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Jazz notes: Kevin O'Connor couldn't find a pre-deadline deal he liked

Published March 15, 2012 11:56 pm

Jazz notes • Utah's GM didn't want to make a deal for the short term.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor approached Thursday's NBA trade deadline with one idea.

"Improve the team," he said, "but not for 20 games."

Because O'Connor didn't receive an offer he believed would benefit the franchise over long haul, the Jazz did not make a trade.

"We looked at a lot of things," O'Connor said. "But when we came to the final judgment, we liked our young assets and we weren't ready to part with that."

Coach Tyrone Corbin sounded pleased his roster remains unchanged.

"We'll continue to grow — get better with each other — and now the pressure of the trade deadline is past," he said. "We are who we are and we're going to be that way for the remainder of the year. So let's move forward."

C.J. Miles was mentioned in a number of pre-deadline trade scenarios that did not happen.

"I said from the beginning that I wanted to be here — wanted to continue to play here and help this team win," he said.

Bell staying put

Raja Bell is staying with the Jazz.

The veteran shooting guard was not traded and won't attempt to negotiate a contract buyout, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Bell was involved in a heated confrontation with Corbin after Utah lost at Philadelphia last Friday. He was sent home from a five-game road trip by Corbin and missed Saturday's 111-97 loss in Chicago.

Bell, 35, is under contract with the Jazz through 2012-13. He makes a prorated $3.2 million this season and $3.4 million next year.

Bell met with Corbin and O'Connor on Monday. He acknowledged the trade deadline was discussed, but said he never requested to be dealt.

Since the Jazz didn't trade Bell and he won't request a buyout, the source said, he's likely to remain on Utah's roster at least until the buildup toward the 2012 NBA Draft.

Asked if the Jazz considered buying out Bell, O'Connor shrugged.

"I don't know what a buyout is," he said, "so I'm very comfortable saying that's not something our organization prescribes to, intends to do or anything else. That's not who we are. We don't like to give anybody anything that they don't earn."

Watson tends to ankle

Point guard Earl Watson was not with the team after spraining his ankle during Wednesday night's 120-111 loss at Phoenix.

Watson flew to Los Angeles so his longtime doctor, Michael Sheps, could treat the injury.

It is the second time in seven weeks that Watson injured his ankle, missed a game and sought treatment from Shelps. He also missed Utah's 119-101 loss at Golden State on Feb. 2.

With Watson sidelined, Corbin turned to Jamaal Tinsley as the primary backup behind starter Devin Harris.

"Jamaal has been a pro all year when we've needed him to play," Corbin said.




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