Utah Jazz: Paul Millsap working hard despite trade rumors
SALT LAKE CITY — This summer, Paul Millsap packed more muscle onto his 6-foot-8 frame.
On Thursday, he packed his workout clothes with him to the Utah Jazz's training facility for the first time since the NBA lockout started on July 1.
Millsap hasn't the foggiest, however, if he'll be packing his bags for another NBA city anytime soon.
Trade rumors are out there about him. He knows that. But for now, Millsap sees himself as a Jazz player who's bouncing off the walls in anticipation of the 2011-12 season.
But those rumors? To Indiana or elsewhere? Not bothersome?
"I expect to play basketball, that's it," Millsap said. "I can say I don't have a clue."
Millsap spent his first five seasons with the Jazz after being drafted in the second round out of Louisiana Tech, and his long-term loyalty remains in Utah.
"I hope I'm here. This is the team that drafted me. I hope to be here for many years," Millsap said. "In the case that it don't happen, you've got to move on."
But the 26-year-old isn't letting his unsettled future or trade chatter affect his mindset or his workouts, which have included time on quickness and power. He hired coaches for strength training and basketball skills.
"It's been a good summer for me," Millsap said. "I used the extra time to my advantage, so it's going to be a good year."
The whole lockout situation imprinted in his mind that the NBA is a business, so nothing surprises him now.
"You've got to go with the flow," he added. "Whatever happens, you've just got to be ready for it."
That's the attitude he's taking with another uncertainty — his role on the Jazz should he stay in Utah. Derrick Favors showed flashes of his potential during his brief time as a rookie with the Jazz, so power forward minutes could be hard to come by. Millsap started the four last season in place of the departed Carlos Boozer, and held his own.
The Jazz also experimented with him as a small forward.
That's why Millsap worked on diversifying his skill set — from continuing to sharpen his outside shooting to beefing up his body and increasing the explosiveness in his interior game.
Asked if he sees himself as an NBA power forward, small forward or something in between, Millsap responded: "Just a basketball player, a versatile player that can play whatever position the coach puts me in. … I want to be well-rounded."
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