The Jazz will likely sign a point guard to fill another roster vacancy. The latest 12th-man search started Monday, when they chose not to give forward Eric White another 10-day contract.
With Bobby Hansen on the injured list for three more weeks, the Jazz plan to stage another on-the-job tryout, starting later this week. "We have a few guys in mind," said Scott Layden, the director of player personnel.The position? "We're really fragile on the guard line, still," said general manager David Checketts. "It's just a good opprtunity to bring some guy in."
Knowing Hansen is coming back at off-guard, the Jazz would more likely look at a point guard. Jim Les seems an effective backup, but his play has allowed the Jazz to rest John Stockton for less than 10 minutes a game.
The Jazz could have signed White for 10 more days, after he appeared in only one game for two minutes during his stay. They want to use the 12th roster spot for more experiments, possibly to address a position need. "That's the nature of the 10 days; you get a chance to look at players," said Layden.
White, who had returned from Europe and just joined Wichita Falls of the CBA before signing with the Jazz, was uncertain of his basketball plans. He asked for an airline ticket home to San Francisco.
***** In the latest NBA statistics, John Stockton is first (13.8) in assists, Karl Malone is second (30.3) in scoring and fifth (11.7) in rebounding, Mark Eaton is second (4.2) in blocked shots and eighth (10.5) in rebounding and Thurl Bailey is 19th (20.7) in scoring.
In three games against the Spurs - the Jazz's next opponent, Wednesday at San Antonio - Eaton has 46 rebounds, 35 points and 28 blocked shots. Frank Brickowski opposed him in only one of those games and the Spurs have used small lineups, but Eaton has also struggled in that situation, such as at Golden State this month. So what's the explanation? "Every year, it seems like there's some team you have confidence against," noted Eaton.
***** The Jazz are a respectable 6-8 on the road under Coach Jerry Sloan, who is playing a conservative rotation - leaning on veterans Marc Iavaroni and Mike Brown instead of rookie Eric Leckner. "It's probably more (because of) experience than anything else," says Sloan. "I just try to buy time with those guys."
In the last three road games, Iavaroni has played 62 minutes, Brown 37 and Leckner nine.