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Jazz get Green to agree to a workout

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Former Utah Valley State basketball player Ronnie Price is interviewed by the press Friday morning at Zion's Bank Basketball Center. The Texas native was invited back by the Jazz for a second pre-draft workout.

Former Utah Valley State basketball player Ronnie Price is interviewed by the press Friday morning at Zion’s Bank Basketball Center. The Texas native was invited back by the Jazz for a second pre-draft workout.

Tyler Sipe, Deseret Morning News

Texas high school star Gerald Green, a likely top-six pick in the June 28 NBA Draft, declined earlier this week to work out against other draft prospects in Portland.

He has agreed, however, to work out for the Jazz — probably Tuesday.

How did the Jazz talk Green into it when the Trail Blazers could not?

"What he asked was that he not work out 'against' anybody. We explained to him that if he's going to come in, we want him to work out 'with' people," Jazz basketball operations senior vice president Kevin O'Connor said. "Going 1-on-1 is not something that's a big concern of ours.

"But seeing how he does drills and seeing how he incorporates the coaching with other people on the court is something we talked about, and they (Green and his agent) seem comfortable with."

Green will not be the first highly regarded high school prospect to audition this month in Utah. Martell Webster, a shooting guard from Seattle and a cousin of Dallas' Jason Terry, was in Friday.

O'Connor called the physically mature Webster "a terrific talent" and "a stone shooter."

"He's a little bit behind in some things," O'Connor said, "but to watch him shoot the basketball, how easy it is, and how fluid it was . . . basketball comes very easy to him. He doesn't know all of it yet. He doesn't know a lot of it yet. But it comes real easy to him."

THE RIGHT PRICE: Bothered by a bit of a groin pull during his first workout with the Jazz, Utah Valley State College senior guard Ronnie Price was back for a second look Friday.

Also in town for a second audition was UCLA swingman Dijon Thompson, who joined Price, Webster and UTEP's Omar Thomas.

"We have those multiple picks," O'Connor said when asked about Price's and Thompson's encores.

Besides their two first-round picks, Nos. 6 and 27 overall, the Jazz currently own two second-round selections. Price, a possible second-round pick, said he also has worked out twice for Detroit, and that next he was off to Sacramento.

IAVARONI ENDORSEMENT: In its Friday editions, the Oregonian newspaper reported that ex-Jazz big man and current Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni had been offered Portland's vacant head-coaching position.

The Oregonian later updated its story on-line, saying the Blazers "have settled" on Iavaroni, "but only if they fail to land Seattle coach Nate McMillan, who is under contract until June 30."

According to the second report, the team told Iavaroni its "contingency plan" Thursday; "Iavaroni, in turn, told confidants he has been offered the Blazers job."

Iavaroni, who played four season in Utah in the mid-to-late 1980s, has the endorsement of longtime Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.

"I hope things work out well for him," Sloan said Friday. "I thought he was a great teammate whenever he was here. He studied basketball. He was interested in it. He wanted to try to do the right thing.

"I hoped that some day he'd get an opportunity to see how he does," the Jazz coach added. "You know, you always have guys that you think, 'He'll get a chance to coach.' He was one of those guys."

RAJALUPA: Jazz guard and soon-to-be free agent Raja Bell was seen moonlighting Thursday night as a guest analyst breaking down Game 4 of the NBA Finals for ESPNEWS.

Stylin' in a dark pinstripe suit with an electric tie over his purple shirt, and earrings in both ears, Bell addressed topics including Detroit's offensive output: "For a team . . . that struggles to score points, to have seven people in double figures is unheard of."

Bell also participated in an ESPN on-line chat, telling one fan who suggested he should get an endorsement deal with Taco Bell ("the Rajaritto, the Rajachilada — it's genius") that "I actually worked for Taco Bell when I was in the 11th grade."

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com