Jim Les will have competition for his job for the first time since the Jazz waived Billy Donovan in November, but he hardly seemed stunned by the news that the Jazz are signing former Loyola Marymount point guard Corey Gaines. "It's fine with me," shrugged Les.
Gaines, averaging 10.4 points and 9.0 assists through 24 games with Quad City of the CBA, was scheduled for a physical exam today in Salt Lake. He'll sign a 10-day contract and practice with the team Friday and dress for Saturday's game against New York.What should Gaines' arrival as the newest 12th man mean to Les?
"I don't think we're dissatisfied with Jim," said Scott Layden, the Jazz's player personnel director. "If we were, we would have done some things a lot earlier . . . We just have four guards, you know. We need another guard."
Gaines will likely practice at both guard positions. Les has played in all Jazz 39 games as John Stockton's backup at the point, averaging 2.8 assists in only 9.7 minutes.
In the wake of the Bart Kofoed-Bobby Hansen incident, the Jazz have signed three players this month - after going eight years without signing anyone to a 10-day contract. Jim Farmer was later signed for the season, while Eric White was waived Monday.
The 6-foot-3 Gaines was Seattle's third-round draft choice, and was waived in October after six preseason games. His Loyola Marymount team defeated Eric Leckner and Wyoming in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake last March. Gaines transferred from UCLA for his senior season.
LMU plays a fast-breaking, NBA-style offense. "That's one of the reasons we liked him," said Layden.