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Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles appear locked into battle to become Utah's starting small forward.

Soon, the two could have added competition.

Josh Howard, formerly of the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks before that, met with the Jazz on Tuesday, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned. also reported the meeting.

Howard was once one of the NBA's better small forwards, a smooth scorer with athletic ability and a silky shooting touch. His career-high, 47 points, came against the Jazz in 2007, and he was once a central piece to the Mavericks.

His career, however, has fallen off a bit since then. Howard missed most of the 2010 season with a torn ACL. He averaged a career-low 8.4 points per game last year for the Wizards and played in only 18 games.

Clearly, the Jazz are hoping to see the Howard who used to play for the Mavericks, if he did sign. Reports are that Howard has a firm offer from Utah, but Jazz General Manager Kevin O'Connor told The Tribune on Monday that the club hasn't extended a formal deal yet.

"I haven't made an official offer, no," O'Connor said. "That's incorrect. Have we talked about stuff? Yeah."

Adding Howard would be the biggest and strongest sign yet that Andrei Kirilenko won't be back. It would offer depth to the wing positions and offer competition, provided he's healthy, in good playing shape and can show flashes of the player he once was.

It would also be a strong sign that the club has very little inclination to play Paul Millsap at small forward. Howard does offer length and excellent size for the small forward spot. And his mid-range shooting is an element that Utah has precious little of throughout the roster.

Carter comes aboard

Rookie free agent forward Paul Carter signed with the Jazz in time to participate in Tuesday's practice.

"It's funny seeing guys on TV play, but you really come to see them in person and it's like, 'Wow.' You don't know how athletic they really are and how hard they really go, so it's pretty cool," Carter said.

Price lands in Phoenix

Former Jazz guard Ronnie Price signed with the Suns on Tuesday. He will compete with Sebastian Telfair for minutes behind Steve Nash. Price, the former Utah Valley star, had played in Utah since 2007. He was not re-signed when the Jazz brought Jamaal Tinsley to the team.

"I'm happy for Ronnie," Millsap said. "He's really going to fit well with that system because he's so athletic. I'm sad that he isn't here, but I know he's going to do great in Phoenix."

Twitter: @tonyaggieville

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