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Memphis, Tenn. • Paul Millsap has spent his entire six-year career with the Jazz.
If everything between Millsap and Utah continues to work out, the steadily improving power forward wants to extend his stay in Salt Lake City.
Millsap said Saturday he’s open to signing a long-term extension with the Jazz this summer.
His contract with Utah expires at the end of the 2012-13 season.
"It’s [the] team that drafted me. I’d love to finish my career here. But if it don’t work out, so be it," said Millsap, prior to the Jazz’s 103-98 loss to the Grizzlies.
The No. 47 overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft entered Saturday ranked second on the Jazz in average points (16.6), rebounds (8.7) and minutes (32.2). Millsap, 27, has missed only one game this season and has started the other 60. He ranks fourth in the NBA in average steals (1.78), has improved everything from his ballhandling to his defense, and rivals Al Jefferson as Utah’s MVP in a lockout-shortened campaign.
Despite being willing to slide down from power forward to small forward and continuing to improve his overall attack, Millsap is aware he faces an uncertain future with the Jazz. Backup power forward Derrick Favors, 20, entered Saturday averaging 8.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, and he’s recorded a double-double in four of five games.
Utah will have to make a decision about Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Al Jefferson and Millsap — four regular starters who hold expiring contracts next season.
Millsap understands his situation and said he’ll continue to do what he’s always done: control what he can control, while letting the business side of the game take care of itself.
"Certain stuff’s out of your hands," Millsap said. "Get out there and play basketball. You’re paid to play basketball; get out there and do my job."
Jazz reserve forward Jeremy Evans tested his sprained right ankle before tipoff against the Grizzlies and performed well during an extended warm-up session.
Evans walked off the court saying he wanted to play, but acknowledged he had to be cleared by the team.
About 30 minutes before tipoff, Evans was ruled out.
Jazz starting small forward DeMarre Carroll’s mouth was hit by an elbow during the loss to Memphis and a tooth was moved upon impact. After the tooth was repositioned, Carroll began experiencing headaches. Postgame, he was diagnosed with a mild concussion. Carroll will be re-evaluated Sunday. … Third-string point guard Blake Ahearn made his Utah debut. Ahearn, who’s on a 10-day contract, entered at the start of the second quarter. He finished with two rebounds and one assist in a scoreless 5:08.
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