Jazz Notes: Ilyasova, Fans, Mitchell, Gobert

Ersan Ilyasova, who signed with the Jazz earlier this week, won’t get rushed into action, according to Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Ilyasova bided his time in free agency, waiting for an opportunity this season, until Utah came calling.

“I think he’s anxious to contribute in any way that he can,” coach Quin Snyder said. “We don’t expect him to show up and be ready to go right away. That’s not to say that he won’t be in many senses, but there’s an adjustment period, and we’re patient with him. I want him to be patient with himself.”

Ilyasova jumped at the chance to join the team with the league’s best record, as a story posted on the team’s website notes. The veteran forward played for the Bucks the past two seasons.

“The communication is there. They trust each other,” he said. “I watched the games before — the way they play and the chemistry is at a high level. When you see the way they play, share the ball, move the ball, everybody back each other, this is what it takes to win a championship.”

We have more on the Jazz:

  • The team will allow more fans into Vivint Smart Home Arena during the second half of the season, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Utah will host a max of 5,600 fans into the arena, which has a capacity of 18,300.
  • An article in The Athletic last spring suggested that the relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert was irreparably damaged after Mitchell believed he contracted COVID-19 from his teammate. However, the two All-Stars are on very good terms now and that earlier report actually helped them patch things up, Mitchell told Jones in an in-depth article. “It brought out a level of determination in both of us that we never had,” Mitchell said. “I never had a controversy like that. Here we were, the two pillars of the team, and we had to go to the playoffs in two months. It brought out a different level of tenacity in both of us.”
  • Are Gobert and Jordan Clarkson the frontrunners for Defensive Player of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year, respectively? Join our discussion on the NBA’s 2020/21 awards right here.
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