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Utah Jazz news gathered from around the net.

Josh Howard Will Consider Re-Signing With Jazz

Josh Howard will consider re-signing with the Jazz this summer.

“This definitely will be a place I can see myself finishing my career at,” Howard said. “The fan support is great. [Taking] into account the players that are here, the guys come to work everyday, no matter what the situation is. That was something I was looking for after leaving D.C. I'm not saying nothing bad about them. But I just wanted guys that'll come out and play hard, night-in an night-out.”

Howard, an eight-year veteran, agreed to a one-year deal with Utah last December. He was reportedly pursued by the Spurs, Bulls, Nets, and Nuggets during free agency.

“I love this game so much I'm willing to work for whatever opportunity is given to me,” said Howard, who is averaging 8 points on 37.8 percent shooting in 21. 7 minutes per game. “I know right now I'm not playing as much. But I've got to stay prepared and stay ready. Hopefully that won't be a factor in it. At the start of the year, I showed people what I can do and what I used to be able to do. It's just a matter of timing and prayer.”

Via Salt Lake Tribune

Jeremy Evans Replaces Shumpert In Dunk Contest

Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz has replaced New York's Iman Shumpert in the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest.

The Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Derrick Williams will also compete.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Jazz Frustrated By Slow, Stagnant Halfcourt Offense

The Jazz rank 10 thin offensive efficiency but become methodical and predictable when forced to operate in the halfcourt.

“When you’re running off misses, we get into our offense and we’re tough to stop. We go on some big-time runs when we do that,” Gordon Hayward said. “But sometimes you get stuck in the half-court. And for whatever reason, we throw it in the post and just kind of stand. … Al and Paul have been real good for us. But on nights where they’re struggling a little bit, that’s when it’s difficult on us.”

The main culprits are a lack of motion and an inability to convert from beyond the arc. Utah ranks 27th in three-point accuracy (29.3) and 29th in threes made (93) and attempted (317).

“When we get in the half-court, we get stagnant — the ball doesn’t move,” Raja Bell said. “Unless Al and Paul are bailing us out on every possession, we’re not going to be able to score enough points to win. … I don’t know why. I don’t have an answer for you. That’s the way we play.”

Via Salt Lake Tribune

Griffin, Rubio Headline 2012 Rising Stars Challenge Participants

The NBA has announced the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge participants on Wednesday.

Sophomores selected include DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers) Paul George (Indiana Pacers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).

Freshmen selected include Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Marshon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats) and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Via RealGM Staff Report

Stockton Urges Malone, Miller To Call Truce

Current Jazz owner Greg Miller and former star Karl Malone exchanged heated words last week, prompting fellow Hall of Famer John Stockton to suggest a truce is in the offing.

“I’ve certainly been in disputes with people as close to me as my brother,” Stockton said from his home in Spokane, Wash. “You get after it and say a lot of things.

“But I have never seen one [disagreement] that couldn’t be resolved by sitting down and talking to a person face to face. It has always worked for me.”

Stockton fears the feud between Miller and Malone might “tarnish” what the Jazz accomplished during the 1990s.

“What we all shared is so special,” Stockton said. “I just hope this can be resolved, because it was a special time for me and for everyone. I’d hate to see anything outside the lines … ever come back and tarnish it.”

Via Salt Lake Tribune

Earl Watson Underwent Laser Therapy On Sprained Ankle

Jazz guard Earl Watson underwent laser therapy to rehabilitate a severely sprained ankle. Watson returned to action just three days after sustaining the injury, scoring 8 points and handing out 11 assists in a win over the Lakers.

"I got lucky that I have some good people to work with me," Watson said. "I came back to Utah and had the training staff with me all morning. I was able to run. I was lucky."

Watson was treated by Dr. Michael Sheps, whose laser therapy "combines a unique wavelength, 940 nm and high power to provide optimal tissue penetration and enhanced biostimulatory effects, resulting in more effective treatment of acute and chronic pain in his patients."

"No one's ever heard of this guy, so it was kind of like, 'Whatever, OK. Yeah, if you think it works,'" Watson said, smiling. "He's amazing. He's incredible. He's helped me throughout my whole career."

Watson said he had four laser sessions on Thursday night and Friday morning, and his swelling reduced dramatically because of the patented process.

Via Deseret News

Sloan's Statement Insists He Had Support Of Ownership

Jerry Sloan released a statement on Saturday regarding his abrupt resignation as head coach of the Jazz last season.

“I would like to set the record straight regarding my retirement from the Utah Jazz ,” he said. “I had the unwavering support of the Miller family during my 23 seasons as head coach with the franchise and I left on my own volition. It is not true that the Millers undermined my authority as head coach. I had their complete backing to run the team as I wished and was assured that no player could ever overrule my decisions.

“The Millers encouraged me to stay with the team and gave me multiple opportunities to do so. They felt strongly that I should wait at least until the end of the season to resign and did everything they could to keep me coaching.

“I do not wish to make any further statements regarding this issue. It is time for me and my family to move on and I ask that the media respect my wishes and respect the integrity of the Miller family and all that they have done for the Utah Jazz and this community.”

Via Deseret News

Miller: Karl Malone Too Unreliable, Too Unstable

Jazz CEO Greg Miller replied to comments made by Karl Malone about the organization.

Malone believes that Miller and Kevin O'Connor undermined Jerry Sloan, leading to his resignation as head coach.

"The fact is Karl is still as high-maintenance as he ever was, but now he has nothing to offer to offset the grief and aggravation that comes with him," wrote Miller in a blog post. "Some would argue that he could coach our big men. I would love to have Karl inspire them and teach him how to be warriors like he was. That can’t happen. Karl is too unreliable and too unstable."

Via Salt Lake Tribune

Malone Criticizes Jazz On Sloan's Exit, Says Deron Was Given Too Much Power

Karl Malone said the Jazz botched Jerry Sloan’s departure, giving Deron Williams too much power, and essentially blamed Kevin O’Connor and Greg Miller for undermining an icon who had coached the Jazz for 23 years.

“On the whole handling of that, I would have to give [them] a D or F, and I would lean more toward an F,” said Malone, who has remained close to Sloan since his own retirement in 2004.

Trouble had been stirring between Williams and Sloan for months. Sloan admitted that the two “got into it.” Malone said the Jazz had empowered the point guard to go directly to O’Connor when he disagreed with Sloan and that was, as Karl called it, “the perfect storm.”

“I know for a fact that [Sloan] was overridden on practices sometime on the road because Deron was calling our G.M. at that time,” Malone said. “ … You give a guy that much power, and he’s the kind of player you think he played hard all the time, but if he wanted to sulk he could sulk. … I never went to Larry [Miller] to talk about Coach Sloan. … It’s not one time, in my gut and heart, that I would go over his head.”

Via Gordon Munson/Salt Lake Tribune
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