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Utah Jazz news gathered from around the net.

Jazz See Correlation Between Bigs, Titles

The Jazz have great depth in the frontcourt with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

Many have suggested Utah will eventually need to make a trade of one of those players to improve in other areas.

Kevin O'Connor was asked if the success of the 11-12 season will make him reevaluate his plans for the team.

"You (media) guys are the ones that all want me to trade somebody," said O'Connor. "You're talking about our big guys. I don't think you can ever have too many. You can have too few. If you look at the teams that have won it over the last couple of years, I think they've all had pretty good big guys."

O'Connor believes the Jazz can eventually win even without a true superstar.

"When you put a team together you try and have a vision. Maybe what you thought here was trying to build it through the draft.…When Detroit was winning, they had a lot of good players. Rasheed (Wallace), Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups. I'm not putting ourselves in that category yet because we haven't earned it, but what I'm saying is that maybe that's the idea — that we can beat you a lot of different ways instead of having to go to one or two guys over and over again."

According to 82games.com, Utah had a +4.1 and +4.3 net PER production at power forward and center during the regular season.

Via Jody Genessy/Deseret News

Utah Playoff Berth Doesn't Surprise O'Connor

Utah is in the playoffs one season after trading away their franchise player in Deron Williams and seemingly entering a rebuilding phase.

But Kevin O'Connor insisted before the season began that the Jazz would be competitive.

"I don't ever want to sound like 'I told you so,' " O'Connor said during an end-of-season interview. "But at the beginning of the year, I think we talked about not being in a rebuilding year."

O'Connor had faith in veterans Al Jefferson, Devin Harris and Paul Millsap, while also believing Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors would improve in their second NBA season.

"We just felt we were better than everyone else thought we were," O'Connor said. "That's nice to come out of that and prove it. You have to prove it on the court and I think we did."

O'Connor was asked if he believes the Jazz are on a path to a title.

"We always are striving for that, whether it keeps us on that or puts us on that I don't know. You never know that.…But I don't think we're treading water, because if you brought everyone back from this team next year we'd be better.…Every player can get better next year and that's going to improve us and if we can add a piece that's really gonna help."

Via Jody Genessy/Deseret News

Jazz To Sign Ahearn For Remainder Of Season

The Jazz will sign Blake Ahearn for the remainder of the season.

Ahearn's 10-day contract ran through the end of Thursday.

Ahearn has appeared in three games with the Jazz while filling in for the injured Earl Watson.

Via Jody Genessy/Deseret News

Jazz Nickname Will Remain In Utah

With Tom Benson attempting to change the name of the New Orleans team back to the Jazz, David Stern has already publicly intervened.

"It belongs to Utah," Stern said Monday, as reported by The Times-Picayune. "I wouldn't make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I'm sure there will be some wonderful (suggested) nicknames."

Benson told fans he wants their help to find a new nickname "that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The Hornets doesn't mean anything."

The Jazz moved from New Orleans to Utah in 1979.

Via Jody Genessy/Deseret News

Millsap Open To Re-Signing With Jazz

Paul Millsap has expressed an interest in signing a long-term extension with the Jazz this summer.

"It’s [the] team that drafted me. I’d love to finish my career here. But if it don’t work out, so be it," said Millsap.

Millsap, 27, is averaging 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in 32.2 minutes per game this season.

"Certain stuff’s out of your hands," Millsap said. "Get out there and play basketball. You’re paid to play basketball; get out there and do my job."

He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Via Salt Lake Tribune

Jazz To Sign Blake Ahearn To 10-Day Contract

The Jazz will sign Blake Ahearn of the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns to a 10-day contract.

Ahearn is expected to practice on Tuesday and will travel with the Jazz when the team faces the Rockets on Wednesday.

A 2012 D-League All-Star selection, Ahearn (6-3, 190, Missouri State) appeared in 37 games, all starts, for the Bighorns this season, averaging 23.8 points, 5.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 37.5 minutes.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Hayward Breaking Out Since All-Star Break

Gordon Hayward's five-game stretch is the best statistical span he's had in his NBA career, averaging 18.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists. 

Hayward's play in the 23 games since the All-Star break has been excellent.

"I just think Hayward is one of the bright young stars in the league," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "He's the whole package. He can put it down. He can shoot it from the perimeter. He is a slasher and cutter, and on top of all of that, he is a really good defender."

"(Hayward's) realizing that not only does he belong here, but he can be one of the upper-tier guys in this league," said Tyrone Corbin.

Hayward credits his increase in confidence.

"I think just the confidence picked up," said Hayward. "Once that happened, I was able to just play and stop thinking and just be more comfortable out on the court and just play my game."

Via Jody Genessy/Deseret News
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