It is one down and one to go on the Utah Jazz holdout situation.
Thursday, Jazz backup guard Delaney Rudd told the Deseret News he will to sign a three-year contract with the Jazz, giving him the stability he wanted. Although he didn't disclose the exact terms, he confirmed that the contract is for three years. He said the signing amount is between the $110,000 NBA minimum he made last year and the $300,000 he was offered to play in Italy this season. The contract is expected to be signed as early as Friday."It's all done as far as I know," said Rudd. "I think we've come to terms."
Rudd, who was originally selected by the Jazz in the third round of the 1985 draft, played briefly in the CBA and spent two seasons in Greece. He went on to play for Milwaukee in the pre-season of 1989. Last November he was signed as a backup to John Stockton at point guard, playing in 77 of 81 games.
The former Wake Forest player reiterated what he has said all along - that money wasn't as important as a long-term contract. "The important thing is I asked for some years and I got some years," said Rudd. "Instead of them looking at me for eight months, they can look at me for three years."
Rudd's situation came to light the weekend before rookie/free agent camp began on July 16. He didn't report to camp, saying he had an offer to play in Italy. But all along Rudd said he wanted to remain in the NBA. "It means a lot to be considered one of the best basketball players in the world," he said.
He indicated that being able to have his family establish a home in Salt Lake City was his highest priority. As for playing time, he holds no illusions.
"I'm going to play behind John Stockton, who is a great player. I'm not going to beat him out and turn around and ask for a million dollars. I know my role and accept the terms and now I will see what happens in Salt Lake City."
The talks with Rudd were stalled through last week, but some progress began to be made earlier this week. Meanwhile, Rudd said he was nervous because the Italian team was gearing up for a mid-August start, and was waiting for an answer from him. "It was frustrating," said Rudd. "I got to the point where I didn't know what was going to happen."
He said when he called his wife to tell her he had reached an agreement with the Jazz, "it felt so good, I didn't know how to describe it."
Scott Layden, Jazz director of player personnel, said: "We've always liked Delaney, ever since the day we drafted him. It's a great story. He likes it here and we like him. A lot of people are unhappy in pro sports and I don't know why. But Delaney is happy and we're happy with him."
One who isn't so happy is rookie holdout Walter Palmer. The 7-foot-1 center from Dartmouth continues to work out in New Hampshire with a physical education teacher. Layden said there have been no breakthroughs in the negotiations.
"You'd think he'd want to get out here as soon as possible. The frustration is growing," said Layden. "By missing the camp he is less valuable to us. For him to miss this (rookie camp and the summer league) is absurd."
Layden said a case in point is that of Eric Leckner and Jose Ortiz. Leckner reported for rookie/free agent camp in 1988 and played while his contract was being worked out; Ortiz missed the camp so he could play with the Puerto Rican Olympic team. "When they reported for veteran's camp, Leckner was so far ahead it was unbelievable," said Layden.
"I'll tell you what: When he goes up against Karl Malone, Mike Brown and Mark Eaton, he'll find out he isn't playing recreation ball, or even Ivy League ball," said Layden. "Frankly, they're going to try to knock his head off."