Excerpts from an interview Tuesday with forward Paul Carter, a rookie free agent from Illinois-Chicago who will compete for a roster spot during the Jazz's upcoming training camp.
Carter, 24, worked out twice for the Jazz during the buildup toward the 2011 NBA Draft. He transferred to UIC from Minnesota, partly because his younger sister was dealing with a rare form of bone cancer. Carter recently played overseas for a professional basketball team in Cyprus.Carter on his already-crazy career and having a chance to compete for an NBA spot: Aw, man, it seems unreal actually. Just like you said, I've had an interesting career already. Just coming home and after getting that phone call it's such a blessing. It kind of it still hasn't really hit me yet. But I'm pretty sure when I get on the plane I'm going to go, 'Wow.' The opportunity, I'm just very excited about it.How the Jazz invite occurred: Early on I had good [draft] workouts with the Bucks and the Warriors and the Timberwolves. My agent just did a great job. He just pursued and said, 'We're just going to see who's interested.' And I'm like, 'That sounds good. Hopefully Utah.' Because when I went there I had a great workout, the coaches said, and I actually enjoyed it, man. I liked the staff. The area was beautiful. I just loved it. Other NBA teams in the mix: I heard the Warriors had some interest … I like the Timberwolves. I went to Minnesota and I liked it out there also. That would be pretty cool to play out there. They seemed to have a little interest but the Jazz actually showed the most, and I'm actually very glad that they did.Two workouts with Jazz; Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker session standing out: Yeah. That was actually pretty interesting because you're going to work out in Jimmer's backyard and it's like, all right, you're here and you're working out but the main show is him. You try and go hard. Jimmer and Kemba are pretty much going at each other but I had a great time. Jimmer was cool; I had some great conversations. It was definitely a blessing. It was a great workout.Feeling he'll have a legit shot to make team: Yeah. I mean … of course your agent is going to believe in you no matter what. … But the situations I've been in, nothing is promised especially for me and the route that I've taken. My agent believes in me and he said, 'You went to all of these workouts and nobody knew who you were. You've got a shot to make an NBA team.' So he believes in me 100 percent and I put my faith in God and just go hard.Playing weight: Right now, it's closer to probably 195 or 200. … When I was doing my workouts I was working out with Tim Grover and obviously he puts the weight on you fast and the muscle to get you in the best shape. I was overseas in Cyprus and I wasn't a huge fan of some of the food. But it's a great experience and everything else. Now I'm back here and I'm obviously going to be training a lot harder and eating and getting back on my weight program. It's going to go back up to about 205, 210.Small forward is his ideal position: Oh, yeah. I would think so. That's the position I would feel the most comfortable at, as far as playing in college and even overseas and the NBA. I know in the NBA there's the Carmelos and the big guys that play those positions and it's going to be a challenge for me to get out there guard a lot of small forwards are a team's best scorers. How his sister is doing: God has been amazing. My sister recently just had a scan and as far as we know she's cancer-free. She … had to get her leg amputated but she's doing fine. She has a prosthetic. She's going to school. She's enjoying herself for her sophomore year in high school. Everything is going great right now, so we couldn't be more thankful. Home: I'm actually in New Orleans. I'm here with my wife, who's from here. Her family's here, my mother's here. This is homebase right now.Brian T. SmithTwitter: @firstname.lastname@example.org/tribjazz