Northwest Notes: Jazz, Thunder, Teague, Wolves

The Jazz‘s decision to trade Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson in deadline deals last week signaled that neither of those players was part of Utah’s plans going forward. Still, there were no hard feelings in either case, as Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News details. Speaking last week about the two veteran wings, general manager Dennis Lindsey said Johnson had become a “folk hero around here,” and added that the team has “great respect” for Hood.

“I told Rodney that I hope I see a playoff game on ABC where Rodney Hood hits a game-winning shot,” said the Jazz GM. “That would tickle me. So we’re rooting for him, we care about him and we wish him the best and we thank him for not only the efforts that he gave us the last four years but the player that he was able to return to us in Jae Crowder.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest division:

  • The Thunder have yet to establish a permanent starting five since Andre Roberson went down with his season-ending knee injury last month, and it sounds like the lineup tinkering will continue, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. “I don’t want to say it’s going to be different night to night,” said head coach Billy Donovan. “But yeah, it could change in certain situations based on what’s best for our team.”
  • With so many scorers on the Timberwolves‘ roster, Jeff Teague has found himself playing a facilitator role more often this season after signing with the team last summer. The veteran point guard, whose 12.7 PPG is his lowest mark in six years, admits that new approach has taken some getting used to. “It’s just not how I play,” said Teague, per Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. “But someone has to make a sacrifice, and it was me.”
  • Michael Rand of The Star Tribune identifies five veteran free agents or buyout candidates who could be of interest to the Timberwolves.

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