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Utah Jazz: Price hopes to remain in Utah

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 8:38 p.m. MDT

Ronnie Price (Provided by Utah Jazz) Ronnie Price (Provided by Utah Jazz)

Considering Ronnie Price is an unrestricted free agent coming off a disappointing year and seeing how the Jazz just drafted a point guard, it's possible the Utah Valley product could be headed elsewhere next season.

But it sure didn't seem that way on Thursday.

Price showed up for an autograph session at a Fanzz store in South Jordan. He cheerfully interacted with a steady stream of supporters, including some wearing No. 17 jerseys bearing his name. He inked his signature on Jazz gear and pictures. And he did it while sporting a purple-and-white shirt.

Price hasn't put his John Hancock on a new contract with the Jazz — no offers by Utah or other teams have been extended to him during the first week of the free-agency period — but this scenario suggested otherwise.

Price sure seemed like a Jazzman, which he hopes continues to be the case.

"I made that clear. Of course, I want to be here," Price said. "I'm not a guy who likes to jump around the NBA much. … For sure, I'm in this organization's corner.

"I'll never say anything bad about this organization," he added. "I've had a great two years here, and I'd like to have more years here."

While Price isn't shy to talk about loving Utah — where he went to college, met his wife and continued his NBA career after a two-year stint in Sacramento — he doesn't want to discuss his free-agency affairs.

The Jazz have expressed interest in bringing him back — coach Jerry Sloan let that out of the bag while the team introduced first-round pick Eric Maynor last week. Price also has been linked with reports about being wanted elsewhere, including by the Philadelphia 76ers.

So, what's the latest?

He'd prefer you ask his agent. Price would much rather stay away from the bargaining table and talk.

"When it comes to negotiations and talking and figuring out things like that, that's not my job," Price said.

He does hope things happen "as soon as possible," though.

Price was neither discouraged nor surprised the Jazz drafted a point guard in the first round. He figured Utah wouldn't bring him and Brevin Knight back, and he knows the franchise likes carrying three points.

"So I knew that was going to take place," he said. "That doesn't really affect me any."

Price reiterated being grateful for how Sloan lauded his Game 5 efforts against the Lakers and admitted he might've poorly handled Price's playing time. But the veteran guard remains "pretty disappointed" in his play last year. He averaged 4.0 points on 37.9 percent shooting and 2.1 assists, and he was relegated to being the third point guard after struggling early on.

Price just returned from Houston where he visited family and, he added, "let my dad see his grandbaby for the first time." Because his future employment status is in flux, he didn't schedule his annual camp in Utah County. But he'll spend time now in Utah "working out, just enjoying time with family."

Having said that, he looked up at the clouds and smiled.

"Can't golf too much out there," he said, "because we've got Texas rain out here."

E-mail: jody@desnews.com

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