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Hornacek among Jazz alumni making news

A slew of ex-Jazz players have been in the news in recent days, so let's catch up a few of the old crew:

According to the Arizona Republic, retired Jazz shooting guard Jeff Hornacek is working as a consultant with another of his former teams, the Phoenix Suns.

"I'm going to come to practices when I can and help in any way possible," Hornacek, whose role could expand in January, told the Republic. "I'll help with shooting, the mental process and any of the little things to help those guys . . . If things go well, I'll get more involved."

Hornacek served in a similar capacity with the Jazz before relocating his family to the Phoenix area.

Ex-Jazz shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic is catching heat in Cleveland, and it's coming from former Jazz assistant coach Kenny Natt, now a Cavaliers assistant.

"He's basically got to work on his individual things more after practice," Natt told the Cleveland Plain Dealer after Pavlovic air-balled his way through a Cavs scrimmage. "In Utah, we would get on him about really exploding on his shots and now he's become more relaxed."

Natt said Pavlovic, a first-round Jazz draft choice who played just one season in Utah before Charlotte claimed him in the recent NBA Expansion Draft and subsequently traded him to Cleveland, did not come to camp in tip-top shape.

"He's a very heady player and he'll listen to everything, but he needed someone to tell him that his game has dropped because he hasn't put in the type of effort in his practices like he should," Natt said. "He probably got more individual attention in Utah, but that's no excuse."

Boston apparently won a bidding war for Tom Gugliotta, who finished last season as the Jazz's starting power forward.

According to the Boston Globe, a story "making it around the loop is that Googs was headed to Minnesota until (Timberwolves boss Kevin) McHale made the mistake of telling good friend Danny Ainge (the ex-BYU star now running the Celtics) how good Googs looked. In swooped Ainge, who had known Gugliotta in Phoenix, and he signed him to a one-year deal for $2.7 million, well above the veteran's minimum the Timberwolves were offering."

But Ainge, the Globe reported, denies "the notion he swiped Gugliotta from McHale."

"I knew Kevin was going after him and we talked about him," Ainge said. "He (McHale) asked me if I thought (Gugliotta) had anything left. But we were always going to offer more money; that was just the way it was. Kevin did want him. But I didn't swoop in and steal him."

Miami, Minnesota and San Antonio all reportedly are continuing to pursue ex-Jazz star Karl Malone, despite the Mailman saying that if he does return this season it would only be with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Former Jazz swingman Bryon Russell is in Denver's camp, but he does not have a guaranteed contract.

Another ex-Jazz swingman, Shandon Anderson, desperately wants out of New York: "I'm not going to be able to play here," Anderson, who has been feuding with Knicks GM Isiah Thomas, told Newsday. "I definitely want to get somewhere where I can play some basketball."

SILVER ANNIVERSARY: Today is the 25th anniversary of the Jazz's first regular-season game after moving from New Orleans to Utah, a 101-85 loss at Portland.

IN DENVER: Quashing the likelihood of a Jason Kidd trade to Denver, the Denver Post reported Nuggets boss Kiki Vandeweghe says he is "not looking to do anything" with point guard Andre Miller, the former University of Utah star.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com