Utah Jazz

NBA Notes: Bulls' Mirotic suffers broken bones in fight with teammate Portis

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AP Images

NBA Notes: Bulls' Mirotic suffers broken bones in fight with teammate Portis

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls say forward Nikola Mirotic suffered multiple broken bones in his face as well as a concussion in a fight with teammate Bobby Portis during practice.

The team says Mirotic will likely need surgery and is out indefinitely. They say they are "evaluating disciplinary action" after Tuesday's incident.

Mirotic averaged 10.8 points over his first three seasons with Chicago. A restricted free agent, he signed a two-year contract that could pay as much as $27 million in September. The club holds an option on the second season.

A 2015 first-round pick, Portis has averaged 6.9 points and 5 rebounds.

The Bulls open at Toronto on Thursday. Chicago is rebuilding after trading Jimmy Butler and parting with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo (see full story).

Nuggets: Jefferson reportedly agrees to deal
DENVER -- Michael Malone knows all about Richard Jefferson. Just not Tuesday, with the deal for the veteran forward still waiting on official word.

"Who's Jefferson?" the Denver Nuggets coach coyly said after practice.

Jefferson will join the Nuggets on a one-year deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement hasn't been disclosed by the team. ESPN first reported the deal, which it said is worth $2.3 million.

After weeks of fine-tuning his roster through training camp and the preseason, Malone suddenly has to juggle things around. Not that he minds carving out minutes for a player he can't even name just yet. Jefferson adds another leadership presence to a young, playoff-hopeful roster (see full story).

Jazz: Timeline unknown for injured Exum
SALT LAKE CITY -- Dante Exum knew he had a significant injury the moment he awkwardly hit the floor during a preseason game against the Suns on Oct. 6. The diagnosis was a separated shoulder, and the Jazz guard and the team took the next 10 days to decide what to do.

Exum saw three doctors and spoke to several more before deciding to have a surgery on Oct. 24 that will keep him out for an unknown amount of time.

"Even just walking back (to the locker room), obviously I was frustrated," Exum said. "Everything was going through my head. I remember just looking up at everybody and they were just speechless. Didn't know what to say. A lot of people within the Jazz organization know how hard I've worked to get to the point I was. To get an injury like that and the way it took place just sucked."

There were non-surgical options for Exum, but the decision was made in his long-term interest after talking to family, his agent and the organization. That, however, complicates things in the short term financially. The 2014 No. 5 overall pick was hoping to have a breakout year as a restricted free agent.

NBA Notes: Derrick Rose reportedly in contract talks with Cavaliers

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USA Today Images

NBA Notes: Derrick Rose reportedly in contract talks with Cavaliers

CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers could be adding another former MVP to their roster.

Looking to close the gap on the champion Golden State Warriors, Cleveland is in contract talks with free agent guard Derrick Rose, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday. Rose, whose career has been sidetracked by injuries, could sign a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, according to the person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Cleveland has salary cap issues and is limited in what it can offer Rose, who made $21.3 million while playing in 64 games for the New York Knicks last season.

ESPN.com first reported the Cavs' pursuit of the 28-year-old Rose. Other teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, are interested in him.

Although Rose may not be the same player he was in 2011 when he was named the league's MVP while with the Chicago Bulls, he can still score and would be another nice compliment to LeBron James, a four-time MVP (see full story).

Heat: Haslem returns for 15th season
MIAMI -- Udonis Haslem believes he can still play, and the Miami Heat apparently agree.

The three-time NBA champion has signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal to remain with the Heat for what will be his 15th season. Haslem was already the longest-tenured player in Heat history, with all of his NBA seasons coming for his hometown team.

Among active players, only Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have spent the entirety of a career spanning at least 15 years with one franchise.

"It is a great, great, day to have Udonis Haslem sign a contract for his 15th season with the Miami Heat," team president Pat Riley said Thursday, when the contract was announced. "He isn't just Mr. 305, he is a true patriarch of the team. Today we are proud to announce that he is back to lead the Heat again" (see full story).

Jazz: Griffin inks two-way contract
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Jazz signed big man Eric Griffin to a two-way contract Thursday.

Contract details were not released.

Griffin was a member of the Jazz during NBA summer leagues in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. He averaged 10.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in Vegas.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound center/forward played for Hapoel Galil Gilboa in the Israeli Basketball Premier League last season, averaging 14.9 points and 7.1 rebounds.

This is the first time the Jazz have used the two-way contracts implemented by the NBA for the upcoming season.

Teams can sign two players to these deals in addition to the 15-man roster. The contracts allow NBA teams to better compensate Gatorade League players expected to spend time with the big league team. Griffin can spend up to 45 days in the NBA.

5 observations from Sixers-Jazz: Poythress imposes his will; Korkmaz struggles in debut

5 observations from Sixers-Jazz: Poythress imposes his will; Korkmaz struggles in debut

SALT LAKE CITY – Another down-to-the-wire finish didn't go the Sixers’ way. After struggles in the second and third quarters, the Sixers made the Jazz sweat it out in the final minute before falling 100-94 to Utah at the Huntsman Center (see game recap).

Markelle Fultz provided fourth-quarter heroics and paced the team with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Alex Poythress finished just shy of a double-double, going for 17 points and eight rebounds.

With one game remaining in the Utah Jazz Summer League, the Sixers will try to close out on a positive note without Fultz in the lineup. He will earn some designated rest and sit out against the Spurs. Given the dynamic role Fultz has played on offense in the first two contests, that will be a steep hill for the Sixers to climb without him.

Here are five more observations from Wednesday's game:

1. The Sixers imposed their will on the glass against the Jazz and it paid off nicely late in the game. The overall rebound margin favored the Sixers 39-36 and they had a 15-10 edge on the offensive boards. What they did with those boards made a huge impact in turning the game around. The Sixers finished with a 36-12 advantage in second-chance points.

2. It looks like Utah may have fleeced Denver again on draft night. The Nuggets famously traded away Rudy Gobert to the Jazz after selecting him. They did the same with Donovan Mitchell and he appears poised to be another special player. Mitchell hit several big baskets and played tenacious defense against the Sixers. He scored 15 points and tallied three steals.

3. Furkan Korkmaz will be better. It's hard to rag on his performance against the Jazz given that the Turkish rookie hit the court only a day after signing a contract and flying out to Utah. His shot was rusty, but he played with great energy. Once his shot starts falling in summer league play, he could be a major thorn in the side of opposing defenses.

4. The Sixers need to find some consistency with their outside shooting. They went 6 for 13 from distance in the fourth quarter, but were only 6 of 21 from the perimeter in the other three quarters combined.

5. Poythress is doing his best to show his strong performances in April were no fluke. He did a good job having his way around the rim. The Sixers want him to figure out how to better impose his will in games during summer league play. Poythress showed he is well on his way to doing that.