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Utah Jazz notebook: Team needs to add player to roster by end of day

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 10:12 p.m. MDT

It's deadline day for the Utah Jazz.

Two weeks have passed since the organization traded rookie Eric Maynor and injured veteran Matt Harpring to Oklahoma City, and the undermanned team has until the end of the day to bring its depleted roster up to the league minimum of 13 players.

Whether that acquisition will come through a free-agent pickup or a trade remains to be seen.

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor suggested both options are on the table when he described the situation to be "status quo" on Monday.

"There's a lot of things bouncing around," O'Connor said.

Since pulling the trigger on the salary-dumping move, the Jazz have expressed a desire to obtain a third point guard. One name high on the team's list is Dontell Jefferson, an athletic combo guard currently playing for its D-League affiliate, the Utah Flash.

Former Flash point Kevin Kruger is another possible addition.

Because today also marks the first day NBA teams can sign players to 10-day contracts, it's possible the Jazz could sign someone to a short deal while continuing to pursue a long-term solution.

STRONG BOND: While talking about his friendship with Chris Paul on Monday morning, Deron Williams said the two get along because they have a lot in common.

And he wasn't just talking about the link they share for being two of the NBA's premier point guards.

Along with common off-the-court interests, turns out Paul and Williams also have a similar on-the-court problem.

Consider this quote as proof:

"When you're at home, you're obviously more comfortable. You play a lot more games there. You know what to expect a little bit more. That's something I'm trying to change about our team. We're a really good home team right now, but we're terrible on the road."

The comment sounds like something Williams would say about the Jazz and their 6-10 road mark.

It was, however, made by Paul, whose Hornets seemed to improve from the terrible ranks while improving to 3-13 away from home with their 91-87 win in Utah.

ENERGY SYNERGY: Interesting that the Jazz pointed to a lack of energy as an excuse/reason for Saturday's rough home loss to shorthanded Denver.

The opposite, Paul claims, is why visitors usually struggle at EnergySolutions Arena.

"Man, the energy from the crowd is always something that gets you when you play here in Utah," Paul said. "But they've had that dominance here in Utah for such a long time. It's a great team, too."

So what's the, well, energy solution?

"I think that the way that you win here is you come out (and) you play with energy," he said Monday morning. "You've got to hit them first because if they get you down early, it's pretty much a wrap for you."

The Hornets didn't exactly follow that script, but they certainly played with more energy after a slow start to pull off the shocker.

CAMPING WITH AK & BOOZ: Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer are teaming up to put on a basketball camp for boys and girls, ages 6-17. Per the clinic's Web site, the Jazz players will help campers "learn the fundamentals of shooting, dribbling, defense, passing and sportsmanship."

The camp will take place at SLCC's Lifetime Activities Center from Feb. 3-5 between 4-8 p.m. Cost is $150, and includes games, giveaways and awards.

To register, call 1-800-725-6958 or visit cbfcamp.com.

Proceeds will benefit the Kirilenko's Kids Foundation and the Boozer's Buddies Foundation.

COMMON GOAL: Williams said he and his pal, Paul, both have high hopes for their respective clubs — neither of which look like contenders.

"We're just still trying to get over that hump," Williams said, "trying to get our teams to the elite level."

The hump seems all the bigger after Monday — for the Jazz, at least.

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

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