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Jazz notebook: Texas high schooler isn't exactly a polished product

Advisers counsel Green to work out for NBA teams by himself

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 9:57 p.m. MDT

Gerald Green, 19, talks to the media after auditioning with the Jazz, but it wasn't a typical workout. (Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News) Gerald Green, 19, talks to the media after auditioning with the Jazz, but it wasn't a typical workout. (Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News)
Gerald Green, a potential pick for the Jazz with their No. 6 selection, said Tuesday that he is only doing what his agent says when telling teams he won't play other prospects 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 in advance of next week's NBA Draft.
"If it was me, I would," the Houston, Texas, high school star said. "But my advisers really insist that you don't go against others, just for the simple fact (of) risking injury. But, if it was up to me — I don't care."
So instead of going through a typical Jazz workout, Green — after dinner with Jazz brass on Monday night — took part in shooting drills and agility drills during a Tuesday-morning audition.
Jazz basketball operations senior vice president Kevin O'Connor said Green's work was "terrific" but suggested the 19-year-old isn't exactly a polished product.
"From a basketball point of view, he's behind a little bit as far as teaching goes," O'Connor said. "But he responded extremely well, which is something we really wanted to see. . . . We wanted to see how he responded to some coaching."
Green, who originally committed to Oklahoma State, said deciding to turn pro was "one of the toughest decisions I ever made in my life." Now, he vows to bring "a lot of fire, a lot of energy" to whichever NBA team drafts him.
Green already has worked out for New Orleans and Charlotte, the draft's Nos. 4 and 5 picks, respectively, and the Los Angeles Lakers, who are rumored to be exploring a possible move to as high as No. 3 to get the McDonald's All-American.
The quiet, respectful teen said he has additional visits planned with Portland, Toronto and New York. The Trail Blazers originally told Green not to bother if he wasn't willing to compete against other prospects, but since then they decided to bring him in anyway.

RAUL GOING, GOING: It seems the Jazz are getting closer and closer to letting point guard Raul Lopez out of his contract for next season so he can sign with a team in his native Spain.
"With the fact the lockout is not going to happen," O'Connor said, "we would look at probably doing something July 1.
"And I think the chances are pretty good we're going to wind up doing that," he added. "But I don't want to go on record saying it's a done deal, because nothing is a done deal until you get something signed."

NO PARKER: Rather than work out today for the Jazz, as originally planned, guard T.J. Parker — the brother of San Antonio Spurs point Tony Parker — has withdrawn from the draft and decided to return to Northwestern University.
That leaves three big men — UConn's Charlie Villanueva, Walsh University's Robert Whaley and Weber State's Lance Allred — to audition for the Jazz this morning.
Besides Green, four others worked out Tuesday in Utah: Dallas high school guard C.J. Miles, University of Florida swingman Matt Walsh and Georgia Tech shooting guard B.J. Elder.

SURE SIGN: Drawing on his days as a college-basketball recruiter, O'Connor said it is easy to tell which draft prospects are auditioning for the first time and which have become accustomed to the routine.
"When you looked at a guy and he ordered a double-shrimp cocktail, he'd been to two or three places before," said O'Connor, a former assistant coach at schools including UCLA, Virginia Tech and Colorado. "If he wasn't sure what to order and didn't want an appetizer, it was your first visit."


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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