Matt Slocum, file, Associated Press
In this file photo taken May 9, 2009, Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard (5) and Denver Nuggets center Nene, of Brazil, race for a loose ball in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference semifinals in Dallas.
I'm just fortunate enough that Utah gave me the opportunity to come out here.

SALT LAKE CITY — Move over Deron Williams. There's a new No. 8 in town.

Josh Howard joined his new team this morning, but the small forward free agent's preferred number was already snagged by his buddy, Devin Harris.

Because of that, the No. 8 now has a new owner after being unused for the past 10 months.

Make that an elated new owner who looks at this one-year deal with the Jazz as a fresh start to revive an eight-year NBA career.

Howard said he prayed about choosing Utah, and he believes this is the right place for him at this point in his career.

"I'm just fortunate enough that Utah gave me the opportunity to come out here," the 6-foot-7 Howard said. "And I'm going to give it all I got."

Along with picking a jersey number, the 31-year-old also watched his team go through a morning workout. He dressed in practice gear but couldn't participate because he still needs to pass the required physical — an important checklist item considering he's missed most of the last 21 months with knee issues.

But Howard, who played most of his career with Dallas, said he's "100 percent" healed from his surgically repaired ACL tear and tendinitis that only allowed him to play in 18 games last season.

The Jazz hope to have their new player in uniform for the 7 p.m. intrasquad scrimmage, which is free to the public. EnergySolutions Arena doors open at 6 p.m.

Howard, a 2007 All-Star, is familiar with the Jazz system and said he hopes to be up to full NBA speed and able to contribute "as soon as possible."

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