centrobasket tourney.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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