Utah still wants last season’s leading shot-blocker b…

Utah still wants last season’s leading shot-blocker back. While Derrick Favors and Ekpe Udoh have helped protect the rim to a degree, they lack the pure intimidation factor of Gobert. The Jazz also miss Gobert’s propensity for finishing lobs at the rim or getting easy putbacks. They miss his wide, physical screening and his overall tenacity on the court. What adds to Utah’s angst over missing Rudy Gobert is that it won’t necessarily be a smooth transition when he returns. They learned last time that it takes an adjustment period to get used to Gobert in the lineup. And that means even more of a wait to reach their competitive potential. “More than anything, we’ve got a group that hasn’t played with him that much,” Snyder said. “What we have with Rudy and what we have with the group, we know who Rudy is as a player, but we’ll be able to continue to see who we are with Rudy.”
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January 20, 2018 | 7:42 am EST Update
Joe Vardon: Everyone wants to know if the Cavs would trade the pick, and there’s been much speculation that Cleveland would not, in fact, make a deal involving it. That’s not true, league sources have told me. The Cavs would consider trading it if the right player were available — a player who’s either elite or who has the potential to become elite and is signed for multiple years. That player may not be available. Paul George and the Thunder are getting it together. The Pelicans are playing better with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The Cavs need a player who can dribble and shoot (sounds simple, but I’m serious), and after that, maybe a rim protector.
“Young Trey Burke was not all the way focused on basketball,’’ Burke said before the Knicks beat the Jazz 117-115. “Distractions going on in my life as a young player. “At the same time, I do feel I did a great job my rookie season. Second year, they drafted another point guard [Exum] — which kind of messed with my mind. It played with me a little bit. That’s where it went wrong. My rookie season the coach [Tyrone Corbin] gets fired. Going into the second year, it’s a whole new coaching staff to get used to. Sometimes it don’t work out.’’
Rockets guard Chris Paul, the president of the National Basketball Players’ Association, would not share his position or the union’s on the idea of having the draft of All-Star teams to be made by captains Steph Curry and LeBron James public. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been opposed, despite the clamoring to have the selections Asked if he expressed his opinion, Paul said, “Yup.” Asked if he would share what he said, Paul said, “Nope.”
Storyline: All-Star Selections
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