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Utah Jazz Agrees To Terms With Puerto Rico’s Carlos Arroyo

Utah Jazz Agrees To Terms With Former Raptors Guard Carlos Arroyo

September 10, 2002
Copyright © 2002 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The Utah Jazz reached an agreement Tuesday with free agent point guard Carlos Arroyo, who played in 37 games as a rookie last season with Toronto and Denver.

The deal is contingent on Arroyo passing a physical. He is expected to sign a contract later this week. The terms weren't disclosed.

Jazz officials have indicated they want three points guards next season, when 40-year-old John Stockton will play his 19th NBA campaign.

Spanish-league player Raul Lopez had been expected to join the Jazz as a rookie, but he reinjured his reconstructed right knee last month while preparing for the world championships.

The Jazz haven't disclosed results of exploratory surgery performed on Lopez last week. Team officials didn't immediately return messages Tuesday.

Last season, Arroyo averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 assists a game. He played 17 games with the Raptors and 20 with the Denver Nuggets.

Arroyo played for Puerto Rico at the world championships, averaging 11.6 points and 6.4 assists in eight games.

Jazz Show An Interest In Puerto Rico's Arroyo

By Tim Buckley

September 8, 2002
Copyright © 2002 Deseret News Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

INDIANAPOLIS -- After stints with two NBA teams last season, point guard Carlos Arroyo is confident another will beckon soon.

One that may is the Jazz, Arroyo said here in Indianapolis, where he is starring for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Basketball Championship tournament.

"My agent told me . . . we have had some talk, some communication (with Utah)," Arroyo said.

The Jazz plan to bring Arroyo to Salt Lake for a visit later this week and are considering offering him a one-year contract. But Utah may not be alone with its interest in the 23-year-old Arroyo, a Florida International product who started his rookie NBA season in Toronto and finished it in Denver.

Arroyo said other possibilities include Indiana, Cleveland and perhaps Miami or Orlando.

"It depends on which team comes up with the best offer," said Arroyo, who hopes to be offered at least one guaranteed deal somewhere.

It is with good reason Arroyo -- who stood out for the Raptors while playing on their 2001 Rocky Mountain Revue summer-league team -- is looking for sure money.

The native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, started last season with Toronto, was waived, signed with Tau Ceramica of the Spanish League, then joined the Nuggets to close out his rookie campaign. On the final day before Denver would have had to guarantee his contract for next season -- just last Aug. 15 -- the Nuggets waived him.

"It was pretty hard for me," Arroyo said, "but I took it the right way. I know I'll get something else."

With 2001 first-round draft choice Raul Lopez's future with the Jazz uncertain because he recently tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his already surgically repaired knee, Utah is looking to sign at least one more point to play behind 40-year-old all-time NBA assists and steals leader John Stockton.

Arroyo is one in a group of several candidates the Jazz have been contemplating, with well-traveled Damon Jones, Utah free agent John Crotty and ex-Minnesota Timberwolves point William Avery among the others.

Jones already has visited Salt Lake but remains unemployed; he played last season in Detroit, his sixth team in four NBA seasons. Crotty has battled knee injuries the past two seasons but remains under consideration for re-signing. Avery probably would have to come to training camp without any sort of guaranteed deal.

Other points Utah has had interest in have already signed elsewhere, including Travis Best (Miami) and Erick Strickland (Indiana).

The Jazz also have considered, but rejected, multiple sign-and-trade proposals that might have brought either Tyronn Lue or fellow Washington Wizards point Chris Whitney to Utah -- the latest a suggested multi-player swap that also would have involved Jazz free-agent Bryon Russell, Jazz center Greg Ostertag and Wizards big man Christian Laettner.

As for Arroyo, he has been busy representing his homeland in the World tourney.

A quick and hard-working but somewhat unbridled sort, the 6-foot-2 Arroyo averaged 6.3 assists, easily a tourney high, and 12.1 points on 44.6 percent shooting through the first eight games of the tourney for Puerto Rico, which reached the quarterfinal round of the 16-nation event before losing to New Zealand on Thursday night.

Arroyo struggled a bit in a 91-84 seventh-place win over Brazil on Saturday night, shooting just 3-of-13 from the field. But against the Americans in a consolation-game loss Friday night, he more than held his own against established NBAers Andre Miller and Baron Davis. Arroyo shot 8-of-12 from the field, dished nine assists and finished with a game-high 21 points in 34 minutes.

It was a performance that might help him earn the guaranteed NBA deal he seeks, as Team USA coach George Karl of the Milwaukee Bucks suggested Arroyo deserves a job somewhere in the league.

"I think he'll get another shot," Karl said.

If things don't work out as he hopes, Arroyo is prepared to return overseas. But he'd rather not.

"That's always an option," Arroyo said, "but my main goal now is to stay here."

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