"I would love to be here. But certain things you can't control," the 33-year-old said Tinsley, prior to tipoff against the Kings.
The nine-year veteran's time on the court has been limited since he joined the Jazz on Dec. 8 as an unrestricted free agent. He entered Saturday only averaging 0.5 points, 1.0 assists and 4.8 minutes, and he'd played in only eight of Utah's 17 games. But The Voice has been an invaluable bench leader and locker-room presence, proving that he's come a long way since his career was derailed by controversy in Indiana.
Tinsley's chances of sticking around recently received a boost when the NBA announced teams could carry 13 active players for the remainder of the lockout-shortened season. Utah hasn't had more than 13 since training camp ended. While Tinsley is at the bottom of the rotation, he's an affordable and experienced backup for point guards Devin Harris and Earl Watson.
Raymond Brothers, Tinsley's agent, said his client would be thrilled if he ended the season with the Jazz.
"Utah's a first-class organization all the way around and [general manager] Kevin O'Connor does a great job," Brothers said. "We hope it works out. Jamaal loves it there and everything's been a great fit for him so far."
Entering Friday's game, Jazz forward Josh Howard's return to form was going a little slow.
After missing four consecutive contests due to a strained left quadriceps, Howard shot just 2 of 13 from the field and only scored four points during losses to Toronto and Dallas.
The nine-year veteran was a major asset for Utah before his injury, though, and was on the verge of becoming one of the team's primary offensive weapons.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin knows Howard will soon regain his rhythm, and he's more than willing to wait on the forward as he finds his touch.
"His rhythm's so off he's missing shots pretty badly. But we feel that it'll come back in a short amount of time," Corbin said.
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