Saturday’s game featured an unusual start time, especially for a home game: 3 p.m. in Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game was pushed earlier in an effort to make the game more accessible for European fans, who might be especially interested in seeing a matchup of former EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic vs. reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
But while it’s unusual, everyone involved seemed to enjoy the early start time.
“I think for a majority, we mostly, all of us like it," Mike Conley said. "You get to go eat dinner afterwards at a good time, at 7 p.m. instead of 10-11:30. So it’s really cool.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder said it reminded him of his college days. “Although that’s a long time ago, decades ago for me.”
From a preparation point of view, though, Snyder said it wasn’t very difficult to adapt. “It’s really not that different from the back-to-back, when you get in at 3 in the morning and you try to get some rest and then come to the gym.”
And Gobert was thrilled that his family back in France got to see his excellent 22-point, 17-rebound, five-block performance live.
The path of a second round pick
Jazz fans might have been a little bit surprised to see a Utah 2020 second-round pick in the news this weekend; it was the pick that the Mavericks used to acquire Willie Cauley-Stein from the Golden State Warriors as they look to replace Dwight Powell.
How did that pick — now No. 57 in this year’s draft — get in Dallas’ hands to begin with? Well, the Jazz traded it to the Cleveland Cavaliers as one of the two picks in the Kyle Korver deal in November of 2018. Then, this summer, the Cavaliers sent it as one of four second-round picks to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Kevin Porter Jr., the No. 30 overall selection in the 2019 NBA draft.
The Pistons flipped it to the Mavs later on draft night, as one of two second-round picks used to acquire the rights to Deividas Sirvydis. The Pistons also sent the rights to Isaiah Roby to the Mavs in the trade — the Mavs traded Roby on Friday to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Justin Patton, who they waived. That opened up the roster spot for Dallas to acquire Cauley-Stein.
Confused? It could be worse: Three different future picks in the NBA right now have been traded five separate times.