Palacio Jazzed over new role

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

While looking for work this summer, Milt Palacio was hoping to engage in serious negotiations with his previous employer.

But that didn't happen, and in an ironic twist the ex-Raptors point guard's first game in his seventh NBA uniform was at the Air Canada Centre.

Slightly disappointed to have been virtually ignored by the Raptors this summer but happy with his new home, Palacio made his debut with the Utah Jazz in the pre-season opener against the Raptors last night.

"(It) was kind of surprising," Palacio, 27, said when asked about the Raptors' lack of interest. "But you know, it's a business. I didn't really talk to them too much. I've got to move on and go forward. I wish them the best."

Solid but unspectacular as a backup in Toronto, Palacio signed a one-year deal with the Jazz on Sept. 1.

As a member of a young Jazz team, Palacio finds himself in a new role. He has played the second-most career games on the team, behind only Greg Ostertag.

"They're coming up to me and calling me a vet and I'm like, 'I'm young,' " said Palacio, who is in his seventh season. "It's crazy."

With the Jazz trading up to third in the draft to pick point guard Deron Williams, one of Palacio's duties will be to help the youngster learn the ropes. Third-year point guard Keith McLeod also is in the backcourt mix and the threesome will battle for the starting job.

"Helping those guys out, but definitely competing," Palacio said when asked about his job description.

A change of scenery might be good considering all the wild stuff that has transpired in Raptorland recently.

"Is that what you call it? Crazy," Palacio said.


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