SALT LAKE CITY — Jeremy Evans is well aware what Jan. 10 means to both his bank account and his position on the Utah Jazz.
That's the day nonguaranteed contracts become guaranteed for the remainder of the NBA season.
"I'm not that worried," Evans said. "I've played pretty hard. It's their decision."
The rookie needn't lose any sleep before Monday.
Barring unforeseen wackiness, a source confirmed that the impressive athlete and second-round draft pick will be a full-contract-carrying member of the Jazz come Jan. 11.
After referring personnel questions to Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, coach Jerry Sloan admitted he's become quite fond of the bouncy Western Kentucky product.
"We'd hate like the devil to lose him," Sloan said of Evans.
"You can want guys to get better," the Hall of Fame coach added, "but he's worked and done the work to try to make himself better. He's a wonderful guy to be around every day and I wish there was more time to get him out there."4 comments on this story
Without committing that Evans will have his contract guaranteed, O'Connor also spoke highly of the 6-foot-9 forward. The 23-year-old alley-oop expert, who stands to make the rookie minimum of $473,604, has averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds this season.
"I don't want to say it's an absolute no-brainer. You never know what's going to happen," O'Connor said. "But he's certainly done a terrific job for us and we'd like to keep him."
The 12 other Jazz players have guaranteed contracts.