Utah Jazz notes: O'Connor says team probably won't sign new player until the New Year
SALT LAKE CITY — Don't expect any new news on the Utah Jazz's new player until the new year.
Despite an Internet report that claimed the Jazz were "very likely" to sign Utah Flash guard Dontell Jefferson as early as Tuesday, the organization isn't quite ready to fill its open roster spot.
Might not be until 2010, either.
"I think we've made some progress, but no decisions," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said. "Unless something really jumps out at us, we probably won't do anything until the new year."
That especially makes sense because Utah is on the road until early Friday, and likely won't practice again until next week.
O'Connor confirmed Tuesday that the Jazz are still evaluating about 10-12 players, including the 6-foot-5 Jefferson, but said the list has become more "prioritized."
"He's one of the names, certainly," O'Connor said of Ronnie Brewer's former Arkansas teammate, while adding the Jazz are "looking at more than one player."
The Jazz have until Tuesday — two weeks after they traded Eric Maynor and Matt Harpring to Oklahoma City — to bring their roster up to the required league minimum of 13 players.
While obtaining an available third point guard remains the goal, O'Connor is leaving options open and said the Jazz "don't want to be tied to that."
That means the Jazz could opt to sign a player other than a point guard or even pull off another trade. O'Connor is being contacted by numerous NBA general managers about deal-making ideas.
"We're having more conversations because of that," he said.
O'Connor traveled to Boise on Monday to watch a game between the Flash and Idaho. He wouldn't confirm that he went solely to watch Jefferson, but the athletic combo guard tallied 17 points on 5-for-14 shooting with seven rebounds and six assists.
Jefferson, who has a bit of NBA experience, is on the Jazz's "short list," according to Flash vice president of communications Drew Sellers.
"We know that they're looking at him heavily," Sellers said. "We just don't know 100 percent yet (if the Jazz will sign him)."
The 26-year-old is averaging a career-best 19.4 points, 5.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds with the 7-5 Flash. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 13.8 minutes in six NBA games with Charlotte last season but was cut this fall.
Brewer is hopeful his buddy — they played two seasons at Arkansas together — will become his teammate again. They've talked about Jefferson potentially becoming a Jazz man, but, Brewer said, "Until something actually happens, it's just assumptions."
Brewer claims the Jazz would get "a good player" who is familiar with the team's system after playing with its D-League affiliate for two years.
"He's a good defender, very athletic, a good perimeter shooter," Brewer said. "Even though he hasn't had a lot of experience in the NBA, he's kind of like a vet because he's older and he's been through a lot of stuff."
STAYING HOME: Kyle Korver's surgically repaired left knee continues to bother him, so he did not travel for the Jazz's two-game road trip in Minnesota and Oklahoma City. The Jazz decided after a short practice Tuesday that it would be best for Korver to remain home to rehab his aching knee for the next few days, according to a team spokesman.
Korver will be a game-time decision Saturday at home against Denver.
The sharpshooter has only played in five games and 44 minutes this year while dealing with knee issues that have plagued him since the preseason.
QUICK REUNIONS: After facing Maynor in practices, Williams will get his first crack at the rookie point guard as an opponent Thursday when the Jazz play in OKC. The mentor is looking forward to the showdown.
"Yeah," Williams said, "it'll be funny playing against him."
ANOTHER FUN REUNION: Williams is also eager for a rematch with rookie Jonny Flynn. Minnesota's quick point guard has averaged 22 points and four assists in two wins over Utah.
"He's a fun player to play against," Williams said. "He's a great young point guard."
Flynn has also impressed Carlos Boozer, who called the No. 6 pick from Syracuse "a stud."
"We have an all-world point guard and he wasn't afraid of him at all," Boozer said. "He took it right to him."
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