On the same day they signed 2007 signed first-round draft choice Morris Almond to his first NBA contract, the Utah Jazz on Friday also released a Rocky Mountain Revue roster full of surprises including the presence of former BYU center Rafael Araujo.
Utah took Almond, a senior shooting guard from Rice and the nation's No. 3 collegiate scorer this past season, 25th overall in the June 28 NBA Draft.
Conference USA's Player of the Year signed a two-year contract that, assuming he got the usual 20 percent above slotted scale that goes to first-round rookies, is worth approximately $2.09 million $1,005,960 in the coming season, and $1,081,440 in the 2008-09 season.
The Jazz also own standard team options on the third and fourth years of Almond's contract, which if exercised would make the total pact worth about $5.33 million.
Signing the paperwork amounts to a mere formality that needed to be taken care of before Almond begins training camp Monday in advance of the seven-team Revue, which opens Friday at Salt Lake Community College.
Utah's summer-league camp roster features not only a few unexpected names ex-NBA guard Eddie Gill, a former star at Weber State, also is among them, as is John Millsap, the older brother of Jazz backup power forward Paul Millsap but also some glaring omissions.
Chief among those not listed: shooting guard C.J. Miles, a restricted free agent who spent the past two NBA seasons in Utah, and 2007 second-round draft choice Kyrylo Fesenko.
Regarding Araujo a 2004 lottery pick who spent last season with Utah, but appeared in just 28 regular-season games Jazz basketball operations senior vice president Kevin O'Connor answered the question of why the big Brazilian, a three-year NBA pro, has decided to take part in the Revue.
"His motivation," O'Connor said, "is that he wants to show everybody that he can play, including us."
Araujo, an unrestricted free agent, has not agreed to a new contract with the Jazz and is under no contractual obligation to play in the Revue. But he really does want to, hoping the showing will help enhance his value in the NBA's summer free-agency market.
Araujo's agent, Jim McDowell, suggested via e-mail Friday that while several teams have sincere interest Araujo wants to remain in Utah, and that so far conversations with the Jazz regarding a potential new deal have been positive.
Also on Utah's Revue roster: Dee Brown, the Jazz's No. 3 point guard as a rookie last season and a restricted free agent who also is not obligated to take part in the summer league; Ronnie Brewer, the Jazz's 2006 first-round pick; Paul Millsap, a 2006 second-round selection whose brother John, a former University of Texas-San Antonio standout, played last season for both Butte and the now-defunct Utah Eagles of the minor-league CBA; former NCAA career 3-point record-holder Keydren Clark, a St. Peter's College product who worked out for Utah last year and spent last season in Greece; the University of Hawaii's Matt Lojecki, Alabama-Birmingham's Wen Mukubu, George Washington's Carl Elliott and Pittsburgh's Levon Kendall, all of whom auditioned for the Jazz prior to last month's draft; and free agents Jason Cain (Virginia), Nate Doornekamp (Boston College) and Kevin Lyde (Temple).
Gill who most recently has been playing for a Russian team, Dynamo Moscow is the only non-Jazz player among the bunch with NBA experience.
The undrafted 28-year-old has logged 167 regular-season NBA games over five seasons with New Jersey, Memphis, Portland and Indiana, including 41 for the Pacers during the 2005-06 season.
Miles' absence, meanwhile, is most perplexing.
He, like Araujo and Brown, is under no obligation to play in the Revue. The Jazz have made a qualifying offer to the 20-year-old Texan, and retain the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team, but perhaps he is planning to formalize an agreement elsewhere when permitted to do so early next week. Or maybe he just doesn't want to risk getting injured while not under contract.Comment on this story
O'Connor, however, suggested there still is a chance Miles will join the Jazz in the Revue.
Ditto for Fesenko, who is under contract with a club in his native Ukraine. The Jazz continue to contemplate a potential buyout of the 7-foot-1 center's existing deal so that he can come to Utah for training camp in the fall. In the meantime, they hope to receive permission from the Ukrainian team for the second-rounder to play in the summer league."We're still working on that," O'Connor said late Friday.