Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Utah Jazz 2007 first round pick Morris Almond takes a shot during Rocky Mountain Revue training camp. Almond joined the team, while free agent shooting guard C.J. Miles did not.

One thing became quite evident on Day 1 of the Utah Jazz's training camp for the upcoming Rocky Mountain Revue:

C.J. Miles is not asking Jerry Sloan for tips on how to spend his summer.

"He's not probably getting advice from me. If he was, he'd be here," the Jazz coach said Monday.

"He's a free agent," Sloan added. "He can go out there and do what he wants to do."

Camping of the basketball variety in Utah is apparently not on Miles' to-do list right now, though. The 21-year-old swingman was not among the 17 players sporting Jazz practice uniforms at the team's training facility in advance of the Rocky Mountain Revue.

The "rocky" part of the title, by the way, was indeed what the summer league was called before last year. It's just a coincidence that it now aptly describes the relationship the Jazz and Miles have when it comes to the young player's participation (or lack thereof) in the Revue.

"I'd like to have him here," Sloan said, "but I realize that money is more important than playing at first. That's not only with C.J., that's with all the guys."

Like last summer, the Jazz made Miles a restricted free agent prior to the summer league, having tendered him a $1.18 million qualifying offer in June. But also like last summer, it appears Miles will consider that but will not play and get extra practice, conditioning and coaching with Utah in July.

Now it remains to be seen whether he returns to fall camp — if he doesn't find a better deal elsewhere, which the Jazz can match — and is forced to play catch-up and try belatedly to get into shape like his coach claims he did in 2007.

"He came back last year in not very good shape and really put himself behind. He was way, way behind," Sloan said. "If he's behind again, I don't know what to do about it. We'll just pick somebody who's ready to go."

One of those guys hoping to get picked for that potential playing time in his shooting guard and small forward positions — and the Jazz have about six on the roster — is second-year guard and Revue veteran Morris Almond. Though he hasn't heard from Miles since the Jazz season ended in May, Almond said his teammate is working out in New York this summer while other Utah hopefuls work out in Salt Lake City.

"C.J. knows ... what's best for his career, so he'll do what he's gotta do," Almond said.

Neither Miles nor his agent returned phone calls to the News on Monday regarding his free-agency options and his Revue absence.

In his third NBA season out of Dallas' Skyline High School, Miles averaged 5.0 points in 60 games with 13 starts last year. Playing time can be hard to find, however, with a perimeter-packed Jazz roster that includes Almond, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring.


Contributing: Tim Buckley


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