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Utah Jazz notebook: GM poll tabs Earl Watson as future coach

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 18 2012 9:07 p.m. MST

Earl Watson

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Earl Watson made a confession about how he ended up in the annual NBA general manager survey results.

Not only that, Watson ratted out teammates Jeremy Evans and Gordon Hayward for helping him get named as one of the NBA's current players most likely to become a head coach.

"I broke into the website," he said, smiling. "The three votes came from us."

Watson was joking. (Or was he?)

Truth be told, he was honored.

"It's a compliment of respect, and I appreciate that, especially since that's what I want to do after (playing) basketball," the 10-year NBA veteran said. "I love the game. I've been around too many great people for me not to give the game back to someone else."

Watson's current bench boss believes the UCLA product will succeed.

"I think he'll be a great head coach. He does a great job. He understands the game. He's an extremely hard worker," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He can see things during the course of the game and make adjustments. He can read plays a step or two ahead of where the play is at that moment."

Corbin didn't want to get too far ahead of himself when asked what players Watson might hire as assistants.

"I like him as a player right now," Corbin said. "Let him coach in a few years."

Maybe coach Watson's alleged accomplices will be his right-hand men.

INJURY UPDATE: Forward Derrick Favors (ankle) returned to practice, but Josh Howard (quad) and Jamaal Tinsley (dermatitis) didn't participate in Wednesday's workout.

All three will be game-day decisions for Thursday's TNT tilt against Dallas.

Howard doubts he'll play after his strained left quadriceps was retweaked when he got kneed last Saturday.

"As much as I want to play (tonight) to help the team out," he said, "I can't say right now that I could. … I can't take the chance of injuring it anymore than what I already did."

Favors was hopeful but said he'll "just see how I feel" (after practice) to determine his availability.

After twisting his ankle Sunday, Favors said he'd play Tuesday. But he failed movement tests because of pain and swelling and missed the Clippers' contest.

"It was tough," he said. "At the same time, I had to do what was best for me and the team. I didn't want to go out there and hurt them."

Tinsley played — and had some highlight plays — in the Jazz's 108-79 win. No further information was given on his aggravated skin condition.

SURVEY SAYS: Also in the GM poll, Utah's fans were voted No. 2 (down from No. 1) for best home-court advantage behind Oklahoma City's crowd.

Paul Millsap, a 2006 second-rounder, was listed among NBA overachievers. GMs say Minnesota's Kevin Love gets the most with the least.

Rookies Alec Burks and Enes Kanter received votes for best-in-five-years potential. Burks got "also receiving votes" love for most athletic newcomer.

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

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