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With the Utah Jazz in Minnesota Friday, all eyes were on Rudy Gobert since it was the first time he faced his former team since that trade in which he was the centerpiece.

But Friday’s game was also a return for the outgoing players that landed with the Jazz. Two of those players, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, were traded from Denver to Minnesota in the 2019-20 season.

When Vanderbilt talks about his transition to Utah, he can’t help but compare it to what was happening with the a rebuilding Minnesota team when he was traded there, and even Denver before that.

The Timberwolves won just 19 games in his first season with the team then just 23 games in the 2020-21 season before returning to the playoffs last year.

“It’s a great organization, great staff, the team has been good,” Vanderbilt said of the Jazz. “Just trying to bring those same qualities and pretty much we’re in the same boat, trying to rebuild and establish a culture and create winning habits ... we’ve been on three programs that before we got there they weren’t playoff contending teams.

“We ended up helping be a part of rebuilds and being a part of changing culture. This is not new for us.”

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Collin Sexton’s shorts and ‘Young Bull’ moment, Walker Kessler’s apology and some advice from Michael Malone

It’s a good reminder for Jazz fans, that even through a rebuild, players can develop into legitimate NBA role players, and that everyone who has a hand contributing to a rebuilding team understands the weight of the situation.

“I was there and able to grow and carve out my role and my niche in this league,” Vanderbilt said. “Being a part of helping change cultures and taking a team that was at the bottom of the league and making them into a playoff team, it’s always great.”

There’s value in having players like Vanderbilt and Beasley, who are familiar with rebuilds, on a team that is facing so much newness. And, it’s never easy to predict who could end up being a part of the future, once the team turns the corner in the rebuild.

This time around, Vanderbilt and Beasley might be here to see the fruits of their labor.

New with the Jazz

Related
Facing Jazz for first time since the trade, Rudy Gobert reflects on his time in Utah

This week in Jazz history

In a game against the New Orleans Jazz on Oct. 22, 1976, twin brothers Tom and Dick Van Arsdale played together in a game for the Phoenix Suns, becoming the first pair of twins to play for the same NBA club. The Suns ended up losing the game, 111-98, to the Jazz.

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).

This week the crew reacts to the players who were waived and take a quick look at the finalized 2022-23 Utah Jazz roster.

The podcast has moved to a new feed, so remember to follow or subscribe by searching for “Unsalvageable” through your podcast provider.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives

Related
Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale shine on opening night with new teams
Analysis: The Utah Jazz have a lot to be happy about after collective effort paid off against the Nuggets

Extra points

  • How to face the 2022-23 season as a Jazz fan during a rebuild (Deseret News)
  • ‘It’s called patience’: How the Jazz are approaching the 2022-23 season (Deseret News)
  • Jazz players out to prove they’re not in on tanking (Salt Lake Tribune)

Around the league

Kawhi Leonard coming off the bench for the Clippers as he works his way back.

Zach Lowe: The 5 most intriguing players of the 2022-23 season.

Kevin Durant is going to own a Major League Pickleball team.

Up next

Oct. 21 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Minnesota Timberwolves | AT&T SportsNet

Oct. 23 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ New Orleans Pelicans | AT&T SportsNet

Oct. 24 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets | AT&T SportsNet

Oct. 26 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets | AT&T SportsNet

Oct. 28 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Denver Nuggets | AT&T SportsNet