The Jazz are close to contract agreements with Bobby Hansen and Karl Malone, president-general manager David Checketts said Thursday.
Hansen had two non-guaranteed years left on a four-year contract that was scheduled to pay him $225,000 this season. Malone was supposed to make $850,000 in only the second year of the six-year contract he signed in October 1987. Hansen's new deal is for five years, Malone's for 10.An agreement with Malone should accelerate talks regarding John Stockton and Thurl Bailey, whose attorneys want to base their requests on Malone's salary. Checketts had set today's opening onf the NBA season as the deadline for all four players, but both sides are willing to continue discussions.
"I'm really concerned about that," noted Checketts. "I don't want it to affect the players' play or their attitudes." Checketts expects agreements for Stockton and Bailey within two weeks.
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When the Jazz waived him Tuesday, Scott Roth promised he'd return to the Salt Palace in a different uniform. He's coming back, all right - in his former Jazz No. 33.
The Jazz re-signed Roth Thursday after he cleared waivers, making room for him as the 12th man by placing Hansen on the injured list. Actually, forward-center Mike Brown's worsening conditoning made the Jazz look for another player; a calcium desposit will keep Brown out about three more weeks, according to Jazz officials.
Checketts' first thought was to look for a point guard but, he said, "There just isn't one out there." And Roth made sure the Jazz knew he was available.
Tuesday afternoon, he almost summoned the nerve to call Coach Frank Layden, but hung up while the phone was ringing. Later, he called Scott Layden, the team's director of player personnel, saying he wanted to assure the team he'd be willing to play for a week, a month or whatever. The next morning, Checketts called Roth and told him there was a chance he could come back.
"It's been a whirlwind," said Roth. "You never know what might happen now - trades or injuries or something. Maybe I'll be here for the whole year. But if I'm in the league one game or 50 games this year, that's more credibility for me."
All considered, just another week in the life for Roth, who played in Turkey and the CBA and was once cut in the first week of training camp by the Clippers before he reached the NBA with the Jazz last January.
Unlike his previous deal, Roth's latest contract is not guaranteed. The Jazz will have to pay his full salary only if he is still on the roster Dec. 29. Hansen is due back by Dec. 1.