Everybody loves Young Rud.
If you follow Moni's Opposing Game Thread posts -- and you should -- a common theme that arises is other teams' lust for Rudy Gobert. (Unless you're The Dream Shake, in which case you just curse his name and order your coach to permanently injure him.) Usually they propose ridiculously lopsided trades, or just wistful pleas to their respective GMs. Point is, everybody wants a piece of Monsieur Stifle.
Even Bill Simmons -- if you still care what Bill Simmons has to say about the Utah Jazz in The Year Of Our Rudy 2015 -- has retconned his previous statement on Gobert in his annual Trade Value column. Observe:
UPDATE: I didn't have the balls to throw Gobert in the low 20s with Giannis and Wiggins. Big mistake. His next 11 games after Part 2 was published: 11.3 ppg, 15.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg, nine wins in 11 games, one Kirk Goldsberry piece titled "Rudy Gobert Is Making Utah an Elite Defensive Team." Anytime "The French Rejection" and "The Gobert Report" aren't your best possible nicknames, you know something special is going on. All hail the Stifle Tower!
In Bill's defense, I'm not sure anyone could have seen Gobert's ascendance coming, at least not to this degree. It would've been crazy to say it before the season started, but I think Gobert is the most indispensable piece of the Jazz rebuild now -- the least replaceable and possibly the most significant. And no, other NBA teams...you cannot have him. Ever.
So other teams can't have Rudy, but other players would sure like to play with him.
Okay, I'm reading between the lines here. All they really said -- and by "they" I mean the former Jazzmen on the Charlotte Hornets -- was that they enjoyed being in Utah. Well, here, let this D-News article give you the details:
Jefferson first commented on the unseasonably warm weather in Utah and said it's almost nicer than it's been in Charlotte this winter. The Hornets came in on Sunday and Jefferson said he spent a lot of time catching up with old friends.
"I got a chance to see everybody,'' he said. "My young guys have grown - Gordon and all those guys. I had a chance to see the security guys, ushers, guys I was great friends with. I got a chance to see everybody.''
Jefferson said he really enjoyed his three years in Utah when he averaged 18.5 points per game.
"It's always good to come back where you played,'' he said. "The people are super nice here. I loved them and they loved me, so it's always fun to come back and see old friends and play in front of this great crowd. Especially if you're playing for the Jazz - the crowd is amazing.''
I mean, after that shellacking, of course the Hornets players would be singing Utah's praises. But in any case, it's nice to see that our ex-Jazzmen still like it here. I may not have had a lot of fun watching the Jazz during their era, but they're all great people and I'm glad there's no ill will.
FanPosts! Here's three for you this week.
Just as Duke alum Rodney Hood is catching fire for the Jazz, current Blue Devil Justise Winslow is someone to keep an eye on, says JLaw923:
I have to preface this whole post by saying I don't watch much college ball and I'm sure there are plenty of worthy candidates for the Jazz 1st round pick, and trading the pick altogether might be more beneficial for Utah if they're looking to make the playoffs next season. That being said, I have been watching highlights and reading about Winslow and I would be a little too excited if the Jazz do draft him.
Beeblebrox42 takes a stab at breaking down the Jazz's upcoming salary cap picture:
I'm thinking that Dennis Lindsey will start preparing for the cap jump this offseason. I don't think he's going to bank on getting free agents in 2016 (since everyone will have space). I think he'll be looking to leverage our space this offseason and get close to the tax line now with the plan on having more room in 2017. My guess is that he'll do it with a combination of trades and free agency.
And calvinchappell18 wants to discuss Joe Ingles' nickname(s):
As I watch the jazz play, I hear Matt Harpring constantly calling Joe Ingles "Big Joe". (Which makes absolutely no sense. He just isn't that big). To me, that is not a good enough nickname for this guy. Jingles is kind of funny I guess. "Slow-Mo Joe" fits him really well. But I'd like to introduce the new nickname for Ingles. Average Joe. I look at him and I just see an average Joe. what do you think?
There are better and more thorough defensive metrics than points allowed per game, but this is still darn impressive:
PTS Allowed Last 13 Games (11-2) POR 76 SAS 81 LAL 100 DEN 82 MIL 75 MEM 82 BOS 85 PHI 83 BKN 88 NYK 82 HOU 91 DET 85 CHA 66 82.8 PTS/gm!— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 17, 2015
Still, there's work to do on the other side of the ball. I recommend this post from Matt Pacenza of Salt City Hoops:
The clearest area for improvement for the Jazz for 2015-16 clearly comes from the team's guards. Each offers something to the team, but it's worth noting that as of right now, every single guard the Jazz are playing regularly - Dante Exum, Trey Burke, Joe Ingles, Elijah Millsap and Rodney Hood - is shooting under 40 percent from the field.
Stay hungry, fellas.
(Editor's note: SLC Dunk does not endorse the throwing of drum cymbals or incredibly excessive profanity.)