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Utah Jazz: Maynor officially a Utah Jazz man

Published: Thursday, July 2 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

All the I's and T's were properly marked Tuesday to make Eric Maynor an official member of the Utah Jazz for at least the next two years.

The 22-year-old point guard from Virginia Commonwealth University signed his rookie contract, paving the way for his participation in the Jazz's mini-camp this week and the upcoming 2009 Orlando Pro Summer League.

Maynor, taken 20th overall in the first round by Utah in last week's draft, is guaranteed to make just more than $1.3 million his first NBA season and a total of $2,736,720 over two years. The Jazz own team options on the guard for his third and fourth seasons.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder could have a shot right off the bat to become Deron Williams' main backup, depending on what happens with free agency this offseason.

Maynor, a two-time Colonial Athletic Association player of the year who averaged 22.4 points and 6.2 assists as a senior, will get his first shot to impress his new bosses over the next two weeks.

He's participating in a mini-camp in Florida the rest of this week, and then he'll play on Utah's first summer-league squad next week. The Jazz's first game in Orlando will be Monday against Boston. Action there continues through July 10, with the Jazz playing one game each day.

Second-round pick Goran Suton, a Michigan State center taken 50th overall in the second round, and second-year NBA center Kosta Koufos will also be on the squad.

The Jazz made some changes to their summer lineup prior to the camp.

DePaul product Dar Tucker, a 6-5 forward, has been added to the team, while Reyshawn Terry and Justin Reed have both been taken off Utah's roster.

KNICKS NAB ALMOND: Shooting guard Morris Almond, the Jazz's 2007 first-round draft choice and an unrestricted free agent, will play for the New York Knicks in this month's NBA Summer League at Las Vegas.

The Knicks' summer-league team features several first-round busts, including Mouhamed Sene, Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Yaroslav Korolev.

Almond, taken 25th overall in '07, failed to make an impact with the Jazz. The Rice University product appeared in just 34 NBA games over two seasons while in Utah, including 25 last season, when he averaged 3.7 points per game.

He did have two 50-plus point games with the Utah Flash as a rookie in the NBA Development League, however.

The Jazz declined last October to pick up his contract option for next season, and now Almond is looking to find a team for 2009-10.

The Jazz have no plans whatsoever to bring him back.

FAME FOR DREAM TEAM: John Stockton, Michael Jordan and David Robinson will all be enshrined — along with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan — into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this fall in Springfield, Mass.

Turns out, they'll also be enshrined together with the gold-medal-winning 1992 Dream Team — alongside Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley et al — as members of the Class of 2009 in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in August.

Park City skier Picabo Street will be among the other inductees, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced.

LOCALS WATCH: Basketball players with Beehive State connections are helping to fill up summer-league rosters across the league.

The list of former local college players on NBA summer squads includes: Utah State post player Gary Wilkinson (Jazz); BYU swingman Lee Cummard (Phoenix); BYU big man Trent Plaisted (Detroit); Utah Valley guard Ryan Toolson (Sacramento); and Utah State guard Jaycee Carroll and Utah center Luke Nevill (New Orleans). Among that group, everybody will play in the Las Vegas summer league except for Wilkinson.

Also, ex-Jazz guard Andre Owens will play for the Pistons, and former Utah guard Keith McLeod will join Oklahoma City's entry in Vegas but he won't play for the Thunder's team in Orlando.

PRICE APPEARANCE: Point guard Ronnie Price will sign autographs at the Fanzz store at The District in South Jordan (11560 S. District Main Drive) today from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Although the Jazz have expressed interest in re-signing Price, he is currently an unrestricted free agent — a fact that adds some extra intrigue to his appearance at a store that is owned by Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, which also owns Utah's NBA team.

Contributing: Tim Buckley

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

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