The Jazz have not made a decision about picking up small forward C.J. Miles' 2011-12 team option worth $3.7 million.
While Miles has often expressed interest in remaining with Utah — going so far as to state his desire to sign a long-term extension — the Jazz are expected to wait as long as possible before dealing with his contract, due to a variety of factors.
Barring a trade, though, the players Utah acquires with the Nos. 3 and 12 picks in the 2011 NBA Draft will likely have no bearing on Miles' immediate future with the team.
The 24-year-old Miles set career highs this season in numerous statistical categories, including average points (12.8), rebounds (3.3) and minutes (25.2). He shot just 32.2 percent behind the 3-point line, though, despite ranking second on the team in attempts (4.3)
Miles started 19 games for the Jazz during 2010-11. However, he enters an offseason he has described as the most important of his career as a likely backup on Utah's depth chart.
Rookie Gordon Hayward made a strong push for the starting shooting guard position toward the end of the year; the Jazz could re-sign starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko; and Paul Millsap spent time at the three during the stretch run.
Miles is one of the Jazz's few remaining outside scoring threats, and has shown the ability to take over a game when hot. He is also a key component of Utah's locker room during the post-Deron Williams era. Miles has spent his entire six-year professional career with the Jazz, after being selected with the No. 34 overall pick during the second round of the 2005 draft.
Utah appears open to picking up Miles' option. But the organization wants to watch the next month — a busy period highlighted by the draft and a build up toward a likely lockout — develop instead of financially being backed into a corner.
Brian T. Smith
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