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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Q&A with Jeremy Evans: Painting, playing and Gordon Hayward

We've seen Jeremy Evans' art on display before. Two years ago, the high-flying forward dunked over a painting of himself dunking — a criminally underrated dunk contest moment, if I may say so. (I mean, yeah, Blake Griffin jumped over a car. But what if he had BUILT that Kia!?)

Anyway, with the forward/artist Evans spending Wednesday afternoon with some Road Home youth to put together a mosaic for a the Artspace Bridge Projects on 200 South in downtown, I grabbed him at practice earlier that morning for a quick chat about painting, gaining weight and Gordon Hayward.

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Here's the Q&A:

I understand you're working on an art project today. Do you get much time for painting during the season, or is it all basketball?

Not too much. Just mostly basketball. Every now and then I take something on the road and sketch something out.

Have you ever sold a painting?

I'm working on it. I talked to one of the guys over at the arena maybe two or three days ago. Talking about getting an exhibit up just so I can show some. Hopefully before the end of the season if they're able to work it out.

That's great. How many do you have ready to show?

About 20. I put them together just for this. I can't go in with like eight or nine pictures. So I've put together at least 20.

What kind of pictures are we talking about?

All sorts. Airbrush, ink, you name it.

Some guys I've talked to have said this season is kind of bittersweet. They get the opportunity to play more, but there have been a lot of losses. What's your feeling right now as the season winds down?

I feel like we've made strides. We take steps back but I think we've done a lot of learning. We've been in positions where we've gotten to play and we've experienced in-game decisions and that's been great.

You're guarding 4s. What's the challenge being a slender guy?

I love it just because I'm probably the smallest 4 right now playing in the NBA. I feel like every night it's going to be a challenge. A lot of times I think I come out and guys think, 'He's guarding me? Throw it to me.' So I take that as a challenge.

What's the key for you in those match ups? Denying the ball?

A little of both. Just using my quickness and trying to play them before they get the ball, before the catch, denying the ball.

How much have you bulked up since your rookie year?

I feel like I've gotten a lot stronger. Not just in terms of weight but in decisions and how to use my body and my quickness. I don't have much weight, but I use my legs, the strength of my legs, to try to hold guys off.

But you are trying to add weight, right?

I try, but it's a challenge for me. This summer I've got a couple more plans I'm going to try again. And if not, I'll be here next year fighting again.

What are the plans?

Just everything. Proteins, lifting, everything, vitamins.

I was always skinny and then I turned 25, 30. Then I bulked up in the wrong places.

That's what I'm hoping. That my metabolism slows down after a while and hopefully that works. It slows down and I can gain some weight, but there's no telling when that happens.

You're close friends with Gordon. What's it been like sort of watching this season through him?

He hates losing. I experience it first hand playing games with him on the plane. We go back and forth playing. And, you know, we've had a tough season and you see it on his face and his emotions. But I feel like he's still fighting, still playing hard. I feel like that's just the guy he his, how he's brought up.

Do you think it will be a weight off his shoulders once he gets his new deal?

That's with everybody. He's focusing on playing right now, but that's still back there above his head sometimes. You don't know what's going to happen. When he's done with that, he can relax and just play.

Do you see this team coming together and being a winner sooner rather than later?

I do. I feel like we fought this year. A couple games didn't go our way. So many games we had right there. And the first of the season wasn't the best, but change a little bit around and we're in it. I feel like it's going to happen.

— Aaron Falk

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