Utah Jazz notes: Jazz waive Tinsley, may sign Garrett
By Steve Luhm
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Nov 12 2013 03:03PM
The Utah Jazz, off to the second-worst start in franchise history, waived veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley on Tuesday.
The Jazz are expected to sign Diante Garrett to replace Tinsley on the roster, according to numerous media reports.
Garrett, 25, was cut by Oklahoma City in the preseason. He played 19 games for Phoenix last season, when he averaged 2.1 points and 1.6 assists in 7.8 minutes.
A product of Iowa State — like Tinsley — Garrett played previously in Croatia and France. He has been in training camp with the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. Tinsley appeared in all eight games for the Jazz this season, including five starts. He averaged 1.1 points and 2.9 assists in 13.8 minutes.
Tinsley was signed as a free agent on Oct. 26, after rookie point guard Trey Burke suffered a fractured right index finger and underwent surgery.
With Burke sidelined, Utah’s primary point guard duties fell to John Lucas and Tinsley. Both have struggled.
Lucas is 21 of 64 from the floor this season, including 8 of 30 on 3-pointers. Tinsley was shooting 4-for-20, including 1-for-15 on threes.
Defensively, Lucas and Tinsley have had difficulty containing opposing point guards.
In Monday night’s 100-81 loss to Denver, Ty Lawson and Andre Miller scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, when the Nuggets closed the game on a 28-8 run.
Jeremy Evans hasn’t been able to help his teammates during the Jazz’s 0-8 start this season, which has been the most frustrating aspect to his shoulder injury.
Evans damaged a rotator cuff in a preseason game against Portland and has been relegated to the role of spectator-cheerleader.
"Sitting behind the bench, sometimes I want to put the uniform on just to be on the bench," Evans said before practice Tuesday. "But I have to sit back there and wait."
Evans is starting his fourth season with the Jazz. A second-round pick out of Western Kentucky in the 2010 draft, he has played only 895 minutes in 115 games during his career.
He likely would have gotten to play more during the opening weeks of the new season, given an ankle injury to Andris Biedrins and the inexperience of rookie Rudy Gobert.
Instead, Evans is still waiting his big chance, although he said, "I’m feeling a lot better. I didn’t think it would be this long but, hopefully, I can play soon. It’s frustrating when all you can do is watch. ...
"I want to bring some energy — like I can — and help my teammates as much as I can. Sometimes all you need just a little spark -- a big dunk, a rebound or a blocked shot."
Despite Utah’s losing streak, Evans remains upbeat.
"Of course you don’t want to lose," he said, "[and] you see guys get down on themselves a little. But as a team we’re still together. ...
"I think the coaches are doing a great job of keeping us together. If it wasn’t for them, I’m sure we’d have some finger-pointing or whatever. But I feel like we’re still fighting. Nobody has given up yet."
Pelicans on upswing
The Jazz try to snap their losing streak Wednesday night against New Orleans.
"They’re a team that has gotten better the last couple of years," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "... They’ve taken some knocks the last few years and now they are trying to see the rewards of the work they’ve put in."
The Pelicans were 3-3 heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles. In those six games, forward Anthony Davis averaged 23 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.3 blocked shots.