SALT LAKE CITY -- Paul Millsap has heard the rumors and hasn't a clue if he'll be traded. Yet the veteran forward was among the first players to show up at Utah Jazz facilities Thursday eager to demonstrate he's ready to hit the ground running.
"You just try to stay level-headed, stay focused," Millsap said Thursday, the first day that players could work out at team facilities since the NBA lockout started. "Some things you can't control. I can't control where I go. What happens, happens. I expect to play basketball. That's it."
Millsap, who is entering his sixth season, showed up looking buff as ever after intense workouts all summer and fall with personal trainers.
C.J. Miles, who said he expects to be a starter whether at shooting guard or small forward, arrived Thursday 15 pounds lighter -- down to 222.
"Being lighter and stronger allows me to attack the basket better," said Miles, who is 6-6.
Point guard Devin Harris also said he'll be ready once he gets his wind back in Utah's high altitude. He was the first to arrive around 10 a.m. at the Jazz practice facility, going through about an hour of agility workouts and stretching.
Harris said his job is to be a leader but also acknowledged he came in early because he needs to go house-hunting.
Even unrestricted free agent Ronnie Price, who often provided a spark off the bench for the Jazz last season, showed up though he didn't work out.
Coaches and general managers were not allowed to watch the workouts.
More players are expected to filter in Friday and Miles said he expects just about everyone on the roster to be in Utah by early next week. Training camp starts Dec. 9. That also is the first day of free agency.
Utah has nine players on its roster, and four of those are 24 or younger. Add in a pair of lottery picks in Enes Kanter and Alec Burks, and the Jazz are even younger.
Millsap saw that as a positive, not a negative, especially with the condensed season of 66 games. Teams are expected to play several back-to-back games and perhaps even triple back-to-backs once schedules are announced.
Utah will play two preseason games against Portland before Christmas though neither team has confirmed the dates.
"We're going to use our (youth) to our advantage ... fresh legs, young legs," Millsap said. "That's going to help us in the long run."
The Jazz also will be guided by Tyrone Corbin, who took over in February when Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan abruptly retired. This is Corbin's first full season coaching, and it won't even be a full 82-game season.
Still, players were optimistic.
"We have the potential to be great," Miles said. "We just have to work."
Knowing guys are in shape, right down to big man Al Jefferson, means players can focus on working together to build chemistry rather than their bodies.
One of the biggest questions will be how the Jazz use their big men. They have at least five who could demand time: Millsap, Jefferson, Derrick Favors, Mehmet Okur and Kanter.
"It's a good and bad problem to have," Miles said. "You have guys that bring different dimensions to the game."
Millsap has used all the extra time to make his game well-rounded. He's worked on quickness and explosiveness and the outside shot that will be critical if the Jazz decide he will play more at small forward, rather than power forward.
That also makes him valuable trade bait.
"I hope I'm here," Millsap said. "This is the team that drafted me. I hope to be here for many years. In the case that (doesn't) happen, you've got to move on."
As for the fans, Harris said players have a duty to bring them back.
"The best way to do that is to win," Harris said. "If we do that, it will solve a lot of problems. ... I think we have a great fan base. I think they'll support us no matter what."