Utah Jazz notebook: Jazz say both Thunder and Rockets came out ahead in blockbuster James Harden-Kevin Martin trade
SALT LAKE CITY — And the winner of the shocking James Harden-Kevin Martin trade?
According to multiple members of the Utah Jazz, both Oklahoma City and Houston came out on top.
"I think it makes both teams better," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said.
"It's an interesting deal," Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said. "I think both teams got better from it."
On the bright side for the Jazz, the swap sent Harden, the NBA's reigning sixth man of the year and a two-way standout, out of their division to the Rockets with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward.
"I think (Harden's) a great addition to Houston. He's a dynamic scorer and he's going to continue to expand his game because he's going to be on the floor more in Houston."
Hayward, who matches up with Harden, agreed.
"He's good. One of the best things he does is he finds a way to get to the basket and to get to the free-throw line, so he's hard to guard," Hayward said. "Especially with his left hand, he's pretty explosive."
The Western Conference champion Thunder, however, got potent scorer Kevin Martin and promising rookie Jeremy Lamb in return along with multiple future draft picks.
FINAL TWEAKS: Coach Corbin is pleased with the way his first full training camp went, and he has a couple more things he'd like his team to accomplish before facing the Mavericks Wednesday in a game that actually matters.
"The time is among us now. We've worked extremely hard to get to this point," said Corbin, whose team went 5-3 in the preseason and led the NBA in 3-point shooting and showed a remarkably improved defense.
"We've got a couple of days to fine-tune some things and get our mind set on this great run we're going to have during the course of the season."
On that fine-tuning list: pick-and-roll defense, other defensive coverages and extended sets on offense.
The good news? "I think," Corbin said, "we're further ahead now at this time than we were last year."
HOOPOWEEN: The Jazz are getting into the spirit of the season for Wednesday night's season-opener.
Before the Halloween night game, the organization will host a pumpkin carving (4:30-6 p.m.), a trunk-or-treating event (5 p.m.) and a costume contest (6 p.m.) outside EnergySolutions Arena.
TWO MORE TREATS: The Jazz will give the first 500 fans in costume (5 p.m.) a free ticket voucher and 20,000 magnet schedules will be handed out at arena doors.
POWER'S ON: The Jazz begin the season ranked No. 10 in ESPN.com's Power Rankings after moving up six spots. CBSSports.com's Ken Berger pegged Corbin as his favorite for NBA coach of the year, writing, "Corbin is a big part of the reason, and this Jazz team — younger and more athletic than Jazz playoff teams of old — should be able to make some noise in the West." NBA.com put the Jazz at No. 12 in its power rankings.
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