Utah Jazz notes: Jeremy Evans is back, knows what to expect
The wide-eyed look is gone for Jeremy Evans.
To be sure, he's still got the playful personality and the jaw-dropping athleticism that's defined his first two years with the Utah Jazz.
But Evans is comfortable now. He's a third-year guy in the NBA, the owner of a new contract, newly married and rooted into the Salt Lake community.
That's quite a change from two years ago, when he was an eager rookie.
"I know what to expect now," Evans said. "I've been through it, and I know why I'm here and what my role is. I can't wait for the season to get started. I'm ready to compete every day."
Evans spent the summer in Utah, working out with newly announced assistant Johnny Bryant, but also playing at places like 24 Hour Fitness in Sugar House. He's back with more accuracy and range on his jumper, and a better handle.
Being a dunk contest champion isn't what Evans wants as his crowning career achievement. Even with a stacked frontcourt, Evans thinks he can be a contributor this season.
He still has the athleticism that few can match at his size, but with a refined skill set and knowledge of the system, Evans hopes he can offer more than a few thrills off the bench.
"This is going to be a big year for us as a team," Evans said. "We have the pieces to really do some damage. I'm looking forward to it."
All in favor
Jazz players and management spent Thursday's practice endorsing the new NBA flopping rule, which calls for fines of repeat offenders.
The rule is designed to clean up a lot of the gamesmanship and foul-baiting that NBA fans have grown weary of.
"It's a good rule," Jazz center Al Jefferson said. "I think it will force guys to play honest and to play honest defense. So that's definitely a good rule."
The new father
Rookie guard Kevin Murphy didn't make it back in time for Thursday's morning practice, following the birth of his son.
Jazz head coach Ty Corbin said his absence put him a little behind the other players in camp, but also said that family is first and that Murphy has the full backing of the organization.
"We want him to take care of his business," Corbin said. "He'll be back and hopefully he can catch up. There's a lot to learn."