NBA

Joe Ingles in 'no doubt' about NBA career but knows injury may end Jazz stint

By Sports Desk February 04, 2022

Joe Ingles expects to return to the NBA but not necessarily the Utah Jazz following his ACL tear.

Jazz forward Ingles sustained the injury to his left knee in Sunday's defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Australian is already 34 and facing a lengthy lay-off, but he is determined to recover and play again at the top level.

Ingles was a Sixth Man of the Year finalist in 2020-21 – team-mate Jordan Clarkson won the award – and has been a key role-player in Utah for eight seasons.

Only 10 players have appeared in more games for the Jazz all-time than the injured Boomer (590).

He points out his game relies more on shooting from deep than driving to the basket; he is a 40.8 per cent career three-point shooter and his 1,071 made threes are the most in franchise history.

Therefore, the prospect of a return appears more likely. Klay Thompson, one of the NBA's great three-point shooters (41.8 per cent), recently came back from consecutive serious injuries – the first of which was a torn ACL.

"Literally no doubt [about returning]," Ingles told ESPN. "I know probably everybody says that when they're going through this. A few days post-injury, people might think I'm a little bit crazy.

"But you look at people who have been through this. The MRI was a little bit of a win, I guess, with it just being my ACL.

"Then the other part of it – and we joke about it – is my game. My game has never been based on athleticism, above the rim or anything like that.

"I'm not writing off what this surgery is and what the rehab looks like, but everyone around the league knows how I play and what I can do."

However, Ingles' contract was already expiring and could be considered a trade asset prior to free agency, meaning his next game may very well be in another team's colours.

"If I'm able to get someone back [in a trade] that would help them make a push for the end of the year, I understand that," Ingles said, with the Jazz fourth in the West.

"I'm not going to sit here and be sour and upset. I've built my eight years here of hard work and in the community and all that stuff, but I'm very well aware of the business side and all that."

He added: "Having an ACL obviously throws a bit of a spanner in the works with some of it, but I have good relationships with the Jazz and the front office and coach [Quin Snyder].

"I've got the best agent [Mark Bartelstein] in the league. It's a very fluid conversation, and we just have open lines of conversation."

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