Tinsley heads list of possible replacements for injured Burke

Oct 15 2013 - 9:49pm

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Jamaal Tinsley
Jamaal Tinsley

SALT LAKE CITY -- Jamaal Tinsley's name is out there.

It's on radio, the Internet and the lips of Utah Jazz personnel who are discussing a list of possible free agents to fill-in for injured rookie point guard Trey Burke.

In the wake of Burke's broken finger and subsequent surgery that will keep him out of action anywhere from four to 12 weeks, the Jazz have had internal discussions about a short list of candidates to help hold down the point guard spot.

One name that has come up is 35-year-old Jamaal Tinsley, who played 103 games for the Jazz between 2011 and 2013.

While team officials aren't giving many specifics about the list or which names are on it, they admit to discussing Tinsley.

"He knows the system," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He knows the system. He's an older guy, we know who he is. He knows how we play, he knows our young guys."

Corbin didn't suggest Tinsley's name -- or anyone else's for that matter -- but when Tinsley's name was brought up it elicited a smile from the 50-year-old coach.

"We have some interest," he said.

Tinsley isn't currently on an NBA roster. Last season he played 66 games for the Jazz, 32 of them starts will filling in for Mo Williams, who missed more than two months after thumb surgery.

Burke, whom the Jazz selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 draft, underwent surgery on his right index finger Tuesday afternoon. Team officials are awaiting a post-op evaluation before starting any sort of timetable for his return.

Earlier in the week Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said the team wants to know more about Burke's condition before moving forward on another point guard.

"I think it's yet to be determined just dependent upon the conversations that we have, the research that we do," he said. "If we do bring somebody (in) their play and compliance will determine whether it's short-term or long-term."

Prior to Tuesday's practice session in preparation for tonight's preseason home game at Portland, Corbin spoke to the process of evaluating what to do next.

"We're looking at lists, we're looking at different options, we're looking (at) now and maybe down the road what may be available and what gives us the best chance right now and if we wait what may be available," he said.

For the time being the Jazz will use veteran point guard John Lucas III as their starting point guard, with 6-foot-1 Scott Machado and 6-3 Lester Hudson as reserves.

Corbin said he thinks anyone on the roster can be a contributor.

"They're still here for a reason, they're still working for an opportunity to be part of the team for the year," Corbin said.

"I always look at it like if I'm here I've got a chance to be here the remainder of the time, so I want them to continue working."

Speaking specifically of Machado, Corbin said he thinks the 23-year-old will get more comfortable now that he'll be getting more reps in practice.

One of Machado's primary assets is the ability to run the team at a faster pace, pushing the game's tempo.

"It's a big opportunity for him," Corbin said. "I want him to get the pace up, to organize the team, get them in their sets, to make sure we're getting the execution at the pace we're looking for."

Lindsey cautioned that Machado and Hudson aren't guaranteed spots just because of Burke's injury.

"We'll let their play and level kind of dictate decisions going forward," he said.

Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at jburton@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at

@StandardExJimbo.

 

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