Utah Jazz: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich not surprised by Richard Jefferson's success
“It helps, but we need all of our pieces, and Gordon’s a big part of that,” Corbin said. “The sooner we get him back when he’s fully healthy (the better), but we don’t want to take a chance. Alec, his play kind of gives us a chance to be a little more cautious (with Hayward’s return). But we need all of our guys.”
ANOTHER CHANCE: Jefferson was asked what he expected for this season after being traded to Utah last offseason. Mostly, he’s just happy to be playing after seeing scant time last year in Golden State and having his time in San Antonio end abruptly from the midseason trade.
“Just looking at the (Jazz) roster, I knew that I was going to get an opportunity. I think a lot of people had kind of counted me out because the lockout year (struggles),” he said. “Then I went to Golden State, (and) they were obviously trying to get a good draft pick, so they kind of rested guys.”
That last reference might upset Jazz fans who remain bitter that the Warriors lost enough games in 2012 to hold on to a protected lottery pick (used to draft Harrison Barnes), which would’ve gone to Utah if it’d been eighth or lower.
As for Jefferson, he played the following season behind Barnes after getting injured in training camp.
“After being injured for not really being injured for most of my career, everybody thought I was finished,” he said. “It was great to kind of get this summer to rest, get healthy and then get a change of environment and an opportunity to play.”
Corbin agreed. He said the Jazz are getting just what they expected from Jefferson: “veteran leadership, consistent guy, helping these young guys grow and giving us a chance to get better.”
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