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Jazz dig deep, add veteran Jamaal Tinsley

Published December 8, 2011 9:29 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Jazz are expected to soon add veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley to their roster, The Salt Lake Tribune learned Thursday.

NBA.com's David Aldridge first reported the signing.

Details about Tinsley's contract are still being worked out, a source with knowledge of the situation said, but the 33-year-old product of Iowa State is expected to be in Salt Lake City on Friday.

Tinsley will enter training camp backing up Utah starter Devin Harris, who is currently the team's only point guard under contract.

"Jamaal's coming to Utah and he's very excited," agent Raymond Brothers said.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Tinsley is an eight-year NBA veteran. He averaged 9.8 points, 6.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds from 2001-10, but did not play in the league during 2010-11.

Tinsley is widely associated with Indiana and spent seven seasons with the Pacers. He averaged 15.4 points in 2004-05, while recording 12.8 points and 6.9 assists during 72 starts in 2006-07.

Tinsley last played with Memphis in 2009-10, taking the court in just 38 games and only starting one. As a result, he is a bit of a reclamation project for the Jazz.

The veteran point guard was recently drafted No. 1 overall by the Los Angeles D-Fenders during the 2011 NBA Development League draft. He averaged 9.9 points and 7.6 assists in eight games, playing with Elijah Millsap, brother of Jazz forward Paul Millsap.

"He's in the best shape of his life," Brothers said.

Utah entered the week negotiating with veterans Earl Watson and Sebastian Telfair for the team's backup point guard spot. Telfair is expected to sign with Phoenix, a league source told The Tribune on Wednesday. Watson was reportedly close to signing with Atlanta, despite saying his first option is the Jazz. Agent Mark Bartelstein said Thursday that Watson is still in play for Utah and the sides will talk again Friday in the hopes of agreeing to a deal.

In the past, Utah often carried two backup point guards. There is no guarantee the Jazz will take that approach this season, though.

If the team wants two veterans behind Harris and Watson is not signed, longtime Jazzman Ronnie Price — who recently told The Tribune he wants to rejoin his "family" — is available.

Multiple sources said Thursday that Utah isn't expected to make any major free-agency moves during the next 24 hours and had nothing in the works as of 7 p.m. MT.

Brian T. Smith

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bsmith@sltrib.com

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