Jazz players can only hope wind sprints and other conditioning drills are as short as introductions will be next week when the team officially reconvenes.
On Friday, the Jazz announced their official training camp roster, and it looks a whole lot like last year's Western Conference semifinal squad. The team includes 13 returning players, two over-the-summer pickups and three long-shot hopefuls.
The 18 players, including free agents Britton Johnsen, Gerry McNamara and Kevin Lyde, will meet for Media Day on Monday in Salt Lake City and then head to Boise, Idaho, for a four-day fall camp at Taco Bell Arena.
The training sessions wrap up Friday morning, with the first NBA preseason game scheduled for Oct. 7 in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Lakers. The regular-season opener for the Jazz is on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at home against the Denver Nuggets.
"It's coming real quick. We've got to get back into the swing of things now ...," Jazz point guard Deron Williams said this week while participating in his annual charity golf tournament at Thanksgiving Point. "I'm looking forward to it. Another year having everybody together."
Brevin Knight and Kosta Koufos are the only newcomers with guaranteed contracts for the 2008-09 campaign. The 5-foot-10 Knight, an 11-year NBA veteran point guard, was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade for Jason Hart this offseason. Koufos, a 7-foot center from Ohio State, was Utah's first-round pick in June's NBA Draft.
The other 13 players were all with the Jazz last year, including Olympic gold-medal winners Carlos Boozer and Williams, fellow starters Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and Ronnie Brewer.
Utah had to make transaction-wire moves to keep two reserves on their squad for 2008-09. The Jazz front office picked up a one-year team option on Paul Millsap and matched a multi-year qualifying offer for C.J. Miles.
In all, the Jazz have 15 players under contract for this season the maximum allowed which will make it difficult for the three free agents to crack a roster spot come opening day.
Lyde, a 6-9 big man from Temple, played on the Jazz's summer-league team this past summer and was the last player cut from Utah's squad during the preseason in 2007.
The 6-10 Johnsen, a small forward from the University of Utah and Murray High, also played for the Jazz's Rocky Mountain Revue club. He had a deal to play in Italy this year, but it fell through at the last moment. This will be his third NBA training camp.
The sharpshooting McNamara, a 6-2 point guard from Syracuse, is hoping to raise some eyebrows in camp after playing in Europe and the D-League the past couple of years.
By position, the Jazz will have seven guards, seven forwards and four centers in training camp.
Though the Jazz still own their NBA rights, second-round draft picks Ante Tomic (a 7-2 center from Croatia, 44th pick) and Tadija Dragicevic (a 6-9 forward, 53rd pick) will not be in camp and are not anticipated to join the team this season.
2008-09 Utah Jazz Preseason Roster
No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate College/From Yrs.
22 Morris Almond G 6-6 225 2/2/85 Rice 1
5 Carlos Boozer F 6-9 266 11/20/81 Duke 6
9 Ronnie Brewer G 6-7 223 3/20/85 Arkansas 2
31 Jarron Collins C 6-11 239 12/2/78 Stanford 7
44 Kyrylo Fesenko C 7-1 288 12/24/86 Ukraine 1
15 Matt Harpring F 6-7 230 5/31/76 Georgia Tech 10
30 Britton Johnsen F 6-10 210 7/8/79 Utah 2
47 Andrei Kirilenko F 6-9 223 2/18/81 Russia 7
2 Brevin Knight G 5-10 170 11/8/75 Stanford 11
26 Kyle Korver F/G 6-7 210 3/17/81 Creighton 5
41 Kosta Koufos C 7-0 265 2/24/89 Ohio State R
42 Kevin Lyde F 6-9 294 3/12/80 Temple R
3 Gerry McNamara G 6-2 182 9/28/83 Syracuse R
34 C.J. Miles G/F 6-6 220 3/18/87 Skyline H.S. (TX) 3
24 Paul Millsap F 6-8 258 2/10/85 Louisiana Tech 2
13 Mehmet Okur F 6-11 263 5/26/79 Turkey 6
17 Ronnie Price G 6-2 190 6/21/83 Utah Valley 3
8 Deron Williams G 6-3 208 6/26/84 Illinois 3
Head Coach: Jerry Sloan, Evansville
Assistant Coaches: Phil Johnson, Utah State
Tyrone Corbin, DePaul
Scott Layden, St. Francis (PA)
Assistant Coach, Player Development: Mark McKown, South Carolina Upstate
Head Athletic Trainer: Gary Briggs, Morehead State
Asst. Athletic Trainer/Equipment Manager: Brian Zettler, Texas A&M, North Texas
E-MAIL: [email protected]