Thurl Bailey started every Jazz exhibition game, so what will he be doing Friday against Seattle? Coming off the bench, probably.
With Darrell Griffith starting at guard in place of the injured Bobby Hansen, the Jazz have no real scorer on the bench. "It's very difficult for us to substitute when he starts," said Coach Frank Layden.Bailey made only 10 starts last season, during his best pro year. "It's not like it would be a big surprise," he said of Layden's possible plan.
Seattle, meanwhile, is considering starting second-year forward Derrick McKey and bringing All-Star Xavier McDaniel off the bench. Boston may do the same with Kevin McHale. "They're realizing they've got to strengthen that other group," noted Layden.
If Bailey is the sixth man, Marc Iavaroni becomes the likely starter.
Layden says Bailey will start, though, when Mike Brown becomes available. Brown has calcium deposits in his thigh, resulting from a bruise he sustained in the Utah Pro-Am League in August. Brown is expected to miss about the first four games, although trainer Don Sparks says, "There's really no way to tell."
Says Brown, already out for more than a week, "The more I run on it, the more it aggravates it."
*** The Jazz have a tricky situation on their hands with Karl Malone's contract request. They want to strike deals with John Stockton and Bailey before signing Malone, while those players' attorneys want to wait base their demands on Malone's contract.
"We expect to be treated consistently (with Malone)," said Stockton's attorney, David Falk.
The Jazz have made Friday the deadline for the new-contract discussions, although Falk said he'd be willing to keep talking into the season. Where do things stand? "We're fairly far apart," said Falk, hinting of understatement. "If the right deal is not there, we're not just going to patch the tire, so to speak."