Jae is someone we’ve long admired. He’s really versatile defensively and can play really two through four with switches and physicality. —Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey, on Jae Crowder
SALT LAKE CITY — Dennis Lindsey is glad it’s over.
Another trade deadline has come and gone. Emotionally it’s never easy.
The Utah Jazz general manager was faced with the difficult task of being involved in a three-team trade Thursday that sent Rodney Hood to Cleveland and Joe Johnson to Sacramento, while welcoming former Cavaliers Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Salt Lake City, pending physical results.
“This is an awful period,” Lindsey admitted. “It’s part of my job and I love my job, but again you feel like you’re holding up people and their lives and unfortunately we had to say goodbye today to two people that I care about so many times those are emotional conversations and they were today but our gratitude toward both players is at the highest level and we wish them the best, but yes it’s a very hard period for me personally.”
Rose is likely to be released soon, though, as he’s reportedly looking to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves to reunite with his former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Rose’s representatives met with the Jazz front office today, where the plans were discussed, and the team is doubtful if Crowder will be ready for tomorrow’s home game versus Charlotte because he still has to pass the physical.
Draft considerations were also acquired from Cleveland.
The trade comes at a difficult time, as the Jazz are one of the league’s hottest teams, riding a seven-game winning streak — including six straight wins on the road. However, Hood and Johnson wanted out and are both free agents at the end of the season so Utah needed something in return.
Contrary to popular belief, Lindsey said he didn’t come into the day with any preconceived ideas about Hood staying or going, although up to 20 teams inquired about his availability.
The talks with Cleveland picked up before the 1 p.m. MT trade deadline so they made a decision to bring in Crowder, who’s been on the Jazz’s radar for some time now. Crowder is averaging 8.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in his sixth season and his father, Corey, also suited up for the Jazz as a free agent in 1991.
“Jae is someone we’ve long admired,” Lindsey said. “He’s really versatile defensively and can play really two through four with switches and physicality. His build is quite obvious and the systems that he’s played in with Dallas, Boston and Cleveland, we’ve seen enough to think that he can mesh very well in how we play. We’re really anxious to get him here.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder wouldn’t comment on any rumors or speculations prior to the deals, instead continuing to focus on the team as a group.
Lindsey remains optimistic about bringing in Crowder and said “we’ll find out” if this move helps or hurts the team down the line.
The goal this season is to reach the playoffs, as the streaking Jazz sit in 10th place in the Western Conference standings and just 2.5 games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth spot.
“We did quite a bit of analytical work, we did Intel, we did medical, we got with our coaches to see potential fit and rotations and you start adding those up and sticking to your core fundamentals and principles,” Lindsey said of the trade. “We think over time it will be a good move, but we do have to admit that there’s a lot of unknowns and certainly we’ll be judged on the results.”