Jim Farmer, discarded by Dallas, is the Jazz's newest off-guard candidate. Farmer signed a 10-day contract Wednesday morning in Salt Lake and boarded a plane for Chicago, where he'll practice with the Jazz Thursday and be in uniform for Friday's game with the Bulls.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Alabamawas the Mavericks' first-round choice (No. 20 overall) in 1987, but appeared in only 30 games for a total of 157 minutes as a rookie. The Mavs waived him on opening day this season, signing free-agent forward Terry Tyler because they needed a replacement for the injured Detlef Schrempf.

Ironically, the Jazz were hoping Dallas would cut Steve Alford instead of Farmer in November, when they were looking for a backup point guard. Now, they need help at off guard following Bobby Hansen's face injury, sustained in a fight with teammate Bart Kofoed last weekend.

Farmer will receive a pro-rated minimum salary. NBA rules would allow the Jazz to sign him to a second 10-day contract; after that, they would have to give him a guaranteed contract for the rest of the season if they want to keep him.

"We'll do it with practice," Coach Jerry Sloan said of evaluating Farmer. "Our job is to win games, and see what we think of him in practice, and maybe work him into games."