Utah Jazz stand pat, get ready for big offseason

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey said the Jazz had plenty of opportunities to make a deal before Thursday's trading deadline.

"We just said, 'No,'" Lindsey said.

His comments came a few hours after the deadline passed without the Jazz dealing either power forward Paul Millsap or center Al Jefferson, leaving intact a team that is seven games above .500 entering the stretch run toward the playoffs.

Lindsey said when any offer was added up, "It wasn't any better than what we had" as the team looked with an eye toward the future.

Lindsey called the Jazz "playoff competitive" just not "championship caliber."

Yet.

Millsap and Jefferson had been considered trade bait because of their expiring contracts. The team has five other players with expiring contracts, plus estranged shooting guard Raja Bell, who has not been with the squad all season after battling last year with head coach Tyrone Corbin.

The 6-foot-8 Millsap was considered the most expendable, not because he wasn't producing but because third-year pro Derrick Favors is waiting in the wings.

Millsap has started all 55 games for the Jazz this season, averaging 15 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Favors, 21, is averaging 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds and is the team's top shot-blocker with 70.

Lindsey cited a quote by another Jazz exec, Kevin O'Connor.

"When they say you should make a trade is probably when you shouldn't," Lindsey said. "We're not here to win a press conference."

And he didn't want to do a deal just to say he did a deal in his first season as Jazz GM.

"We decided the incumbent position was the strongest now and going forward," Lindsey said. "We'll see if we're right or wrong."

The Jazz certainly had options Thursday, and will have even more this summer though they risk losing both Millsap and Jefferson.