Odds & Ends: Jefferson, Batum, Brand, Nene

In a busy NBA offseason, the Jazz haven't been talked about a great deal on a national level after adding Randy Foye and Marvin Williams to a talented young core.  However, big man Al Jefferson is certainly taking notice.  Referring to former General Manager Kevin O'Connor and current GM Dennis Lindsey, Jefferson said "The GMs did a hell of a job improving our team. I feel a lot better," tweets Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune.  Jefferson is also entering his walk year, but he says that he hasn't given it any thought (Twitter link).  Here's more from around the league as Sunday turns into Monday..

  • Joe Freeman of The Oregonian looks at the biggest questions facing the Blazers this season.  Among them is whether Nicolas Batum can take the next big step and justify the $45MM contract he was given this summer.  Part of that leap will be an attitude adjustment as Batum often appears to look passive on the floor.
  • Mavericks forward Elton Brand says that he expects to serve as the club's enforcer in 2012/13, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com.  Dallas claimed the former All-Star off of waivers back in July after he was amenstied by the 76ers.
  • If the Wizards hope to turn things around this year, they'll need a major contribution from forward Nene, writes Michael Lee of The Washington Post.  Nene, acquired at last year's deadline from Denver, has battled back from two major setbacks in his career and will have to stay healthy in order for the Wizards to stay competitive this season.
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