Jazz Notes: Miles wants to stay in Utah
Jazz guard C.J. Miles is not thinking about the money. Nor is he contemplating his future home, high expectations or the uncertainty of 2011-12.
But Miles definitely knows one thing: If he has it his way, he will still be wearing a Utah uniform next season.
"I would love to stay here," said Miles, prior to Utah's game Wednesday night against New Orleans
The Jazz hold a team option worth $3.7 million for Miles next year. The sixth-year, straight-out-of-high-school forward has played his entire career with Utah. He was signed to a four-year deal in 2008, after the Jazz matched a restricted free-agent offer sheet tendered by Oklahoma City.
Miles said that he has grown up with long-time teammates Deron Williams, Ronnie Price and Paul Millsap, among others.
"These are basically my big brothers," Miles said. "They taught me everything."
In addition, Miles has a great deal of respect for veterans Andrei Kirilenko, Earl Watson and Raja Bell, as well as a Jazz coaching staff that has often pushed him while encouraging his development.
Miles is averaging career highs in points (11.7), rebounds (3.2) and steals (1.1) this season, but has at times been troubled by inconsistency. However, he highlighted his still untapped potential during Utah's previous two games, averaging 22.5 points on 61.5 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Miles also hit 8 of his 13 3-point attempts, including a career-high seven Saturday against Portland.
With a contract year hanging over his head, though, Miles is not concerned with money or his improved statistics. He is thinking about one thing: consistency.
"A lot of people asked me about the game in Portland," Miles said. "My biggest thing was, I wanted to be able to do that the next game. It had nothing to do with what was going on in that game. I was worried about the next game already when that game ended."
Jazz veteran center Mehmet Okur participated in a five-minute scrimmage with the team Tuesday. Okur and Utah coach Jerry Sloan were pleased with the outing, which marked Okur's first five-on-five action since he ruptured his Achilles' tendon in April.
"I thought it was great and I didn't feel any sore," Okur said.
The center's conditioning and fully healed tendon held up well during the scrimmage. But he was cautious about reading too much into the performance, due to its brevity.
Now, Okur is focusing upon improving the strength in his calf muscle while continuing to ramp up his endurance.
A timetable still has not been set for his return.
Rookie Jazz guard Gordon Hayward will be hosting five people today for Thanksgiving in a two-bedroom apartment.
Hayward will be joined by his father, mother, sister and girlfriend during the holiday.
"It'll be hectic," Hayward said smiling.