Utah Jazz planning to sign Dupree
As they meet this week to decide Matt Harpring's playing future, the Jazz have identified one potential replacement in forward Ronald Dupree, who has played with four teams in parts of five NBA seasons.
Dupree, who finished last season with the NBA Development League's Utah Flash, has accepted an invitation to Jazz training camp and is expected to sign this week, agent Mark Bartelstein said Monday.
Bartelstein added that Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor and vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin long have expressed interest in Dupree.
"With Matt Harpring's issues with his ankles and his knees, there's an opportunity there for someone," Bartelstein said. "I think this is a case where a team benefits from doing their homework over the years. They've constantly stayed in contact about Ron, constantly told us how much they liked Ron."
Bartelstein declined to say whether the Jazz had officially determined that Harpring would not be able to play this season. O'Connor didn't return messages Monday.
Harpring, however, has struggled to overcome the effects of an infection he suffered last summer after undergoing ankle surgery as well as the multiple knee surgeries during his career.
Dupree has averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 154 games with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Seattle. He has added familiarity with the Jazz's system after playing with the Flash, where he averaged 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in 31 games.
The Louisiana State product is described as a tough-nosed player similar in a lot of ways to Harpring. A capable shooter and explosive athlete, Dupree's greatest strength is as a defender, which he proved in one game last season with the Flash.
Despite being 6-foot-7, Dupree switched onto 6-foot point guard Sean Singletary in the fourth quarter against Sioux Falls. Singletary scored 14 points to open the quarter, but only two the rest of the way with Dupree guarding him.
Dupree nearly made Cleveland's roster out of training camp last season and most recently played with Denver's summer-league team.
Playing for the Greek national team at the European championships, Kosta Koufos missed Sunday's loss to Russia with a stomach virus but is expected to be back for today's game against France.