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Utah Jazz decline to re-sign Chris Johnson after 10-day contract expires

Utah Jazz forward Chris Johnson (23) catches a long pass from teammate Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke (3) as the Jazz and the Grizzlies play Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Memphis won 100-90.
Utah Jazz forward Chris Johnson (23) catches a long pass from teammate Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke (3) as the Jazz and the Grizzlies play Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Memphis won 100-90.
Scott G Winterton,

SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday night, Chris Johnson had the best game in his short time with the Utah Jazz.

On Saturday, he was out of a job.

The Jazz did not offer Johnson another deal after his 10-day contract expired. And that, despite the team’s lack of wing players and his nine-point, three-assist effort in the team’s 100-93 loss the night before in Phoenix.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team liked what Johnson showed in his week and a half with the organization after being called up from the D-League.

“Chris did everything we asked,” Snyder said.

Even so, Jazz brass opted to go a different direction for now.

“Personnel decisions within the organization are always complicated. It’s not just about a single game,” Snyder said. “We all understand where our depth chart is. It made sense.”

The depth chart took a hit against Sacramento, what with Johnson’s departure and a lower-back injury to starting shooting guard Joe Ingles. The team is already missing previous starters Alec Burks (shoulder surgery) and Rodney Hood (foot) because of injuries.

RARE OPPORTUNITY: Steve Novak had only made 19 appearances in 50 games before Saturday, but the ninth-year veteran received playing time and a big compliment from his coach on this night.

In his pregame interview, Snyder said he was planning on giving the sharpshooter a chance to play.

“I’ve just been impressed in him all year and the way he’s handled his time here and the situation,” Snyder said. “Being able to remain in a leadership role when you’re not playing is very difficult. It says a lot about his presence, his personality, his character.”

ROTATING GUARDS: Because of injuries, the Jazz have had a revolving door on the starting shooting guard position. Elijah Millsap became the fifth player to start at that position in 51 games.

Burks began the year as the regular starter before his ailing left shoulder finally forced him to get season-ending surgery on Dec. 31.

Hood was his first replacement, but the rookie has been plagued by feet problems this season and was only able to start five games for Burks.

D-League call-up Patrick Christopher got one crack at the starting job, but he then suffered a kneecap injury and was subsequently released by the Jazz.

Ingles filled the position for the past month and a half but was sidelined for the first time Saturday with lower-back muscle spasms.

The other four positions have only had six different starters.

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