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Utah Jazz player search continues with first mini-camp

Published June 12, 2013 5:51 pm

Utah holds three-day session to look at 24 free agents.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Less than a year into his job as general manager of the Utah Jazz, Dennis Lindsey continues to put his stamp on the franchise.

The Jazz opened a three-day mini-camp for 24 free agents on Wednesday at their practice facility — an idea Lindsey brought with him after years as a vice president and assistant GM in San Antonio.

Players from the NBA Development League and teams overseas are participating in the two-a-day sessions. They will be evaluated by the Jazz coaching and personnel staffs for possible spots on Utah's summer league and training camp rosters.

According to chief scout David Fredman, there is not much difference in talent between some players currently in the NBA and those participating in this camp.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see a handful of [these] guys … on an NBA roster on opening night next year," Fredman said. "Now whose roster, I don't know. But these guys have enough talent that, in the right place and at right time, they could easily be" in the NBA.

The most recognizable player in camp is probably Travis Leslie, who signed a 10-day contract with the Jazz late last season.

Leslie did not get into any games and returned to Santa Cruz of the D-League when his deal with Utah expired.

At the time, however, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and Lindsey were glad to get a first-hand look at the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Georgia.

"He did nothing wrong," Corbin said. "We made sure he understood that. … He's a good guy. Hopefully down the road there may be another opportunity."

Lindsey added, "We haven't closed the door on Travis."

Fredman credited the Miller family, which owns the Jazz, for spending the money on a mini-camp.

"It's not an inexpensive proposition," he said, adding that conducting this type of camp allows Utah to stay competitive in the global race to find NBA-caliber players.

Besides Leslie, players participating in the mini-camp are Dee Bost, Will Buford, Xavier Gibson, Drew Gordon, JaMychal Green, Rodney Green, Jorge Gutierrez, Marquez Haynes, Lazar Hayward, Cedric Jackson, Edwin Jackson, Rick Jackson, D.J. Kennedy, Rasid Mahalbasic, Toure Murry, Harouna Mutombo, Arinze Onuaku, Josh Owens, Chris Roberts, Henry Sims, Jermaine Taylor, Chris Wright and Luke Zeller.