DENVER If there was any lingering doubt, now it's certain.
Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko won't get traded to Phoenix for forward Shawn Marion.
Not this month. Not this summer. Not ever.
Any notion of a deal that was discussed over the summer coming to fruition officially was put to rest Wednesday, when the Suns traded Marion and ex-Dixie State guard Marcus Banks to Miami for legendary center Shaquille O'Neal.
Both Marion and Kirilenko had asked to be dealt in the offseason, but such a swap never was consummated partly because the Jazz didn't want to absorb Banks' contract but largely because Utah was concerned about not being able to get a long-term commitment from Marion.
Now that that's behind, Kirilenko awaits the NBA's Feb. 21 trade deadline knowing there's a possibility, albeit seemingly slim, that he still can be moved. But, as Kirilenko suggested Wednesday, he's no longer really wanting to go.
"It's not that I want to be traded, but I'm ready to be," Kirilenko said. "And I think anybody in this league, they understand that position. Nobody wants to be traded.
"Obviously," Kirilenko added before Utah beat Denver in overtime Wednesday for its 10th straight win, "we're playing good. And I want to be part of it. But, again, it's a business and it's not everything in my hands."
There is a certain comfort level, Kirilenko suggested, in remaining with the same club.
"Everybody gets used to being on the same team, in the same organization, in the same sets," he said. "When you get used to everything, you know how to play. You know your partners."
Coach Jerry Sloan, meanwhile, reiterated Wednesday that nothing looms on the trade horizon for his Jazz.
"What are we gonna to do? Nobody's asked us about trading," he said. "I guess if somebody makes us a deal we think is gonna be good, I guess we always consider that. That's part of our job. But we never actively are looking to trade guys.
"We know the parameters we're working under," added Sloan, referencing a mandate to not surpass the NBA's payroll luxury tax threshold. "We're not gonna go $9 million over ... So what do you do? You've got to play anyway. I don't have a problem with that."
DOWN ON THE FARM: Sloan's reaction to Jazz-assigned rookies Morris Almond and Kyrylo Fesenko of the Utah Flash being named NBA Development League All-Stars on Tuesday?
"But they've still got a lot of work to do," he said.
That evidently includes first-round draft choice Almond, who has two 50-plus-point games for the Flash.
"There's a lot more to playing basketball than scoring points," Sloan said. "But some people think that's all there is to it."
HEALTH DEPARTMENT: The Jazz went into Wednesday's game fully healthy.
Point guard Jason Hart, who missed Utah's previous six games due to a bulging disc and lower-back inflammation, played for the first time since a Jan. 25 game against Sacramento. He resumed his backup role behind starter Deron Williams, logging seven minutes.
After missing practice Tuesday, both Kirilenko and backup center Jarron Collins also played.
Kirilenko missed Monday's win over New Orleans due to flulike symptoms. Collins, whose locker is next to Kirilenko's at EnergySolutions Arena, has been battling the same.
"My throat was red, and I couldn't really breathe good," Kirilenko said. "I was aching, dizzy. It happens especially in the wintertime."
BARKLEY PICKS UTAH: According to mid-season predictions, Charles Barkley is TNT's only analyst who believes Utah will win the Western Conference finals.
He has the Jazz losing to Detroit in the NBA Finals.Phoenix and San Antonio shared the other votes.
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