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Jae Crowder knows what it’s like to be traded. After all, he’s been dealt from Dallas to Boston. And from Boston to Cleveland. And from Cleveland to Utah.
So he’s a decent source for knowing what players might be thinking or going through as the NBA’s trade deadline approaches. (The deadline is Thursday at 1 p.m. MT.)
The Jazz are reportedly being aggressive in pursuing potential deals, which can be a distraction for those whose names show up in the rumored trades. Crowder’s advice? It’s ultimately not up to you whether you get traded or not, so stay away from social media as much as possible and keep your focus on doing your job.
“At the end of the day, we have no control over it. We have no control over it, and you’re just gonna stress yourself out by looking at it, reading into it, stuff like that,” he said. “So just focus on your teammates, focus on the task at hand, which is Phoenix [on Wednesday]. That’s the advice I can give somebody.”
Of course, he recognizes that’s easier for some than others. He also acknowledged that no two situations are the same. These days, he said, it’s pretty easy for him to “block out a lot of stuff.” Earlier in his career, that wasn’t the case.
He recalled being unhappy with his playing time in Dallas and actively seeking and hoping for a trade away from the Mavericks. Veteran forward and former star Vince Carter had to remind a young Crowder that he needed to keep working hard in the interim.
“He told me, ‘You still have to come in and do your work.’ I was basically not even wanting to come to practice, knowing I might be traded at the deadline. But I continued to be a professional. It’s all about being professional — we have a job here, [and] you owe that to your teammates,” Crowder said. “It took me a while to understand it, but then I’ve been through it a few times, and now I fully understand the whole process of it all. But you owe it to your teammates just to stay focused as much as possible and give it your all when you’re on the court.”
Our stories of the past week
• We’re a day away from the NBA trade deadline. Which means you want to be up to date on the latest Jazz possibilities — Mike Conley? Otto Porter? Nikola Mirotic? Andy Larsen and I discuss it all on the latest “Weekly Run” podcast. [TRIB]
• Raul Neto is probable to play tonight vs. the Suns. But Dante Exum and Thabo Sefolosha are still out. The Jazz have been short-handed now for a month, and while everyone has adopted a “next man up” mentality, the inevitable consequence is that the bench production has, unsurprisingly, taken a hit. [TRIB]
• Some eyebrows were raised when the Jazz drafted controversial Duke product Grayson Allen last summer. While the rookie’s production has been limited, he and his teammates insist they’re seeing progress. [TRIB]
• There are some reports that the two primary offers for Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley have come from the Jazz and the Pistons. Andy breaks down the market. [TRIB]
• Donovan Mitchell has one of the highest usage rates in the NBA this season, and one of the highest in league history among rookies or sophomores. So how is the Jazz star handling the load? [TRIB]
• It seems a long time ago now, with so much attention on the trade deadline, but Rudy Gobert getting snubbed for the All-Star Game was a big deal. Big enough that the reigning Defensive Player of the Year was quite upset about it. [TRIB]
• Trib columnist Gordon Monson was also annoyed by Gobert’s All-Star snub, and he had some words for the Western Conference coaches who left the big man off the team. [TRIB]
• Deseret News reporter Eric Woodyard spoke with a few of the people who work behind the scenes to keep Rudy Gobert’s body finely tuned. [DesNews]
• New York Times reporter Marc Stein wrote a story about the Knicks’ efforts to trade Kristaps Porzingis, before he ultimately wound up with the Mavs. According to Stein, the Knicks called the Jazz, asking about Donovan Mitchell, and were quickly told no. [NY Times]
• Clippers forward Tobias Harris, a player many Jazz fans hoped might be coming to Utah in free agency, has been traded to the 76ers. Here is the ESPN report on the trade’s league wide impact. [ESPN]
• KSL.com’s Ryan Miller reported that Donovan Mitchell has a small role in an upcoming Netflix movie directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh. [KSL]
• Chris Kirchner, the Hawks reporter for The Athletic, spoke with Kyle Korver about his time in Atlanta, which the now-Jazz forward recalls with fondness. (Note: Content from The Athletic requires either a free trial sign-up or a subscription.) [Athletic]
• Vince Carter, once known for being one of the most athletic, exciting players in the league, is now more a veteran voice of reason. When the Hawks visited the Jazz last Friday, the eight-time All-Star had some words of encouragement for both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. [Utah Jazz]
• Much has been made lately of Donovan Mitchell’s so-called “baseball passes.” Of course, the Jazz star may have had a different sport in mind when he forwarded the video on Twitter to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. [Twitter]
It was also pretty cool when the NFL MVP gave the pass his stamp of approval:
Quote of the Week
Hard to go with anything other than Rudy speaking about his All-Star snub. Before he broke down, he had some incendiary words for what he perceived as the hypocritical actions of the coaches who didn’t vote for him:
“I feel disrespected. It’s disrespectful not only towards me, but towards the team, towards the organization, and towards the game. All the coaches preach about defense, every day they talk about defense, about what an honor it is to get stops, to win basketball games; and when it’s time to vote, they they’re not able to reward the best defensive player in the game.”
The Jazz have three games left until the All-Star break. Tonight comes the first of four matchups with Phoenix this season. The Spurs will be here on Saturday for a rare afternoon game (tipoff is set for 3 p.m.). And then, next Tuesday, the Jazz will visit the Warriors in Oakland.