Last (?) Offseason Odds and Ends
1. The beard is back.
2. Locke confirms–for the first time–what we all already knew: that Boozer did indeed demand a trade last summer, and “the Jazz told him to shut up.” (40:15 mark). You go, KOC.
3. A tidbit from Locke that I didn’t already know:
“To some extent training camp already started for these guys [with many of the players returning to SLC earlier in the month and playing pickup games and working out together]. The coaches and team are not allowed to be involved until training camp starts.” (emphasis mine)
4. Apparently dissatisfied with what Raja (34) and Elson (34) did to raise the average age of the team, the Jazz are signing Earl Watson (31). [When the season ended four months ago, we had a total of ONE player over the age of 30–Memo.]
I don’t know much about Watson, except he can’t shoot. However, Ross Siler says that “this season’s Earl Watson is going to be better than this season’s Eric Maynor.” That’s a big statement, since Maynor was pretty darn great compared to the carnival of last-leg point guards that have paraded through SLC in recent years.
Locke also had this to say:
Watson plays with an edge and toughness that Jerry Sloan is going to like. He is a defender. He battles for every possession. He understands the game and plays hard every night.
In 2006 he said, “The money we make is stupid,” he said. “If you play for the money, you lose yourself and have no identity. I play for the love of the game, and I play to win.”
Watson brings the number of guaranteed contracts to 11, which is two short of the minimum 13. Five of the eleven are new faces. Yikes. As BBJ points out, turning over half the roster of the team just isn’t something that happens in Utah.
I’m assuming (always a dangerous endeavor, I know) that with Watson’s signing, Yatta is gone. That leaves OJ, Jeremy Evans, Fes, and/or someone(s) else entirely unexpected to fill out the remaining roster spots. I have to say, I’m really, really curious about Evans.
5. Big Al quote while donating school supplies to a SLC community:
“I’d like to play 10 more years. I hope this is my final team.”