Utah Jazz: Duncan to play in Belgium
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As much of an impression as he made in summer league with the Jazz, Josh Duncan has opted to play in Belgium this season rather than trying to make the roster in Utah out of training camp.

Duncan's agent, Lance Young, said Monday that the former Xavier forward has signed to play for Belgacom Liege, which offered guaranteed money not available to Duncan in the NBA.

"He's someone that should be able to come back after a big year in Belgium," Young said, "and show people that he's an NBA player and fight to make a team next year, when teams are hopefully carrying 14, 15 guys."

Duncan, who played last season for Pau Orthez in France, averaged 11.4 points and shot better than 70 percent in five games with the Jazz at last month's summer league in Orlando, Fla.

There was too much uncertainty, though, for Duncan to turn down Europe, Young said. Many NBA teams are expected to carry the minimum 13 players due to the economy and the Jazz's roster is in flux pending a potential Carlos Boozer trade.

At the same time, Young estimated 80 to 90 percent of the spots available to players in Europe have been taken, forcing Duncan to commit now rather than waiting to see what materialized in the NBA.

Young added that Duncan was looking forward to proving himself in a full season with Liege, after battling a back injury last season in France. Duncan played in only 18 games with Pau Orthez and averaged 6.0 points and 2.3 rebounds.

rsiler@sltrib.com