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With basketball fans in a frenzy ahead of Thursday afternoon's NBA trade deadline, ready to gobble up any internet rumor or bit of salacious speculation, Derrick Favors perhaps on accident put a drop of blood in the water.
The Utah Jazz forward on Tuesday opened up his Twitter app and posted an emoji of a little yellow face with a furrowed brow and a hand resting on its chin, apparently deep in thought.
Favors, however, claims he's not thinking at all about the 1 p.m. trade deadline and rumors that he could be on the move.
"I was just being on Twitter, just using it," he explained Wednesday. "I just tweeted that. It was just a tweet I did. It wasn't that big. Just a tweet."
It didn't have something to do with reports that the Jazz have been gauging the trade value of the 6-foot-10 big man? Or reports that teams have expressed interest in taking the power forward, who has been hampered by injuries this season, off the Jazz's hands?
"Nothing to do with the team," he said of the post, which was retweeted more than 700 times over the next day. "Nothing to do with nothing."
But separating fact and fiction at the trade deadline isn't always an easy task.
The Jazz front office is a notoriously tight-lipped operation and leaks seldom spring. Still, general manager Dennis Lindsey has, of course, been doing his due diligence.
Utah inquired about shooting guard Lou Williams before the Lakers traded him to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. And, according to an ESPN report, the Jazz have also inquired about Mavericks point guard Deron William. Though no deal was thought to be imminent, ESPN reported, the former Jazzman, along with teammate Andrew Bogut, were held out of practice Wednesday, adding to the speculation they could be on their way out of Dallas.
Every Jazzman, meanwhile, practiced Wednesday night, as the team reunited following the all-star break. Still, they all know that makeup could change by Thursday afternoon.
"You can't help but look at it because it's all over everywhere," shooting guard Rodney Hood said of the trade rumors. "But a lot of it's just rumors. A lot of it never happens. It's just a wait-and-see game."
With the Jazz sitting at 35-22, good for fifth place in the West heading into the stretch run, head coach Quin Snyder has said he would like to see his team have more team to continue developing its chemistry now that the full roster is getting healthy.
"We have a plan for our group that usually supersedes everything," Snyder said. "We like our team, we like our guys. … There's nothing that's looming or distracting in any way. There's reality and things like that, but for us the reality is we have a really good group and we fit."
Still, the coach would not rule out a move.
"If we can be better in some way, that's something we look at like any team," he said. "But we've got a good team."
The league saw its first blockbuster trade of the season happen already, with the Sacramento Kings sending DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. As the week has progressed, stars Jimmy Butler and Paul George have been rumored in possible deals.
Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, fresh off his first All-Star Game, knows how wild a trade deadline can be. On Wednesday, he recalled the blockbuster trade that sent Williams out of Utah in 2011, Hayward's rookie season.
"I learned pretty much anything and everything can happen my first year here," Hayward said. "Nothing really surprises me anymore."
One of the players the Jazz got in return for Williams feels the same way.
"I've been through it already," Favors said. "I don't really pay attention to [the trade speculation]. I know it's a lot of fun for everybody else, but for me I don't pay attention to it. I just go about my business. If I'm here, I'm here. If I'm not, I'm not."
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