The Jazz are thriving this season, which is something that could bode well for their chances of re-signing Gordon Hayward this offseason, Brad Rock of the Deseret News writes. Utah owns a record of 24-16 and is within striking range of a top-4 seed. “I think we expected it,” Hayward said of the team’s success. “I think going into [the season] we had high expectations for ourselves. There’s a long way to go … so it’s important not to get too high on the highs, but not too low on the lows.”
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Wolves have hired Dwight Lutz and Nick Restifo as Basketball Operation Analysts, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune passes along via Twitter. Lutz previously worked for the NBA as a Senior Manager of Game Analytics and Strategy. Restifo, who was a contributor to Nylon Calculus, previously worked as an Associate Data Scientist at Darden Restaurants.
- Joel Bolomboy made it through Monday without the Jazz waiving him, which means his salary for next season has become guaranteed, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes on Twitter. The rookie will make $600K this season and slightly over $905K next year.
- Allen Crabbe, who re-signed with the Blazers on a four-year, $75MM deal over the summer, struggled to begin the season, but now he’s starting to find his groove, as Jason Quick of Comcast Sportsnet details. Crabbe’s player efficiency rating sits at 10.8, a figure which is well-below the league average of 15.0.