Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — While a few other NBA teams made moves Wednesday, the Utah Jazz remained intact.
Calls were made and a couple of rumors spread here and there, but the franchise didn't pull the trigger on a deal. General manager Dennis Lindsey and crew only have until 1 p.m. MST this afternoon to pull off a deal.
While Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap had their names bandied about in trade talk, Jazz players aren't the only ones who've been on the edge of their seats leading up to the trade deadline.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin admitted he's walking on eggshells as well.
"I'm like them," he said. "There is some thought of what may happen, but you can't control that."
Jefferson and Millsap have shared similar thoughts during this uncertain period, and Corbin has appreciated their professional approach. Even with rumors swirling, the Jazz have won three straight games and are playing very well.
"We have to make sure we work with what we can work with and control what we can control, and that's the way we are now," Corbin said. "We're working hard to get better every day."
Corbin said he remains in close contact with the Jazz front office.
"As much as I need to be," he said.
In the Jazz organization, however, there are clear lines. The coach coaches and the player personnel executives handle the roster-shaping responsibilities.
"I trust our guys. They do such a great job of understanding who we are and how we can get better," Corbin said. "I trust everything that they're doing."
Corbin also trusts the group of guys he has to put on the court right now. Utah (31-24) climbed up to the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings after its 115-101 victory over Golden State on Tuesday.
The Jazz, despite dealing with injuries to Mo Williams, Gordon Hayward and Earl Watson, have won 12 of 17 games.
"We feel good about it, especially after the win (Tuesday) night. It was huge for us. It could be a two-game swing," Corbin said. "I think that we're in a good place. We can kind of control our own destiny by playing the way we can play and winning our share of ballgames. We'll see how we go."
Corbin said his team's sights are set on trying to get into the top four in the West.
"The goal is to finish as high as we can — whatever that is," Corbin added. "I don’t want to put a number on it. We want to try to finish as high as we can and try to get home-court advantage."
The Jazz, who don't play again until Saturday in Los Angeles against the Clippers, spent Wednesday's practice working on offensive execution and defensive communication and rotations.
Utah is taking today off and will reconvene Friday with whatever players remain on the roster after today's trading bonanza settles down.
"We are who we are," Corbin said. "If we stay that way, then we'll deal with that."
As well as Jefferson and Millsap are playing, the Jazz coach didn't sound quite ready to hand the reins over to the young guns like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter just yet unless that's the hand he's dealt.
"If that's where we are, that's what we have to work with, but we're not there," Corbin said. "We have guys that we feel great about, and we're going to continue to use guys as we see fit to help us continue to grow."
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