With the Phoenix Suns (Shaquille O'Neal), Los Angeles Lakers (Pau Gasol), Golden State Warriors (Chris Webber) and probably the Dallas Mavericks (Jason Kidd) making recent roster additions to shore up for a huge Western Conference playoff chase, on the heels of the Utah Jazz's late-December trade for Kyle Korver, Jazz-watchers want to know if there's more movement in store before Thursday's trade deadline.
"On a scale of one to 10, I have no idea," said the man who has the best idea about the Jazz of anyone, senior vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor.
He said he's not going to make a deal that's just reactionary to what others have done.
"I think you make a mistake in trying to keep up with the Joneses. What you do is try and improve your team, and if you can do something that does that, we would look to do it. If it doesn't, then we're not going to do something.
"Are we afraid to make a deal? No, we're not afraid to make a deal if it improves our team. Are we going to have conversations? Sure, everyone does it at this time of the year," he said, not divulging if there's anything serious in the works.
One thing he said he won't do is sit back and think his work is done after acquiring spacing-maker Korver, whose deadly shot helps open up the interior game for Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams.
"No, I don't think you do that. You look at a long-term basis and look at needs and try and address those," O'Connor said, adding he does expect more trades in the NBA overall.
Post defense is seen as Utah's biggest need now, but O'Connor noted that all 30 teams would probably like to get better at the same thing.
QUIET: Jazz owner Larry Miller said on television Sunday night that he had not heard of any possibilities for a trade, and coach Jerry Sloan said Monday night he hadn't either.
"I haven't heard anything," said Sloan. "Yeah, I probably would be surprised if we did anything. Really, we're not out looking to make trades very often unless somebody offers us something we think is good for our organization."
Miller and Sloan are honest, but also O'Connor doesn't trouble owner and coach with trade talk until it's serious. "We've got a roster spot," he reminded. Utah has 14 players under contract.
Though Korver's only been here six weeks, he would also be surprised. "We feel like we have a team we don't need to mess with, we feel like we're good where we're at," he said. "We'll see if (the expected Dallas/Kidd trade) makes another trade happen (for Utah), but we feel like if we don't, we have a team that's very capable of being in there."
HEAD GAMES: Sloan doesn't let his players wear headbands, and he didn't watch any of the All-Star festivities on TV from his offseason home in McLeansboro, Ill., but he heard about Ronnie Brewer wearing a headband in the Rookie-Sophomore game Friday night.
"I don't have any control over that, if he wants to wear a headband when he's there, I guess he can go ahead and do it. Nobody telling him he couldn't," Sloan said. "He won't wear it in practice," he deadpaned.
"Paul (Millsap, also on the sophomore squad) left me out on a limb. He's scared to wear the headband," said Brewer. "Now, if I get in trouble I'm joking (about Millsap, who'd given him a dirty look). "I don't think it was that big of a deal. If (Sloan) says something, it's cool. It was all fun. I enjoyed the weekend. We won the game. That was our whole goal."
KLUB KORVER: Finally, Kyle Korver has his golf clubs with him. Not that he could have used them much with all the snow and cold temperatures since he was traded from Philadelphia, but he was able to go back to Philly over the All-Star break and get the important things, like clothes and clubs.
He still doesn't have a home here, so he left most of his stuff in his Pennsylvania house and just brought "necessities."
"It was nice just to be home. It was nice to sleep in my own bed. I'd wake up in the morning and be like, 'Ah, it feels so good.' I didn't want to get up," said Korver, who's been staying in a Utah hotel so far.
The break came at just the right time for him to attend the wedding of a friend in Philadelphia.
"It worked out that it was this weekend, so I got to go to the wedding, and everyone was there. It was just a good time to get back and relax. I never got to say any goodbyes, so I just kind of talked to everybody," he said.
ALL-STAR LEFTOVERS: Boozer said he hasn't yet seen Williams' trophy for his record-setting winning performance in the skills contest. "I'm looking forward to seeing the trophy. I didn't get a chance to see it because they're going to present it to him (tonight) at the game. Really proud of him. I think he definitely I don't think he went into it trying to make a statement, but with what he did, I think he made a statement," Boozer said.
Williams said he's over the perceived All-Star snub, and from now on, "Just want to win. It's not about making statements. It's about winning."
Williams said Boozer's All-Star Game double-double was impressive. "It's a guard's game, so he did good for a big man." He didn't like Boozer's gold shoes that matched the West uniform. "I thought they were horrible," Williams said.Williams said he talked with TV commentator Bill Walton. "He said he thought we (Jazz) were a good team. Charles (Barkley) told me and Booz he picked us to win the West." Williams isn't hanging on those words, though. "No, 'cause he might change next week."
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