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#UtahJazz still near top of Josh Howard's wish list
Unrestricted free agent forward Josh Howard has narrowed down his options to 4-5 teams, a league source told The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, and the Jazz are still near the top of his list.
"He's still going through the process," the source said.
Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reported Sunday that Utah, Indiana, Golden State, Brooklyn and New York remain in the mix, and Howard is expected to soon make a decision.
The nine-year veteran averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 43 games (18 starts) for Utah during the 2011-12 season. Howard, 32, fought through a left knee injury that initially was supposed to force him to miss the end of the year. He returned in time for the playoffs, though, starting against San Antonio during a Western Conference first round playoff series.
While the Jazz are stacked at small and power forward — Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap highlight Utah's depth — Howard's interest in Utah hasn't waned. He feels loyal to the small-market organization, which took a chance on the once injury-plagued forward during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. As a result, Howard has kept his eyes on the Jazz ever since free agency started July 1.
"They're still in his mind," the source said.
Brian T. Smith