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The Downbeat: Kyrie Irving to the Jazz?

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Welcome to your Friday Downbeat

NBA: Utah Jazz at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

We’re starting to head into the boring part of the NBA calendar. All of the impact free agents are off the board and training camp and preseason games aren’t for a while. There’s still trade speculation running wild about Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony though, and the Jazz could get involved (more on that later).

Beat 1 AllThatAmar

Speaking of the offseaon, right now players are working out and training in preparation for the 2017-18 season. Ekpe Udoh is putting in the work to make sure his latest stint in the NBA will produce more fruit than the first.

Ryan Aston of The J Notes posted a piece about Derrick Favors working himself back into 2014-16 form. A good read that also included snippets from Favors’ Instagram account...

GRIND!!!

A post shared by Derrick Favors (@_dfavors15) on

I think with all the noise surrounding the departure of Gordon Hayward and the almost complete re-tooling of the roster, we’ve forgotten Favors. This is a guy who put up back-to-back 16-8 seasons while shooting above 50% to boot.

If Favors ever makes “healthy Favs” a term of the past, he’ll be able to be not just contribute to the team, but be a staple in one of the best frontcourts of the 21st century.

If you’re wondering what Favors’ frontcourt partner is doing, well...Rudy is doing Rudy things.

For those who aren’t fluent in French, it says “I stay in my sport” (according to Google Translate). Should we be worried about Gobert signing with FC Barcelona?

Beat 2 AllThatAmar

Speaking of Barcelona, Ricky Rubio and Joe Ingles once crossed paths (briefly) as members of Barcelona (the basketball team, not the soccer team) in 2011.

The Jazz have several players on their roster who have spent time in Europe. Rubio and Ingles, Raulzinho Neto, Jonas Jerebko, Ekpe Udoh, Eric Griffin and Thabo Sefolosha have all played in various European leagues. I don’t have the resources to see if that’s above-average for an NBA team to have so many players who’ve spent time accross the pond, but it seems like a lot. And most of these guys are starter/key rotation players.

Perhaps I’m overthinking this, but having such a European influence could help the Jazz be the innovators of the NBA that we would like them to be. If my assumption is correct that most teams don’t have so many EuroLeague players, this is yet another instance of the Jazz going completely against the grain of the NBA.

Beat 3 AllThatAmar

Back on the subject of offseasons, apparently a certain Cavalier star likes to spend his free time in the Beehive State...

There’s been a lot of speculation about Kevin Love coming to Utah. I’d rather not join that speculation (again) mainly because it’s such a long shot and I’m not sure it would be the best move for the Jazz anyway. Still, it’s nice to know that one of the NBA’s best power forwards likes to be in Utah. It isn’t terribly common for non-Jazz players.

Beat 4 AllThatAmar

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few days about Kyrie Irving’s situation. Most of the talk has been about whose fault it is that he wants to leave or why he wants to leave a team that could go to a fourth straight NBA Finals this year.

I frankly don’t care why he’s leaving, I just want to know where he’s going. USA Today ‘s Adi Joseph tried to answer that question by publishing an article on who Irving could most help win.

In case you don’t want to scroll through the analysis on all 30 teams, I’ll just tell you the Jazz rolled in at third behind the Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets. Here’s what Joseph had to say.

“Hard to imagine an easier move here. The Jazz would have to give up recently acquired Ricky Rubio along with likely Rodney Hood, one of Donovan Mitchell or Dante Exum and a pick. But that hefty price would probably be worth it for a team with major offensive problems. The thing about this move is that it doesn’t seem like something the Jazz would do — they’ve built their entire team identity around defense and depth and would be sacrificing both.”

I’m not sure I could have said it better myself. Giving up a starter or two and a prospect would probably be worth the offensive starpower. But Irving’s imfamously mediocre defense likely turns Dennis Lindsey off.

In case you missed it, Mychal Lowman wrote about the Jazz possibly re-igniting trade talks over Irving from earlier this offseason. He also worked the ESPN Trade Machine to death with some trade scenarios.

Beat 5 AllThatAmar

Finally, a celebration of the best beard haircut (beardcut?) I’ve seen in a long time.

Let’s cap things off with a poll.

Poll

Would you want Dennis Lindsey to go after Kyrie Irving?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Whatever it takes. We need a star
    (201 votes)
  • 48%
    If the cost isn’t too high
    (660 votes)
  • 32%
    He’s not worth the effort
    (437 votes)
  • 4%
    Who’s Kyrie Irving?
    (56 votes)
1354 votes total Vote Now