Everyone has been talking all year about whether the Jazz will resign Al Jefferson or not. I have heard reasons why and why not. However, I have not heard what anyone thinks Al Jefferson should do. In the end there are two sides of every contract. So should Al Jefferson sign with the Jazz if he receives an offer from the Jazz? And what is the one reason that should have the Jazz offering Jefferson a new contract?
So, what goes into players decision to sign with a team? Well, I googled that very question I found 3 obvious points: family, possible new teammates, and the coaching staff.
When looking at the Utah Jazz coaching staff I sure would love to know what the Jazz players think. Based on the exit interviews from last year, CJ Miles and Raja Bell would say there is a lack of communication of what a player’s role is with this team. Unfortunately with the many rotations Tyrone Corbin has used it is hard for me to argue that point. Also, with a young core of players that should be demanding starter minutes, what minutes are going to be dedicated to veterans signing with the Jazz?
Decision: Don’t Sign
I have seen it reported that the Jazz players have a good chemistry with each other. It has also been clear the Jefferson is teaching the young guys what he can on the offensive side of the game. He has definitely taken Kanter under his wing to mentor him. However, I question how much this area really matters.
In the last year I changed jobs. My former job was great. It was a small business where all the employees got along great. The partners(or multiple bosses) in the firm were great. But, my relationship with my co-workers didn’t stop me when it came to deciding to leave the business. I went with the much bigger company with more opportunity. That is what I think Jefferson and any free agent will do. The difference between me and Jefferson is what more opportunity is gauged as.
With a move to a bigger city, Jefferson would be paid less than the Jazz could, but he would most likely make this money up else where. Jefferson may also choose to leave for a team much closer to winning a championship. It will all depend on the way he prioritizes things. If he is looking at how far away a team is from a championship then the Utah Jazz is not the way to go. If he is looking for the most money(which is what I would do) he may choose to leave or stay. I would argue that the cost of living in Utah is less, but I doubt any professional athlete really cares about that.
Decision: Sign (if based on money) Don’t Sign (if based on championship)
*Some may say that no team with Al Jefferson is a contender and I have no counterarguments.
This is hands down the biggest factor. Every person has different opinions about families. How to raise them? Where to live: suburbia, urban, rural? This to me is the factor that NBA players should consider the most. Only Al Jefferson and his family can decide what is best for them.
Now all of the below is contingent on whether the Jazz even make Jefferson an offer. They may even send him else where in a sign and trade. But there are 2 reasons I think the Jazz should resign Al Jefferson. First, there is no one else on the Jazz lineup that is as dependable to score when the team needs a bucket. Jefferson is the only one. Second, he is Kanter’s mentor. Kanter has really started to show his value as of late. Kanter has been playing great in limited minutes against good and bad teams. If this is the kind of growth that is going to happen with Jefferson as Kanter’s mentor, then sign me up for a few more years.