Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Utah's C.J. Miles, left, steals the ball from Houston's Tracy McGrady during this year's first-round playoff series.

The Jazz on Saturday announced they have tendered a qualifying offer to reserve swingman C.J. Miles.

The offer — thought to be worth about $1.18 million for next season — makes the Dallas high school product a restricted free agent, meaning the Jazz retain the right to match any contract proposal he might receive from another team when the NBA's summer negotiating period opens late Monday night.

So that matter is resolved, for now.

What remains uncertain, however, is whether or not Miles will play for the Jazz in next month's Rocky Mountain Revue summer league.

That's just like last year, when the Jazz also made Miles a qualifying offer — but did not sign him to a new contract until long after the Revue, which he skipped, had concluded.

The result then was an expression of disappointment from the Jazz management and coaching staff, especially after Miles struggled in training camp and the preseason.

Even after the 2007-08 season ended, the matter was still on Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's mind.

"He's a young player," Sloan said of Miles, who was taken in the 2005 NBA Draft straight out of Dallas Sky High and still is just 21 years old.

"Young players — the summer is where you make yourself. You have to come with a healthy appetite to try to take on everything you can when you're there so you're ready to go in the fall.

"You go back and ask (center) Memo (Okur) why he struggled (his) first year here, I think he'll tell you he wasn't in great shape. That's the No. 1 thing you have to do to have a chance to be successful. And then it's still very difficult," Sloan added the day after the Jazz were eliminated from the '08 postseason. "But if you want to play in this league, I think young guys have got to cure that illness right away. They can't come in and not be in shape."

Yet Miles — albeit flabbergasted to still be discussing the matter nearly a year later — defended last summer's stance.

"You always get better from playing," he said during locker-cleanout day last month. "I wanted to play last year, but it was the point 'not having a contract.' With everything that was going on, it was not in my best interest to go play."

At the time, Miles' agent cited the possibility of a career-threatening injury.

"Everybody says that was an excuse," Miles said, "but if you look at it, there were three guys on this team that got injured during the summer league last year."

If he did return next season, Miles would rejoin a crowd of Jazz perimeter players that includes starting shooting guard and 2006 lottery pick Ronnie Brewer, backup shooting guard Kyle Korver, 2007 first-round rookie shooting guard Morris Almond, starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko and backup small forward Matt Harpring.

Asked in May if the Jazz have too many shooting guards/swingmen on their roster, Sloan indicated he thought otherwise.

"You can look at it that way," he said, "but you can't throw away your future just because of numbers.

"Those guys are all young guys."

The suggestion is that the Jazz consider Miles — who averaged 5.0 points in 60 games, including 13 starts, last season — a potential part of their future.

Another indicator of that sentiment is the fact Utah did not land any perimeter players in last Thursday night's NBA Draft.

Brandon Rush of Kansas and Western Kentucky's Courtney Lee both were off the board when the Jazz took Ohio State center Kosta Koufos at No. 23 overall, but they passed on University of Memphis shooting guard Chris Douglas-Roberts.


What the Jazz have

A looking at the Jazz's current depth chart after Thursday night's NBA Draft and heading into this week's opening of the summer free-agency market

POINT GUARD

1. Deron Williams

2. Ronnie Price

3. Jason Hart

SHOOTING GUARD

1. Ronnie Brewer

2. Kyle Korver

3. C.J. Miles*

4. Morris Almond

SMALL FORWARD

1. Andrei Kirilenko

2. Matt Harpring

POWER FORWARD

1. Carlos Boozer

2. Paul Millsap

CENTER

1. Mehmet Okur

2. Jarron Collins

3. Kyrylo Fesenko

4. Kosta Koufos**

* Restricted free agent

** Unsigned draft choice


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