SALT LAKE CITY — A familiar face has been spending time recently with the Utah Jazz.
During a pivotal stretch for the Jazz organization — with the NBA draft tonight, free agency beginning Monday and a coaching position yet unfilled — former University of Utah basketball star Alex Jensen spent Tuesday night with team officials at a Salt Lake City restaurant.
Making that even more intriguing is the fact that last week Jensen helped the Jazz staff run a pre-draft workout at Zions Bank Basketball Center.
The 37-year-old Jensen could replace Brad Jones on the Jazz's player development coaching staff with ex-Ute Johnnie Bryant, perhaps as director. Bryant has one year under his belt with the Jazz, but Jensen has much more coaching experience.
Jones has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach position to replace new Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, a source told the Deseret News earlier this week. That official announcement is expected to happen soon.
Jensen, Utah's Mr. Basketball in 1994 at Viewmont High, led the University of Utah to the 1998 NCAA national championship game with standout teammates Andre Miller, Michael Doleac, Hanno Mottola and Britton Johnsen.
Jensen was one of late Rick Majerus' favorite players and assisted the legendary coach for four years at St. Louis from 2007-11. Most recently, he was named the D-League Coach of the Year for 2012-13 after guiding the Canton Charge to a title in his second year as head coach.
The 6-foot-7 Bountiful native played professionally in Turkey, Spain, Japan and for Yakima in the CBA.
Jazz officials are unavailable for comment.