Jason Hart may not have liked the amount of playing time he was getting for the Utah Jazz, especially during the final half of the regular season and playoffs.
But he enjoyed the paycheck he received.
As a result, Hart has exercised his option to return to the Jazz for the 2008-09 season. He had until today to either accept the option to return to play for Utah for $2.48 million next season or opt out and become a free agent. After a disappointing year when he lost his backup point guard role to Ronnie Price midseason, Hart assumed he couldn't make as much money elsewhere and chose to stay in Utah, as was expected.
Hart played in 57 games for the Jazz during the regular season, averaging 2.9 points, 1.5 assists and one rebound in 10.6 minutes per game while shooting just 35.5 percent from the field. He started the the 2007-08 campaign as Deron Williams' primary backup at point guard, but was relegated to third-string during the final 30 games of the regular season and during the playoffs. He played just six minutes total in two games during Utah's 12-game postseason run.
Hart, 30, signed as a free agent with the Jazz last summer after Derek Fisher left Utah to return to the Los Angeles Lakers. The seven-year NBA veteran was coming off one of his best NBA seasons in 2006-07 when the Jazz offered him a two-year, $4.8 million deal to back up Williams. Hart had shown promise in '07 after becoming a starter for the L.A. Clippers, averaging 9.0 points and 4.0 assists in 32.4 minutes per game.
Unless he is traded or bought out by the Jazz, Hart is expected to once again battle Price for the backup point guard position during training camp in October.