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Jazz: Locker clean out as lockout looms

By Rod Zundel | Posted - Apr. 14, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Jazz players officially started their early vacation with the annual locker room clean out and postseason exit interviews.

The question comes up every year during clean out - will the same players be back next season? In this case, probably not.

Five Jazz players will be unrestricted free agents including Andrei Kirilenko.

"I've never been in this situation before, never been a free agent before so we'll see how it goes," Andrei told the massive group of media members in the locker room on Thursday. "I have so many good memories here you just don't want to throw it out that quick so Jazz will definitely be (a) priority."

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The Jazz have a team option to keep C.J. Miles or let him go, so C.J. will spend the off-season waiting to hear from Jazz management.

"I will be waiting to see if they pick it (option) up or not. I don't have any decision on that, I'm just going to work during the summer and if they pick it up I will be ecstatic and great," Miles said. "I plan to be here but if not there is nothing I can do about it."

When asked what his 'gut' feeling is Miles responded by saying, "That they pick it up hopefully! That's the way I'm suppose to think about it being positive about it. This is where I want to be."

Ronnie Price will be an unrestricted free agent. "If it were up to me I would love to be back but I don't know what their plans are," Price said. He went on to say, "I know it's a business and I have to do what's best for my family and if they give me the opportunity to come back I would love to be back."

Earl Watson is also an unrestricted free agent. "I feel like Utah is home to me. This organization is like a family," Watson said. "It came at a perfect time for my personal life and at the same time I love my teammates, love the fans so I hope I'm here."

Francisco Elson and Kyrylo Fesenko are also free agents and they also made it clear to reporters they would like to return to play in a Jazz uniform next season.

Of course all decisions will have to be put on hold until the NBA and the players can figure out a new labor contract. The current labor contract ends June 30th. It is believed that there will be a lock out for some period of time which means new contracts and free agent signings cannot take place.

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Rod Zundel

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