Utah Jazz: Contract extensions, funny moments among camp quotes Monday
Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz old men Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are up for contract extensions, and coach Tyrone Corbin is entering the final year of his deal.
You can imagine how thrilled they were Monday to discuss how those talks are going.
“I’m completely fine with where I am,” Corbin said. “I respect the organization’s side and my side in the negotiations.”
Corbin was hired by the Jazz the day Jerry Sloan resigned in February 2011 and then had a year added to the tail end of his contract, making it a three-year deal. He’s gone 87-89 since replacing the Hall of Famer.
The Jazz have missed the playoffs in two of the past three postseasons, and it would seemingly take an NBA miracle to return this year with the youth movement going on. Even knowing that, Corbin said he’s not feeling pressure about his future employment in Utah.
“Things will get worked out,” Corbin said. “If we just go out and do our jobs, everything else will take care of itself.”
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said Monday was the only time he’s going to address Corbin’s contract situation with the media this season.
“The Miller family is known for their support for players, of coaches, of management. We’re going to stand by our record,” Lindsey said. “I think as you guys have seen with Coach Sloan, the internal promotion what we did last year and support of Ty and the staff with the Raja Bell situation, coaches here are very well-supported. Beyond that, the Miller family and the management team, we’re not going to comment past that point.”
The Jazz’s expectations for Corbin this season?
“Our expectations,” Miller Sports Properties president Steve Miller said, “are that he shows up, which he will, and that he does the job that we’ve hired him to do, and he will because he’s the consummate professional.”
Lindsey said he has a “gentleman’s agreement” with the agents of Hayward and Favors to not discuss their deals in public, either. Utah has until the end of October to extend the players’ contracts. If that doesn’t happen, the Jazz have the option of turning them into restricted free agents next offseason.
“As you guys can assume, we’re having active conversations. We’re hopeful,” Lindsey said. “The good news is guys, we’ll (maybe) reach a deal now — that’s what we’re hoping to do. There’s some advantages to that. There’s also some advantages if we can’t reach a deal; we can wait until next year.”
Both sides have to decide which gamble they’d rather make — strike a deal before it’s really known what Favors and Hayward can do with increased opportunities or wait it out until they’ve shown what happens when they’re the go-to guys.
“They’ve both been great,” Lindsey said. “Both players, we think a lot of. A big reason why we did what we did this offseason is to allow them to move to prominent roles.”
Neither player wants to spend much time discussing deals.
“That’s why we hire agents is to figure that out,” Hayward said. “I’m focused on being a better leader and being a better basketball player and helping us win games.”
FUN MOMENTS: A clean-shaven Enes Kanter didn't lose his sense of humor over the summer. Not only did he crack jokes about old mentor Al Jefferson and their big showdown in Charlotte and admit that he wasn't going to do "crazy tweets" any more, but he also had the line of the day.
What's he most excited about going into training camp?
“Dunking on Alec Burks,” he quickly replied.
Some other funny lines:
- Richard Jefferson laughed while interrupting media members in an interview with Hayward. “You want me to break it up? Are you tired? C’mon, step back.” After joking with reporters, Jefferson allowed one final question. “He would sit here for two hours and answer questions. He’s such a nice guy.”
- Jefferson was asked if being traded from Golden State to Utah gave him a new lease on life: “I got the No. 24 back. I was 24 my entire career. Because Rick Barry had it in Golden State, they made me wear 44. I’m really going to make it seem like that was the reason why I struggled last year.”
- Brandon Rush on his reaction to being traded to the Jazz from the Warriors this summer: “I was actually in Hawaii at the time I got traded. It kind of ruined my moment, but I think it’s what’s best for me. I ended up at a place where there’s a great opportunity for a lot of playing time. I’m happy where I’m at right now.”
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