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Among the players the Utah Jazz interviewed at the NBA combine in Chicago were centers Zach Edey (Purdue) and Donovan Clingan (UConn). When I reported Wednesday that the Jazz had interviewed Edey and Clingan, there were some fans that wondered what that meant for Walker Kessler, the young prospect already on the Jazz roster.

Some people assumed it meant the Jazz might be more willing to move on from Kessler, or that interviewing the two prospects said something about how the Jazz feel about Kessler’s future. But in reality, it’s not that deep or nefarious at all. Even after Kessler’s standout rookie season, the Jazz interviewed center Dereck Lively at the 2023 combine and that didn’t mean anything more than that the Jazz were trying to get a better feel for some of the best available talent in the draft pool.

Notes from the combine: What players the Jazz are interviewing — and what insiders are saying

The Jazz are invested in Kessler’s future and that hasn’t changed. They are also invested in trying to give themselves the best chance of having a well-rounded roster in the coming years when they are actually going to start trying to contend. They can’t do that with a single center on the roster.

There’s no telling in the next few years, through deals, growth, decline, improvement, injuries, etc., what the Jazz roster is going to look like. The Jazz certainly aren’t banking on Ömer Yurtseven to be a backup center for the next several years, so it behooves them to do due diligence across all positions.

The Jazz have also interviewed point guards and forwards, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve lost hope in Keyonte George or Lauri Markkanen.

Another thing that’s been pointed out is the Jazz’s clear lack of solid wing players on the current roster. The Jazz are certainly looking at a number of wing players in this draft and team sources told the Deseret News that there are a number of high-level wings in the 2025 draft that the Jazz are monitoring closely.

The bottom line is that the Jazz interviewing a couple of centers at the combine does not mean they’ve given up on Kessler or anyone else.

Purdue center Zach Edey celebraters after a basket against UConn during the first half of the NCAA college Final Four championship basketball game, Monday, April 8, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Purdue center Zach Edey reacts after a basket against UConn during NCAA championship game, Monday, April 8, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. Utah Jazz brass interviewed Edey during this week's NBA combine. | Brynn Anderson, Associated Press

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My 13-year-old golden retriever, Khaleesi, was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago. She was only expected to live happily for a couple of months, but lasted so much longer without pain. Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that it was time to say goodbye. Making that decision was incredibly difficult, but I never wanted her to suffer, so deciding on peaceful euthanasia was better than waiting for things to get really ugly.

She was truly my best friend and I miss her so much that it hurts. I don’t write this to make anyone feel sad or sorry for me. I want to just remind everyone to pay a little extra attention to your pets. Give them extra cuddles and treats and spend time playing with them.

The bond with a pet is so unique and special, and I don’t think anyone ever loses a pet and thinks, “I’m satisfied with the time I had and I gave them the correct number of hugs and kisses.” We always are left wishing we had just a little more time, a few more belly rubs, one more scratch behind the ears. So, this is just a reminder to love your pets extra hard.

From the archives

Grading the Jazz: Veteran guards stepped up for the rebuilding Jazz in 2023-24
Grading the Jazz: Newcomers Darius Bazley and Kenneth Lofton Jr.

Extra points

  • If Jaxson Robinson withdraws from NBA draft, here’s where insiders think he’ll land (Deseret News)
  • Grading the Jazz: John Collins needed time to adapt to a new situation (Deseret News)
  • Sizing up Jazz’s 2023 first-round picks. Here’s what we learned (Deseret News)
  • Mock drafts are split on who the Jazz could take with the 10th pick (

Around the league

Up Next: NBA Playoffs

  • May 18 | 6 p.m. MDT | Game 6 | Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks | ABC
  • May 19 | TBD | Game 7 | Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets | TBD
  • May 19 | 1:30 p.m. MDT | Game 7* | Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks | ABC
  • May 20 | 6:30 p.m. MDT | Game 7* | Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder | TNT
  • May 21 | 6 p.m. MDT | Game 1 | Boston Celtics vs. TBD | ESPN

* = if necessary

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