While Kelly Tripucka or Rickey Green seems the most likely Jazzmen to be playing in Miami or Charlotte next season, Scott Roth worries that he'll be taken in next Thursday's expansion draft.
Being exposed by the Jazz - along with Tripucka, Green, Darrell Griffith and Eddie Hughes - does not bother Roth as much as the idea of actually leaving. "The thing about an expansion team is there are going to be constant changes," noted Roth, a small forward who joined the Jazz in January from Albany of the CBA. "I'd much rather be where I am and find a role and help a team that's a contender."Roth's fear is based on a telephone message from Charlotte executive Carl Scheer. While Scheer failed to reach Roth at home in Cleveland before Roth returned to Utah for a series of basketball clinics, Scheer has talked about Roth with Albany Coach Bill Musselman. Charlotte - and Miami - are thought to be interested in Tripucka too, though, and the Jazz can lose only one player.
"The bottom line is I have to make the team anyway," noted Roth. "I'd love to stay here because I think it's a great situation for me, but more importantly, I have my foot in the door, which I've been trying to do for years."
The exposure of Griffith, meanwhile, caught a longtime teammate a little off-guard. "I was really surprised," said Thurl Bailey, "but I guess when you get an injury (riffith had knee surgery in March), management figures that the other teams wouldn't want to risk taking him."
As for assistant coach Jerry Sloan, the Miami Heat is not exactly breaking down his door in an attempt to hire him. Ten days after receiving permission to talk to Sloan about their head coaching job, Miami officials have yet to arrange an interview. "Maybe they've changed their minds," mused Sloan. "I would assume they'd at least make contact with me to say where things stand."
The Heat will likely make their move after the NBA Finals, because they also plan to interview Detroit assistant Ron Rothstein. Sloan is due to return to Salt Lake City from his southern Illinois home Sunday night to join the Jazz staff in preparation for the June 28 college draft.