Northwest Notes: Jazz, Towns, Westbrook

The Jazz didn’t make any major headlines over the course of the summer, electing to stand pat on a roster that shocked the NBA world and emerged as a Western Conference contender. Heading into 2018/19, the club is as dangerous as ever, Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight writes.

Of course the biggest hurdle for the Jazz will be to win ball games despite the fact that opponents won’t take them for granted. Now that the rest of the league is aware of what they’re capable, they’ll have to bring their best game every night out.

Herring wonders if Ricky Rubio will be able to continue to shoot the ball as well as he did in the second half of last season after a career of sub-par percentages. Similarly, he considers just how scary the team can be on the defensive end with a hopefully healthy Rudy Gobert in the lineup for a full season.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The fact that Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t signed a five-year max rookie scale extension is “eyebrow raising,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN says (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Per Windhorst, there has never been a player that hasn’t signed such an offer.
  • A recent feature on 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Maurice Cheeks paints the retired point guard and former Thunder assistant as a “Russell Westbrook whisperer.” Royce Young of ESPN details the coach’s impact on the early years of Westbrook’s career.
  • It’s never too early to start talking about next year’s free agent crop. Our 2019 NBA free agent rankings are now live. Two of the four most valuable potential acquisitions? Timberwolves stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler.
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6 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Jazz, Towns, Westbrook

  1. I might be wrong, but my understanding is that Minny hasn’t offer the max extension, at least I haven’t read about it. So is quite difficult to sign a contract that hasn’t been offered to you, right? But if Minny cannot keep him in anyway possible, they will regret it as he is one of the best 3 players in their history, with KG & K-Love. They must keep him at any cost, change the players, anything to make him happy, otherwise they will be looking to another very lengthy rebuilt again.

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    • yoyo137

      KG, K-Love, K-Towns. They sure love wasting their great power forwards whose names start with K’s time and continuing to stay mediocre.

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  2. greg1

    Not a big deal really, worst case scenario is he becomes an RFA and the Wolves match any offer made to him.

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    • I give no fox

      I wouldn’t say that. If he passes on the extension, there is a less than zero percent chance he would sign an offer sheet with another team since that contract would be worth less than the wolves offer and it’s a 100% lock the wolves match. So he would probably just sign the RFA tender and wait a year to play where he wants or force a trade. Not saying he won’t take the extension, but if he passes it would be dumb to accept an offer sheet since he’s leaving money on the table and not changing teams

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      • D$!LLKU$H-og

        No to mention his qualifying offer would be decently substantial being the 1st pick of that draft. I think it’s like $10.2 mil which isn’t bad money when you’re just biding time. Then he can sign wherever he wants in 2020.

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  3. Dionis

    Mo Cheeks was everything Russ should aim to be. Drop your stats and focus on defense.

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