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News » Suton aims to force Jazz's hand

Suton aims to force Jazz's hand

Suton aims to force Jazz's hand Since leaving his war-torn country as a teenager, Bosnia-Herzegovina native Goran Suton has returned to Europe a couple of times to play Basketball. In 2006, the Michigan State big man went with a Big 10 all-star squad on a foreign tour that included a stop in Barcelona, Spain. Suton's most recent journey across the Atlantic, of course, was with the Jazz last week. No offense to Europe, but the 6-foot-10 center isn't in a rush to return.

"Hopefully," he said Monday at Jazz practice, "I won't have to go back in two weeks." Because of Utah's roster makeup, the scenario of Suton not making the final cut for the 2009-10 Jazz squad and thus being forced to head overseas to find a professional playing gig come month's end remains a distinct possibility. With 13 players under contract, Jazz brass have suggested they are open to adding another while leaving one spot open for an emergency. But because of health issues of Matt Harpring and C.J. Miles, it seems likely the 14th guy will be a wing player. Suton hopes to convince them otherwise. "Obviously, I'm trying to make it as hard for them as possibly I can to cut me," he said. That go-all-out attitude is why Suton opted to try out for the Jazz this fall instead of heading to Europe for guaranteed cash and playing opportunities even though he was picked up by a team with three centers and two power forwards. It's also why he opted to not play for the Bosnian and Croatian national teams this summer. He has agreed to play for Croatia down the road, but he wants to make it in the NBA now. As such, his complete focus since being drafted in the second round by Utah in June has been preparing himself for camp. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Suton said. "(There is) no better time to make the NBA than right now. I feel this is my shot, so I've got to make the most out of it." Though his future is uncertain, Suton is confident he's made an impression on the Jazz ? especially with how he's grasped the team-defense concept. He has averaged 2.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 10 minutes in three preseason games. "I come out here and bust my butt and play hard," he said. "And that's all I can do." Jazz coach Jerry Sloan complimented how Suton, whose NBA rights are owned by Utah for a year, is trying to overcome size and athletic disadvantages by hustling and working hard. "Suton has played pretty well," Sloan said. "He's got a great concept of trying to help people defensively." MUCH-NEEDED R&R: They flew half-way across the world and back last week and then took two days off to readjust their body clocks, but Jazz players didn't look jet-lagged in their first practice back from Europe. "I thought they had a great practice (Sunday)," Sloan said before Monday's practice. "They hadn't had a day off since we started (camp). You could see a big difference. I thought their legs were a lot more alive. They ran hard." FAIR-MARKET VALUE: How much is Carlos Boozer worth on the trade market? According to longtime NBA writer Sam Smith, the Jazz certainly aren't willing to trade him for scrubs, scraps or spare parts. "As for the Jazz , what you hear is they are telling teams Boozer is an All-Star so they want an All-Star in return or two starters," Smith wrote on "... (B)ut for now the Jazz seem in no rush to do anything and Boozer is buying in at this point. It seems more likely there'll be talk regarding Boozer come trading deadline for a lot of teams." INJURY UPDATE: Ronnie Price wore a sleeve on his previously strained right calf Monday, but said ice and treatment helped reduce swelling. He declared himself "all the way back." "It's fine now," he said. "It's good." Likewise, Kyrylo Fesenko says his sprained left heel that was tweaked when stepped on twice during practice is "better, better." Though no longer in pain or limping, Fesenko is bummed he didn't get to play in London or Spain. "It really like upsets me, but it's OK," he said. "I still have a whole season and the preseason. I have lots of games to go." FREE FOR ALL: The Jazz will host an hourlong intrasquad scrimmage for the public tonight at 6:45. EnergySolutions Arena doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the free event. e-mail:

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Added: October 14, 2009


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