Utah Jazz notebook: Jazz players shrug off trade rumors as deadline approaches
SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA trade deadline is coming up Thursday and a few Utah Jazz players have been at the forefront of the rumor mill.
Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson have been the subjects of the most speculation, while rumors of the Jazz acquiring a younger point guard have also been making the rounds.
When asked about trade rumors after returning from the All-Star break, Jazz players and coach Tyrone Corbin all shrugged off any talk about the subject.
“I’ve been in this league a long time. This is my ninth year and Paul’s seventh. We’re used to this,’’ said Jefferson.
“You don’t react. You just let it go,’’ added Millsap. “You can’t do anything about it because you don’t really know for sure. If it don’t come from (the Jazz’s) mouths it’s probably not true.’’
Millsap’s name has come up in trade rumors for years, and the Jazz forward says he’s used to it by now, saying he takes it as a compliment that he’s a wanted player. One of the latest rumors has him going to the L.A. Clippers for point guard Eric Bledsoe and others.
That trade would potentially affect Mo Williams, the team’s current starting point guard, who has been sitting out with an injured thumb for more than a month.
“I’m a free agent after this year, so obviously they’ve got some options,’’ Williams said. “Hopefully they understand my value and hopefully this is a place they want me to be for years to come. I know I do. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.’’
Corbin was blunt in talking about trade speculation.
“It’s rumors and we don’t deal with rumors,’’ he said. “We are who we are and everybody here is part of our family. We’ll continue progressing in the way that we have and we expect everybody to respond accordingly.’’
Jefferson has been traded twice in his career, but he knows if the Jazz are involved, it’s unlikely anyone will know about it in advance.
“The one thing about the Utah Jazz is they’re a very professional team,’’ he said. “When a trade comes nobody’s going to know until it actually happens. They’ve been consistent with that. They’re just rumors.’’
Still the possibility of a trade is on a lot of players’ minds.
“After Thursday we’ll take a deep breath,’’ said Williams.
BOGUT BOMBS: Playing in his old “hometown” for the first time in three years, former Utah All-American Andrew Bogut had a dreadful night in the Warriors' loss.
Bogut started, but went scoreless in 14 minutes, missing all four of his shots, while grabbing five rebounds. He also struggled guarding Jefferson, who had 24 points on the night.
“It’s hard to pinpoint the problem,’’ he said. “I think collectively it’s not going as well as it was.’’
The 7-foot center from Australia is coming off an ankle injury that kept him out of 42 of the Warriors' 52 games this year. He has played in six games since returning to the Golden State lineup late last month, but he showed little Tuesday.
This was Bogut’s first appearance in Utah since the 2009-10 season as he missed last year with the Bucks for “personal reasons” and the year before with a sore back. His best game as a pro in Utah was in November 2008 when he had 16 points and 20 rebounds in a 105-94 loss to the Jazz.
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