Jazz notes: Has DeMarre Carroll found a home? (with video)
If DeMarre Carroll gets his way, he'll return to Utah next season.
Heading into the offseason, Carroll is one of nine Jazz players without a contract. But he made it clear Thursday he'd like to come back.
"I'm a Utah Jazz until they don't want me," Carroll said. "If I got the same offer and the same contract and all that, I'd be back. I love it here. I think I've built something here."
Carroll often refers to himself as the Junkyard Dog and did so again as the Jazz players met with reporters following the end to the 2012-13 season.
"The Junkyard Dog don't want to go anywhere because the dog pound is here," he said.
In 66 games this season, Carroll averaged six points and 2.8 rebounds in 16.8 minutes. He became a fan favorite because of his energy and enthusiasm while on the court.
"For me, it was a great season," Carroll said. "This is the best season I've had since I've been in the NBA. I think I showed I'm a rotation player."
Jazz may give McNeal more attention
Utah's three veteran points guards Â Mo Williams, Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson become free agents on July 1.
Jerel McNeal noticed.
A point guard out of Marquette, McNeal signed two 10-day contracts with the Jazz at the end of the season.
He did not play in any games, but coaches and management got to know McNeal and his game. The unofficial audition could be beneficial when the Jazz start piecing together their new roster.
"It went really well from my end probably as good as it could get," McNeal said. "The only thing better would have been â¦ an opportunity to play. But I was fortunate to come to a team that was playing for a lot more than just getting looks at young players."
McNeal knows the Jazz won't have any point guards under contract this summer but realizes the situation is fluid.
"... You can't think about the structure of the roster because it's always going to change," McNeal said. "But if there's an opportunity to stay around and be on this team, nothing would make me happier."
What-ifs for Williams
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin believes Williams' 32-game absence after thumb surgery was part of the reason his team did not make the playoffs.
"It threw us off because he was new to the group and we were just getting a feel for him," Corbin said.
Williams was injured Dec. 18 at Miami. He did not return until March 6.
While he was out, the Jazz's point guard duties fell to Tinsley and Watson, who are not as quick in transition or as strong to the basket at Williams.
"He was out for a long time, and we kind of found a rhythm without him." Corbin said. "When he came back â¦ it was starting all over again. So it hurt us."