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NBA: Jazz sign veteran point guard John Lucas III

Published July 22, 2013 5:41 pm

NBA • Veteran is expected to help mentor rookie Burke.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

John Lucas III has played in EnergySolutions Arena enough times to know one thing.

It will be better playing for the home team.

A 30-year-old point guard, Lucas signed a two-year, $3.2 million contract with the Utah Jazz on Monday.

Lucas has spent five previous seasons in the NBA. He played in Toronto last year, after spending time with Houston and Chicago.

Asked what he remembers most about playing in Utah, Lucas said the fans because "they are constantly talking to you — the whole time, on the bench and the court."

Lucas smiled, thinking about how those jeers will turn to cheers.

"I can't wait to play here now because I don't have to hear about it from them," he said. ".... Now I'll have them on my side — our side."

With the Jazz, Lucas' task will be to solidify a completely rebuilt backcourt. He will undoubtedly help mentor rookie point guard Trey Burke.

"At this stage in my career," Lucas said, "I've learned a lot from a lot of players and feel I have a lot to give. With Trey being so young ... I'm here to push him. Hopefully he pushes me, too, so we can go ahead and get this thing rolling and get to the next level."

Lucas is the son of longtime NBA player John Lucas, who was the No. 1 pick in the 1976 draft. He has known Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsay "since I was eight or nine." That relationship is one reason he signed with Utah.

"[Lindsey] told me, 'Look, I believe in you. I know what you can do. I want you to come up here and show everybody else what you can do, too,'" Lucas said.

His father also helped convince Lucas that Utah was the right place for him.

"We sat down and had a little family meeting," he said. "He told me, 'Look, I think this is the perfect situation for you because you have so much to offer and so much to give.' ... And I felt the same way."

Asked to describe his professional career so far, Lucas said, "Just a journey. I'm a blue-collar worker — somebody who, when he gets the opportunity, kicks the door down. That me."

luhm@sltrib.com —

John Lucas III file

• The Jazz sign veteran point guard John Lucas to a two-year, $3.2 million contract.

• In five previous NBA seasons, Lucas, 30, played for Houston, Chicago and Toronto.

• Last year in 63 games with the Raptors, Lucas averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 assists.






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