Utah Jazz injuries force team to rely on 'emergency list'
SALT LAKE CITY — Because of an abundance of injuries, the Utah Jazz are turning to what general manager Kevin O'Connor calls the team's "emergency list."
The Jazz will sign D-League guard Kyle Weaver to a 10-day contract today to help fill an ever-growing void in the backcourt.
Another guard is badly needed by the injury-plagued Jazz, who will be without guards Devin Harris (strained hamstring), Raja Bell (sprained foot) and Ronnie Price (left leg and shin) Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Andrei Kirilenko (knee) and Mehmet Okur (back) are also out, leaving the Jazz with nine healthy players — perhaps even just eight, depending on Kyrylo Fesenko's migraine headache situation.
It's uncertain when any of the Jazz's four injured players (not counting Okur) will return. Price, who has a contusion on his left shin, is out "indefinitely," according to a Jazz spokesman. Harris was allowed to increase his activity but isn't at full strength yet. Bell is sporting a walking boot on his right foot, which was re-injured Monday after initially getting hurt at Chicago over two weeks ago.
And Kirilenko has been approved to do cardio workouts after not being able to do anything but elevate his leg for four days.
The 6-foot-6 Weaver worked out for the Jazz prior to the 2008 NBA Draft. The 25-year-old was drafted by Charlotte at No. 38 overall and played for Oklahoma City before landing in the D-League.
"We like his experience. We like the fact that he can play a couple of different positions and obviously we're down some guards," O'Connor said. "Our commitment to members of the team and to the fans is that we don't want to be playing people totally out of position. We could have wound up in a situation where it could be really difficult for us to field enough guards."
Weaver, a Washington State product, played with the Austin Toros on Tuesday and traveled to Utah on Wednesday. He should practice with the team today.
Considering Earl Watson, C.J. Miles and Gordon Hayward are the only healthy guards on the roster, it's likely Weaver will get playing time.
"With Andrei out and with Raja out and with Ronnie Price out and with Devin out," O'Connor said, "obviously we're in a situation where we need somebody to come in — especially somebody to come in and play."
O'Connor said Weaver will get a crash course on both guard positions.
Weaver's signing will bring the Jazz up to the roster maximum of 15. Teams are required to have at least eight healthy players, O'Connor said, but they can petition the NBA to add extra guys in dire injury situations.
The seventh D-League call-up in Jazz history, Weaver appeared in 68 games with OKC from 2008-10, averaging 4.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes. He tallied 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in nine games with Austin following a 20-game stint with Iowa this season.
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