Utah Jazz Notes: Trade talk madness, speculation and phone smacking

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Rodney Hood #5 of the Utah Jazz gestures on court during their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 30, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Rodney Hood #5 of the Utah Jazz gestures on court during their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 30, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

It was a busy evening on Wednesday night as along with the Utah Jazz coming away with a win, there was plenty of odd chatter relating to the team on social media.

It’s downright pandemonium in Utah Jazz land right now. And no, not just because the Jazz finally won a game on the road as they came out on top against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, but because of several little tidbits of news, rumors and speculation circling social media regarding the Utah Jazz. Much of that news has to do with the impending trade deadline, but some of it…well…just see for yourself.

Nikola Mirotic Twitter Follows

It’s been no secret that Nikola Mirotic is viewed as a potential trade target for the Utah Jazz and that it’s a deal that has a reasonably high likelihood of happening. Trade-predicting conspiracy theorists were absolutely sent into a frenzy last night as a tweet started circling that highlighted that Nikola Mirotic had recently started following Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell on Twitter:


However, several were quick to refute the announcement as Twitter actually arranges the followers with the mutual ones first, not necessarily in chronological order. Therefore, the screenshot is somewhat misleading as there’s no indication as to how long Mirotic has followed those guys.

But it is of note that Mirotic is following the Salt Lake Tribune on Twitter. And according to the display on my personal Twitter account that didn’t have them as a mutual follow, it appears that the Trib is his most recent new follow.

Of course, that doesn’t guarantee anything. Mirotic might have very well started following them just because he was brought up as a trade piece to the Jazz by the Salt Lake Trib in a handful of articles. However, fans are likely remembering when Gordon Hayward’s trainer started following all of the Boston Celtics on Instagram the day that the former Jazzman’s fateful decision was made known, and assuming this could be in that same realm.

Mirotic is eligible to be traded on January 15th, so perhaps we’ll know the truth sooner rather than later.

Derrick Favors is sick of the talk

But one guy who’s had enough of all of our trade talk (most likely specifically the talk involving him being swapped for Mirotic) is the presumed trade piece himself, Derrick Favors. Favors has long been the king of cryptic tweets as we’ve covered a number of times here on The J-Notes, and I’ll be honest, I had just started to get curious as to when we’d see Derrick’s newest such tweet.

It finally happened on Wednesday night as he tweeted out a simple scrolling GIF that repeated the words “Blah Blah Blah” over and over again:

As always, this should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s within reason that Derrick knows something that we don’t know. He’s undoubtedly sick of all the chatter, but whether he’s sick of it because it’s true or because it’s bogus remains to be seen.

Some hypothesized that he sat out against Washington less because of the ankle injury and more because he’s set to be traded, however, I don’t believe that to be the case as to why he didn’t play. Though he may very well end up being moved, it was pretty obvious in the game against Miami that he did indeed hurt his ankle, so it came as little surprise that he sat out.

Utah Jazz to add Georges Niang?

Let’s take a quick break from the trade chatter and talk about two-way contracts, a much less head-spinning topic. According to Adam Johnson with the Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State’s G-League affiliate), the Jazz are rumored to be planning to sign Iowa State alum Georges Niang to a two-way contract.

Niang was drafted by the Indiana Pacers back in 2016 with the 50th overall pick, but saw very limited action in a Pacers uniform. It would likely take quite an improvement for him to crack into Utah’s rotation, but the undersized big man is putting up a solid stat line this season in the G-League of 18.4 points and 6.7 rebounds.

It seems somewhat odd that Utah would be changing up their two-way contracts as it wasn’t all that long ago that they signed both Erik McCree and Naz Mitrou-Long to such deals, so we’ll see if this rumor truly comes to fruition.


This is looking very much likely to happen:

Rodney Hood does not appreciate being filmed

OK, back to the sheer madness. Rodney Hood was obviously in a less than pleasant mood yesterday evening during the game against the Washington Wizards as he surprisingly found himself with two technical fouls after disagreeing strongly with the officials on a pair of occasions and was therefore ejected.

In Hood’s defense, there were some calls that didn’t quite go in his favor, but it still would have been better to see the young guard keep his cool and be able to remain in the game to help his team.

Nevertheless, rules are rules and after receiving that second tech, Hood was promptly sent to the locker room. However, as he departed, he obviously wasn’t too thrilled with a Wizards fan who had his phone at the ready to film Hood’s exit, and Rodney slapped the phone away in savage yet stoic fashion.

Sounds crazy, but if you haven’t seen it already, check it out below:

As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, it got weirder from there. Apparently the guy whose phone was smacked away wanted to get the police involved:

As the Salt Lake Tribune’s Kyle Goon stated above, it’s not likely that the police will get involved, but you can bet that the NBA will. Expect to see a fine slapped on Hood in the not so distant future.

Some have tried to argue that perhaps Rodney was just going through high fives as he left the court and went to high five the guy not realizing that his phone was out. While I can kind of see the logic in that argument, I still have a hard time believing that was the case. If it had been an accident, we likely would have seen some sort of double take and acknowledgement of the mistake.

Instead, Hood doesn’t miss a beat as he sends the phone flying, which leads me to believe that this was pretty intentional. Expect this clip to become a rather comical and heavily-used GIF from now on. Any publicity is good publicity, right?

And to wrap up, what would this last segment be without some extra trade conspiracy/speculation? My J-Notes colleague Tyler Crandall shared a common theory with me that perhaps Hood was extra frustrated or disappointed last night because he recently learned of a trade or potential trade that he was to be a part of.

That would certainly explain the uncharacteristic outbursts both at the refs and at the man with the phone. As KSL’s Andy Larsen pointed out in the tweet below, that’s not exactly common behavior for Rodney.

Sure, that’s somewhat of a stretch, I know. But it’s trade season, so if we see something that could be tied to a zany rumor, we’re allowed to report it, right?!

But in all seriousness, the Jazz are expected to be heavy participants leading up to this season’s deadline and Hood is by no means untouchable especially as he continues to struggle through a bit of a rough stretch of late. It would be surprising, but not completely outlandish to see Utah opt to deal Rodney, and it’s entirely possible that he would know about it by now.

So perhaps that’s what pushed him over the edge and set him off in last night’s game. Or perhaps I’m reading entirely too far into this. Nevertheless, it was an odd look for Hood at a time of year when NBA fans tend to be overly suspicious.

Next: Utah Jazz: Trey Burke at peace with Jazz career… kinda, sorta

There’s still nearly a month left until the February 8th trade deadline, so expect the next few weeks to be full of similar thrills, speculation and excitement even if at the end of the day, the Utah Jazz opt to psyche us all out and abstain from making any monumental moves.

I’d be a little surprised if they stood pat, but then again, considering all the assumptions otherwise, it’d also kind of be exactly the typical Utah Jazz sort of thing to do…