Off-season Odds and Ends
One. First look at Dante Exum and Rodney Hood in Jazz uniforms, via @utahjazz:
Two. TMZ ran a story today about Rodney Hood dropping $80,000 on draft jewelry:
Before he became a 1st Round NBA Draft pick … Rodney Hood got himself ice’d out with $80k in high-end jewelry … TMZ Sports has learned. We know … the day before the draft, the 21-year-old phenom hit up Rafaello & Co. in NYC — and picked himself up a $50k diamond-coated stainless steel Breitling Bentley watch.
He also dropped another $30k on an 18-carat gold and diamond bracelet with princess cut and round diamonds. Not too shabby.
Hood’s awesome response:
Three. Per @AlexKennedyNBA, David Stockton has elected to play for Jeff Hornacek and the Phoenix Suns in the summer league.
Stockton worked out for the Suns before the draft and he and Horny had a good time sharing anecdotes from when he was a kid and Horny was a Jazz player.
Update: Meanwhile, Michael Stockton, who currently plays in Germany and played for the Jazz’s summer league team the last two years, will be playing for the Thunder’s summer league team this year.
Four. Walt Perrin on Raul Neto’s status:
He will not be able to participate in summer league…I think he’s leaving tomorrow, heading back to Brazil, because he’s on the list to try out for a couple of the national teams. So he’ll be, he’ll probably be participating with the Brazilian national team’s trial.
Are you okay with his decision to go back to Brazil instead of playing for the Jazz’s summer league team?
We try not to stand in the way of players playing for their national team. It’s a great honor. So, we’re for him trying out for the team. Hopefully, we, he will make the team so it’ll give him more experience. So, it’s something we encourage.
Randy Rigby two summers ago on the subject of Jazz players playing for their national teams:
[Foreign Jazz] players come out and play for their national teams, and we’re paying millions of dollars for them in our contracts and then they get injured. They get also a little bit more worn out. …
One of the concerns I have had is our [American] athletes being around each other together and enjoying this idea [of playing together], and by them being around each other, some of our superstars, them talking and just saying, “Well, maybe we oughta stay together and formulate our own little squads in Miami or in New York” or wherever it might be. I think there’s been a little bit of that atmosphere going on, and I don’t like that competitive nature. …
You know? Deron Williams wants to compete against Dwight Howard instead of teaming up together after we’ve already gotten all of our money first, and then now let’s make it easier for us to win….And so, one thing I think the Olympics has done a little bit is maybe invite that atmosphere of those guys coming together and wanting to do that. So that’s one negative to what the Olympics does.
Five. Randy Rigby on Raul Neto and Derrick Favors, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine:
Derrick Favors was in yesterday working out, and Derrick and Raul have been, were doing some drills together, and it got my juices flowing. I was really excited to see them out on the floor together.
Six. Randy Rigby, asked which was the worst Jazz draft since he’s been with the team:
You know, we’ve had, there were a couple of ’em that were probably disappointing in the l–in the early 2000s. And I’m thinking of when we had to deal with some of our challenges that, you know, unfortunate, some guys that we thought would work out.
Curtis Borchardt was one that I think we were, w–ended up being a little bit disappointing to us. Again, as we all talk about, sometimes you look at talent and things, and then you can’t anticipate,* all of a sudden, injuries that come into these players and they don’t become, now, near the player that you had hoped…So you know, I think Borchardt was one, you know?
We had a guy that happened to be, you know, have some challenges and was picked up down in Tooele area,** and that wasn’t the best of years for us as well. So, we’ve had some guys that unfortunately haven’t produced, but I’ll say this. We were also working with a very limited group of people, who worked very hard but didn’t have the intel that we now have.
* Borchardt’s injury troubles couldn’t be anticipated? Is this really the belief of the Jazz front office, or was Rigby concerned Kevin O’Connor would hear the interview?
** Luther Wright, who was found banging garbage cans and smashing car windows at a rest stop in 1994.
Seven. Walt Perrin on why the Jazz’s third pick (No. 35) was traded:
We felt, even going into the draft the last few days, that it would be tough to bring on three young players with our young team. We need to address some of our concerns with our team with free agency, and if we added another player out of college, that takes away a roster spot.
So, as a group, we all felt that it was best for us to either move the pick or take a European stash and leave the player over in Europe.
And as we talked about it, we felt that the offer that Memphis gave us was a pretty good one, and that’s why we decided–we had a couple other teams call, in terms of trying to get that pick, but we felt Memphis’ was probably the best one for us at that particular time.*
* Memphis’ offer, the best one, was a 2016 second round pick.