Here are five leftover quotes and notes from what was aptly described as a "whirlwind" week by several Utah Jazz personnel:
1. High hopes
The Jazz were uncertain what Deron Williams was going to do when his player option came around at the end of the 2011-12 season. Plus, nobody is certain what the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement will look like, if there will be a lockout next year or if Utah would even get a chance to trade D-Will because of that. The fact that the Nets were willing to depart with a young player the Jazz absolutely loved prior to the 2010 Draft in Derrick Favors — along with Harris, two potentially great first-round picks and $3 million — and Utah management just couldn't pass up passing their two-time All-Star over to New Jersey.
General manager Kevin O'Connor said Utah will have to work with Favors and be patient with the 19-year-old. But depending on the 6-10 Favors' development, this could turn out to be a very favorable trade for the Jazz.
"Hopefully, he becomes the player that we like a great deal. Hopefully he turns out to be a good player," O'Connor said. "You don't (see) kids that size with that athleticism."
2. Good first impression
It didn't take long for the Jazz's new point guard to earn brownie points with his new coach. Ty Corbin was impressed with what he saw from Devin Harris on the first play the New Jersey transplant made in a Jazz uniform. As he took the ball, Harris burst toward the basket for an easy layup while catching the Pacers' defense off guard.
Said Corbin about the traded Deron Williams' replacement: "He's a quick guy.. He's a veteran guy and he can read situations and it's second nature to him, so he doesn't have to think about them a lot. Once he gets confident and learns the system, I think he'll do a good job for us."
3. Big improvement for Big Al
There was that four-point outing at Phoenix a couple of weeks ago, but other than that stinker Al Jefferson has been brilliant for the past month. He has scored 20-plus points in 11 of 12 games since Jan. 31, averaging 23.2 points on 59.4 percent shooting.
Corbin said Jefferson is using the Jazz system more effectively, an improvement that includes getting rid of the ball quicker.
Added Corbin: "You get the ball to (Jefferson) in his spots and he's dynamic. He's doing a better job of reading situations, coming off tight and making timely shots when we need him. And (he's) doing a really good job defensively of meeting big guys early. He's getting better as time goes."
4. Big change for Big Al
Jefferson said he'd just brushed his teeth, got ready for shootaround and was on an elevator Wednesday morning when he was informed that Williams had been traded to the Nets. Jefferson was stunned and saddened. Again.
"It's been a long two weeks. It's been a tough month really. I really ain't even got over Coach Sloan."
Jefferson said he realizes the NBA is a business, but two major factors for him being giddy to come to Utah from Minnesota last summer are now gone. Added Jefferson: "It's kind of tough, because two people that I was excited to come to Utah for — two out of three, because the fans are the third one — but Jerry, Coach Sloan, and D-Will, they're both gone."
On the bright side? "It's still the best job in the world," Big Al added. "We've still got each other. We've got a great point guard (Harris) coming in — who's an All-Star, who's been in the Finals, who's played tough games and understands what it takes to win. We still have a chance to do something special here and to make a run."
Of course, D-Will won't be making him an All-Star as promised.
5. Did someone say change?
The longevity of Jerry Sloan, Phil Johnson, John Stockton and Karl Malone — who stayed in Utah for a combined 83 years — gave Jazz fans somewhat of an unrealistic grasp on how the NBA really operates. Change — even with big-time players and coaches — is as common as bad calls by referees.
A point made by Harris highlights that fact. Williams is now the third potential Hall of Famer that Harris has replaced during his seven-year NBA career, with Steve Nash (Dallas) and Jason Kidd (New Jersey) being the other two.
And if you think you're having a hard time grasping this new reality, try being Corbin, who's had quite the crazy beginning with wild changes to his head coaching career.
"It's been a whirlwind — for me, like the guys. It's a business, and you've got to understand," he said. "I've been through some of it as a player and now my first head coaching job to get a lot of it right at the beginning, I'm sure it'll be good for me down the road. It's just right now it's a little mind-boggling, but we'll get through it."
Monday vs. Celtics, 7 p.m., NBA-TV/FSN
It won't take much for Devin Harris to improve on D-Will's last outing vs. Boston (five points, six assists).
Thursday vs. Denver, 8:30 p.m., TNT
My how things have changed since Utah's W at Denver on Feb. 4 — and the Nuggets weren't the only ones who had drama.
Saturday vs. Sacramento, 7 p.m., FSN
Will the secret weapon that helped Utah beat the Kings on Feb. 7 be unleashed? (That'd be Kyrylo Fesenko, who scored 11.)
Center has averaged 27 ppg since his four-point clunker in Phoenix.
Who's Not:15 comments on this story
Hasn't scored since season-high 11-point game at Sacramento.
The BIG stat
1.9: That's how many blocks per game Al Jefferson is averaging. That ranks the Jazz center eighth in the NBA. The Jazz, by the way, are averaging 5.8 swats a game, which is third-best in the league.