Ronnie Price hoping to return to Utah Jazz
South Jordan » Ronnie Price looked little like a free agent Thursday as he signed autographs at the opening of a Fanzz store at The District, while sitting next to Zane Miller , grandson of late Jazz owner Larry Miller .
"Anything I can do as far as to maybe get close to some fans, I never turn that down," Price said.
He also sounded as if he would have been the Jazz's fourth player this week to opt for a return to Utah -- joining Kyle Korver , Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur -- if not for the small matter of being in search of a new contract.
"I'm not a guy that likes to jump around the NBA much," Price said. "I'm not saying anything bad about guys who do, but of course I like it here."
The former Utah Valley star shed little light on the state of negotiations, saying they were between the Jazz and his agent, as well as whether he was drawing interest from other teams. Price made $1.188 million last season as a fourth-year pro.
"It's not in my hands and I can't control it, really, so if it happens, it happens, and I would love it," said Price, who averaged 4.0 points and 2.1 assists in 52 games last season. "If it doesn't, then it's just part of my career, I have to move on."
Price has spent much of the past two seasons buried on the Jazz's point guard depth chart behind Jason Hart and Brevin Knight before enjoying a breakthrough performance in the fourth quarter of the Jazz's season-ending Game 5 loss to the Lakers.
After Price nearly lead the Jazz back from a double-digit deficit, coach Jerry Sloan acknowledged he'd probably made a mistake by not playing him more. Sloan suggested after last week's draft that Price was part of the team's future plans.
"I'm in this organization's corner," Price said. "I'll never say anything bad about this organization or anybody that's affiliated with this organization. I've had a great two years here and I would like to have more years here.
"I don't have anything negative to say, and to hear positive things coming from their end, it's still a good feeling."
With the Jazz committed to carrying three point guards, Price wasn't surprised they drafted Virginia Commonwealth's Eric Maynor last week. He was asked if he thought he had proven enough to head into the season as Deron Williams ' backup.
"Nothing's ever set in stone," Price said. "I'm not just satisfied with anything. I was pretty disappointed with the way my season went, personally, and I think that it's in my hands in order to play or not play.
"If I do the things that I need to do as far as play the right style of game at the right time on the court when I'm needed, I'll be in the lineup someway, somehow. ... That's just my approach to things, and I've got to work harder than I did the summer before, apparently."
There was no word Thursday from the Jazz or DeAngelo Simmons , the agent for restricted free-agent forward Paul Millsap , amid speculation that Millsap now was waiting to see what kind of offer New York forward David Lee would sign.
Although one NBA general manager believed Oklahoma City still was planning to make an offer to Millsap, the Thunder also were talking to Orlando center Marcin Gortat , who reportedly reached agreement Thursday with Dallas.
Morris Almond will meet with San Antonio early next week before heading to Las Vegas to play for New York's summer-league team. Almond visited with the Spurs twice before the 2007 draft, when the Jazz made him their first-round pick.
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