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Utah Jazz: Sloan impressed by Sonics' rookie Durant

Published November 9, 2007 2:21 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Back in July, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan had a courtside seat to watch prized rookie Kevin Durant play his lone game at the Rocky Mountain Revue before a packed gym at Salt Lake Community College. Needless to say, Sloan came away impressed.

"He's a very, very talented guy," Sloan said. "Obviously, he's very young and you've got a lot of growing pains, I'm sure, with him. But it looks like he has tremendous upside, as much as anybody you'd see."

The Jazz will get their first regular-season look at the No. 2 overall pick in tonight's game at Seattle. Durant has started from Day 1 for the Sonics and is averaging 22.6 points and 5.4 rebounds although he went just 3-for-17 Wednesday against Memphis.

Sloan said the questions about what position the 6-foot-9 Durant was best suited to play reminded him of the questions asked about Kevin Garnett when the Celtics star first came to the NBA out of high school.

"Well, he could only end up playing probably four or five of 'em," Sloan said. "That's a question you've got to answer after he's here a while." Through five games, Durant has been used primarily as a shooting guard.

Gone in a Flash

Rookie center Kyrylo Fesenko could be days away from joining the NBA Development League's Utah Flash for training camp. The Flash open camp Saturday, although Fesenko is on the trip to Seattle with the Jazz.

"Indications are he'll go down very soon," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said. But O'Connor didn't want to commit to an exact date.

Sloan has said he believes Fesenko could benefit from going through a second training camp. Fesenko still has some issues pending in Salt Lake City, including getting his driver's license.

rsiler@sltrib.com