Prior to his first-ever trip to Vivint Arena as a member of an opposing team, former Jazz forward Joe Ingles opened up about his reaction to the trade from Utah to Portland and much more.
“Was probably still a little shocked from it all. Obviously knew there was a chance (of being traded) but, like I said a couple times, still didn’t believe it would happen,” Ingles said, per Casey Holdahl of Trailblazers.com.
Unable to play for the rest of the season due to an ACL tear, Ingles said that Portland is allowing him to stay with his family in Utah and rehab.
“Just happy that the Trail Blazers were the team that traded for me and things so far have been really positive and the conversations, obviously unbelievable supportive with what I’ve been going through,” Ingles said. “To go to an organization that I guess I never thought I would be at — or 28 others ones as well — but then to come in and be supported, obviously they’re letting me stay here in Utah to rehab while my kids are in school and all that.”
Ingles has enjoyed his time spent with the team and is planning to fly out to Portland for the Blazers’ final stretch run at the end of March. Ingles has had conversations with former Weber State star Damian Lillard, who welcomed him to the team.
Though he’s not with the Jazz for the first time since the 2014-15 season, the relationships formed with his relationship with his now former teammates or head coach Quin Snyder, who Ingles says he’s extremely close with, are understandably still a big part of his life, but he does understand the business reason behind the Jazz’s trade.
“Regardless of if I’m injured or not, I still think I could have been an asset down there to help these guys. Knowing Quin (Snyder), knowing the players, knowing what their goals are, I think I definitely could have still been important,“ Ingles said.
“Very mixed emotions. I still get mad and frustrated some days with it. I’m living like 10 minutes up the road so it’s annoying that I can’t go hang out — I guess I can hang out with the guys — go to the facility and do all that,” Ingles said.
As for his upcoming free agency this summer, Ingles hasn’t made a decision on where he wants to sign yet.
“Like I said, it’s been a very, very good experience so far (in Portland). Just talking to Renae, my wife, over the last few weeks about it, I almost feel like I owe Portland my best. They’ve bought in on me, obviously, being here now with everything off the court they’ve set up and helped with, head athletic trainer Jess (Cohen) coming to Chicago to do my surgery with me, make sure everything was good and spending a few days to make sure I got out,” Ingles said.
“From top to bottom, I haven’t been around much, I’ve obviously been (in Salt Lake City) but I honestly feel like I’ve got to give them a chance. It would be very unfair of me, I think, for them to kind of buy in on me for now and then for me to walk away at the end of the year like ‘Thanks for getting my surgery and my PT sorted, I’m going to leave you here.’”