Allow me to diverge a bit from my typical mission here at Torn By Sports and talk about the Jazz just a bit. Ever since the season ended, I’ve intended to sit down and write a post season recap, a free agency manifesto of sorts, or a draft preview. I’ve started and stopped several times as I’ve allowed the priorities of managing our BYU content as well as lie in general to get in the way. But the time is upon us and later today, the Utah Jazz take the first step in deciding the future of this franchise. Deciding on draft picks or deals tonight and over the next two weeks will shine an illuminating light upon Dennis Lindsay’s vision for the Utah Jazz.
As the draft has neared, many rumors have sprung up regarding the Jazz. Who should they draft? Will Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap be in Utah in 2013? Is it time to bring Jimmer-mania home? I’ve even got one of my own. But let’s look at this a piece at a time and you tell me what you think.
Looking at the Draft
For some time I’ve believed and agreed with the talking heads that there isn’t a lot of talent in this draft and I fully embrace the David Locke belief that no matter where you draft in this first round, you will probably get a very good rotation player for this league but not really any bona fide stars. I had a Twitter conversation with Clark Schmutz, aka @clarkpojo, two weeks ago about all this talk about trading for a higher pick. He maintained that players like Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, Trey Burke, or Otto Porter would be worth moving for. I think if I’m looking at this crop of players, McLemore and maybe Oladipo would be the only ones worth moving for. But what would the cost be? Could you get into a deal like that and only give up picks along with an Alec Burks? Would that be worth it? One of the rumors I heard on Tuesday included the Kings packaging the #7 pick with Jimmer to send him to the Jazz for our #14 and #21 picks. Would you do it? All Jimmer homer fan aside, I think you have to do this deal if you are the Jazz front office. Jimmer is never going to be more than a solid role player (if utilized correctly) in this league. He provides local fan buy in which will be paramount this season. He gives you a potential scorer off the bench and can play backup point guard minutes when needed. And by moving to #7, the Jazz should pick from all but one of the top point guards in this year’s draft.
I’ve come up with two other scenarios for the draft as well.
Do you like Tyreke Evans as a player for the Jazz? Can he be a true point guard that can take control of a team with a vision and lead it to wins? If so, what do you package to get him? He’s on a restricted free agency year and can walk after this next season. Is it worth a trade to get him if he’s willing to sign a new contract for four years?
I think that Evans is an interesting prospect. I think he may have been a different player out of Memphis had he gone to a team with a good vision of what it should be. Instead, he rotted away in the me first and me only system that permeated the Sacramento Kings. So could he be revitalized in a system offense with the support of a team and an organization such as the Jazz? I’m not a collective bargaining expert at all, but I think salary-wise we could trade Marvin Williams on his final year for Evans on his final year with an extension in place and I’d easily give up whichever pick the Kings wanted.
My other scenario involves the Pelicans. It’s rumored they are looking at Trey Burke with the 6th pick tonight. To me that says they are giving up on the Austin Rivers experiment. But what if someone were willing to take Eric Gordon off their hands in exchange for that pick? I proposed this to a co-worker the other night; tell me what you think.
The Jazz sign-and-trade Al Jefferson to a multi-year $14 million per contract and package him with either the 14th or 21st pick and send him to NOLA for Eric Gordon (he still has three years left at an average of $14 million per and the 6th pick, which we then use to snag Trey Burke (or whichever PG we want at that point since they should still all be on the board.) The Pelicans would get a legit frontcourt scorer than would alleviate the pressure on Anthony Davis as well as provide him with a valuable mentor such as Jefferson has been to Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors in Utah. Utah gets saddled with Gordon’s contract, but he’s a great scorer when healthy and would provide a legitimate threat when on the court. We get out point guard and roll with a rookie PG, Gordon at SG, Hayward at SF, Favors at PF, and Kanter at the C.
What would you do?
What do you think of these trade ideas? Am I crazy? Are they legit? Tell me some of your ideas. What do you expect of tonight’s draft? The more I sit on this, I don’t think the Jazz do anything just to do something but I can’t see them sitting and drafting at 14 and 21 and not doing anything.