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The Jazz would love to know John Stockton's plans before the draft. But that looks like it isn't going to happen.

Owner Larry Miller originally asked Stockton for some indication of which way he is leaning by the middle of this month, but later backed off after discussing it with the future Hall of Famer. "It's his decision, and I want him to go through the processes he goes through every year to come to what's right for him," Miller told the Salt Lake Tribune. "We realized that we don't have to know right now, and there's no reason to push for a decision."

Added GM Kevin O'Connor, "If we felt like this was going to affect us negatively, we would have expressed that to John. He would not want to hurt the team. . . . But that's not the case, so we want him to make a decision he's comfortable with. If he comes back, we're in pretty good shape at that position, I'd say."

If Stockton were to retire, the Jazz would be left without a point guard to run the team. John Crotty is a free agent and last years No. 1 pick, Raul Lopez, has yet to work out a buyout with his team, Real Madrid.

Does that mean the team will look at a point guard, possibly Dan Dickau or Frank Williams, with the No. 19 pick in the draft?

"We're looking at finding the best player we can get to help us . . . at whatever position," O'Connor said. "We'll get the best player and then sort everything out."

The Jazz shouldn't be too worried. Early indications are that Stockton will return for another season. Lopez's agent, David Bauman, told Insider early last week that his client is close to finalizing a buyout that would allow him to come to the Jazz this summer.
 

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