Utah Jazz extra: 5 quotes from a whirlwind week

Published: Sunday, Feb. 27 2011 6:00 p.m. MST

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.

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