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The differences in reactions in the regions involved in the three-team deal that saw the Cleveland Cavaliers acquire Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz and send Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Salt Lake City are interesting, to say the least.
We here at Amico Hoops will have plenty on the Hood-to-the-Cavaliers aspect of the deal, but as far as how Utah is reacting to receiving Crowder in return (Rose, by the way, is reportedly going to be released, then reunite with his coach in Chicago, Tom Thibideau, in Minnesota) is interesting.
Basically, the Jazz, who have won seven consecutive games to move to 26-28 on the season and within 2.5 games of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, are trading for the Crowder that Cavaliers thought they were receiving when he was acquired as part of the Kyrie Irving trade on Aug. 22. As a Cavalier, though, Crowder never looked comfortable as his shooting, defense and overall physicality slipped noticeably.
“The way he plays — the physicality, the strength he adds to our group, his mentality — it’s a snug fit,” Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey told reporters Thursday night. “We’re definitely in it for the long haul.”
Crowder, whose dad, Corey Crowder, played in 51 games for the Jazz in the 1991-92 season, averaging just 2.2 points per game, is signed for two more seasons at $7.5 million per year.
Crowder, in his seventh NBA season, has averaged 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game in his career. Only once has he surpassed his career 34.4 percent shooting on 3-point attempts for a whole season (39.8 percent last season for Boston). He’s rejoining a former teammate, Jonas Jerebko, who played with him in Boston.
“Jae is someone that we’ve long admired,” Lindsey said. “He’s really versatile defensively. Can play really two through four. His physicality, with his build, is quite obvious.
“With the systems that he’s played in with Dallas, Boston and Cleveland, we think we’ve seen enough that we think he can mesh well.”
The Utah GM admits uncertainty remains on whether the Jazz can continue to trend upward and reach the postseason, but is satisfied in the direction in which the franchise is headed.
“I don’t pretend to know what’s going to happen relative to the playoffs or not,” he said. As long as we’re progressing, we’re happy, the Millers (the owners of the Jazz) are happy and hopefully, our fans are happy as well.”