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Earl Watson gets his wish, re-signs with Utah Jazz

Published December 10, 2011 11:19 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Earl Watson was back home.

The veteran point guard re-signed with the Jazz on Friday, just a few hours before the start of training camp for the 2011-12 season.

The Salt Lake Tribune first reported Watson's signing, which features a two-year guaranteed contract that could keep the 11-year UCLA product in a Utah uniform through 2013.

By the way Watson spoke during media day at the team practice facility, it appears he'd be content to one day end his career in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz were Watson's first option during free agency, despite drawing sincere interest from Atlanta.

After playing in 80 games for Utah last season, successfully backing up starters Devin Harris and Deron Williams, the 6-foot-1 guard is proud to again call SLC his temporary home.

"The NBA's tough for players and coaches … and sometimes management," Watson said. "It's important for me to be with a team consistently, grow with a team, and you start figuring out parts of the team that you saw last year that you couldn't get to."

Old guard

Veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley did not participate in media day but did watch practice Friday.

Tinsley last played in the NBA during the 2009-10 season for Memphis. The eight-year veteran, long associated with Indiana, will compete with Watson for backup minutes at the 1.

Watson's eager to pair with Tinsley, who he said is a "great passer, great playmaker, tough player, very witty on the court."

"He's a talented guy that should be hungry to get back in this league," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. "It's going to be good seeing him in camp and compete with the other guys."

All better

Mehmet Okur said Friday the words many Jazz fans have wanted to hear: 100 percent.

After playing in just 13 games for Utah last season due to a series of frustrating injuries, Okur has finally come full circle after tearing his left Achilles tendon during April 2010.

Playing in Turkey during the NBA lockout repaired his confidence, and Okur joked that his soft touch from the perimeter never left his fingers.

Now, the 10-year veteran is ready to fill whatever role the Jazz require in the attempt to prove he still has life in the NBA.

"I'm open to anything. I just want to show people I'm healthy enough to perform at my level again," Okur said.


Twitter: @tribjazz







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