Mel Turpin's clearing NBA waivers is all that stands between the deal that would send Turpin to Spain and bring Jose Ortiz to the Jazz this season.
"Everybody involved is saying yes," Jazz owner Larry Miller noted Saturday. "I don't think anybody is going to change their minds."Another NBA team could claim Turpin on waivers, but that's doubtful, considering there apparently has been so little interest in him around the league and the fact that a new team would have to pay him more than $1 million in deferred money. And even if Turpin is claimed on waivers, Miller says the team in Zaragoza, Spain, would release Ortiz and settle for a certain other American player who's already playing overseas.
Jazz president-general manager David Checketts is trying to schedule a meeting either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending upon when Ortiz is available, in Washington, D.C. Several contracts have to be signed among the teams and players involved, including the Jazz's settlement with Turpin on the deferred money he is owed.
"It's a pretty intricate contract," Miller said of the overall agreement. "Everybody is releasing each other from before and starting all over."
The deal still could be done in time to meet the Zaragoza team's goal of having Turpin in camp by Thursday. Ortiz would join the Jazz following the Olympics, scheduled to end about a week before Jazz training camp opens Oct. 7.