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Utah Jazz Fans -- And Front Office -- Have To Be Relieved - The Downbeat - #635

Before the schedule is re-released today at 5 p.m. EST, a few more details have leaked out. Steve Luhm has some info on the start to the Jazz season,

Utah is scheduled to play four games in the first five nights -- and six games in the first eight nights -- starting with its opener against the Lakers at Staples Center.

The LA Times reported yesterday that the Lakers would play a B2B2B to start the season, with the final game at home against the Jazz on the 27th. That would be the start of the season for the Jazz according to Luhm. I'm not sure why they're starting two days later. I imagine we'll see a lot of scheduling quirks like this though.

Because the Jazz are getting a relatively late start, they might start their season with a B2B2B as well. Either they'd have an off day on the 28th or the 30th. They'll have Sunday the 1st off and then likely resume on Monday. I hope you missed basketball.

Kevin O'Connor was back to work Monday morning contacting players and Jazz free agents according to Jody Genessy,

O'Connor, who didn't immediately return calls from the Deseret News, first contacted Utah's current players when allowed Monday morning, he told play-by-play announcer David Locke. The Jazz G.M. then phoned former players who are free agents.

Also of note in Genessy's article is that Andrei Kirilenko is still in Russia and plans on playing this weekend. Given that training camp for the NBA starts on Friday, it's interesting that AK hasn't returned state side like other players have that were overseas. It probably means little given that he's already in playing shape and that he's a veteran of the league. But could it also mean that he's leaning towards staying in Russia for at least this season? In his interview with Travis Hansen, he said,

Before Dec. 9th I will listen to offers from the NBA. I am happy in CSKA and it will be a tough decision. Utah Jazz is in my heart and is on the priority list. I will look at everything on the table. You know here in Russia my kids are in school, the team is great and I have been playing really well. It will be a difficult decision.

He doesn't sound like he's in any rush to return. will feature the Rookie Ladder which is being billed as "free-flowing, constantly updated chart that ranks the 2011-12 rookies." And despite being the overall #3 pick in the draft, Enes Kanter doesn't make the top ten.

I'm not going to get offended and neither should you. Kanter is a relative unknown and hasn't played organized ball outside of Eurobasket in a while. However, he was ranked highly on most GM's draft boards. The reason though why he might not show up on this list much this season and won't get much attention is that he's not going to have much playing time. Most rookies that get the accolades and recognition do so because they play significant minutes and contribute. Alec Burks might get that chance but I don't know that Kanter does this year.

No matter what your thoughts were on the Deron Williams trade, you have to admit that you're relieved that you're not having to go through what Hornets and Magic fans are dealing with right now. The rumors are flying everywhere that Chris Paul wants to play in New York - despite them having almost zero assets -- as well as the Lakers trying to land both Dwight Howard and Paul. I realize that theses rumors are just that but that might end the league for me if that happens.

Deron turned down his extension with the Nets but only because it makes financial sense. He still could very well end up re-signing with them. If he does, or even if he signs elsewhere next summer, that doesn't necessarily mean that he would have done the same thing had he stayed in Utah. However, if the Jazz were convinced that he was going elsewhere -- I don't buy the gut feeling statement from Greg Miller -- then they are the big winners in all of this because there is no other team out there with assets right now that are looking to trade. If Howard and Paul get dealt, I don't believe the package their respective teams receive in return will match what the Jazz received. They may end up getting some more established and known players but they're not going to get anywhere near what Paul is worth.

How the Deron trade ends up depends on how Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and Enes Kanter fair. That's not to mention the additional pick that the Jazz potentially have in next year's draft. Tell me that Orlando and New Orleans wouldn't jump all over that trade right now. They have limited teams to trade with given the demands of Paul and Howard and show yet again why the small markets got little out of the new CBA. Good luck with that.

After watching this video, give me some twitter handles for Jeremy Evans. We had these ideas last night on twitter.