The Utah Jazz Suck at Sucking

As last week’s trade deadline came and went without any activity from the Utah Jazz forefront, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I wasn’t expecting much, or anything really, but I was at the resolution that the Jazz simply suck at sucking.

It wasn’t really a surprise that the Jazz stood still at the deadline. As far as talent goes, we didn’t have a real need to upgrade our roster or ship players out. But for the pro-tanking fans, trading guys like Williams, Rush, or Jefferson meant collecting assets. It meant getting picks, now or likely in the future. More importantly, it meant more playing time for the young guys, which should equate to more development and learning. It probably meant more losses too.

I sat and watched as teams like the 76ers delivered on what I desired. It was easy to be frustrated at the Jazz as the 76ers traded away starters and collected assets. Sure, they might not use those assets now and they might not profit much, but they would lose games now and ensure a top pick for 2014. As well, five second round picks in 2014 and salary cap flexibility could lead to pulling something off like the Rockets did with James Harden.

In fact, speaking of the Rockets, General Manager Daryl Morey has made a trade deadline deal seven years in a row. Seven years ago, it was to rebuild a team and stockpile draft picks or cheap contracts, but then it netted them a superstar in Harden. Now, he makes trades to upgrade the roster and complement the talent they already have. He is building a team, plowing forward on the direction he has intended and planned all along.

marvinWhich is why I thought to myself that the Jazz suck at sucking or bad at building as the trade deadline passed by last week. It got worse afterwards when rumors came about that the Jazz actually turned down offers for Williams, even offers of 1st round draft picks. While we don’t know specific details, we do know that it is one-hundred percent intriguing. Was it a 2014 1st rounder? Would we have to take on a bad contract for years to come? We’ll never know, but how many of you, if you were GM, would’ve done it in a heartbeat?

It’s no disrespect to Marvin by any means, but it seems that Jazz fans are on board the train for tanking. We want that coveted high lottery pick, or at least to up our odds of getting a top pick. Right now, we rotate between the seventh or eighth worst team in the league, hence pick #7 or #8 in the upcoming draft. That, according to most mock drafts, gives the Jazz Dario Saric from Croatia.


Exactly; we want don’t want that, we want losses.

To me, losses are a good thing. I look at the Jazz right now and see ourselves missing out on a top draft pick because of the lack of losses. Initially Jazz fans got their hopes up in the #Sorry4Jabari sweepstakes. That started slipping from our grasp so we started talking ourselves into at least a Top 7 pick. This too is fading into the sunset as the Jazz are winning themselves out of the draft jackpot. The reality is, with a month and a half of basJabariketball left to go, the Jazz aren’t likely to lose themselves into bringing a Top 5 pick to Utah.

And that complicates things. The thinking, as a Jazz fan, prior to this season was it wasn’t worth contending for the 8th seed anymore. We wanted to go back to the glory days – maybe Stockton/ Malone was too romantic, but at least something like the D-Will age. We wanted to be contenders in the loaded Western Conference and realized that meant making sacrifices now.

You see, we were tired of making the first round of the playoffs and then getting swept. Recently, the Jazz were just a below-average good team. So, we heartbreakingly let Big Al and Milsap go with cries of, “We are going to rebuild!” We said to ourselves, “The 2014 draft class is loaded – we can draft a star to add to our young core!”

But then, the Jazz won a few more games than we liked. Even worse, the Jazz played Jefferson and Williams heavy minutes. If you were to ask a Jazz fan at the beginning of the year if they wanted to lose games with Williams playing as a stretch forward or keep Milsap at that slot, most would’ve resigned Milsap. Again, it is no disrespect to Marvin, but Milsap is a Jazzman, with loads of heart and energy.

If what we are playing at right now was the intended direction, why not keep fan favorite (and All-Star) Milsap? If we were going to compete – with veterans – why wasn’t that addressed instead of telling us it was a rebuilding year? The Jazz flipped spectrums and find themselves now as an above-average bad team.  It’s a predicament – we aren’t good enough…but we aren’t bad enough either.

This post may come off as frustrating, negative, and pessimistic but that’s honestly the way I feel about the Jazz right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Jazz and thoroughly enjoy seeing our young guys develop. But, I won’t lie; I am conflicted when we win. I’m also not sure who to believe anymore- are we a rebuilding team or just a mediocre one? Case in point: this season, with a healthy lineup, the Jazz play .500  basketball but it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Ironically, a question was posed on Twitter today: would you prefer one championship and 19 losing seasons or 20 competitive, winning seasons without a ring?

Which is it Jazz fans? Why can’t Ty and Dennis Lindsey have the same goals in sight? What are those goals – one ring or winning seasons? Or, are Jazz fans in the wrong? Did Jazz fans just over excite about the possibility of a good draft pick? Is it fair that we harbor bitter feelings when we win? Is it fair that we don’t appreciate our players for what they are doing now, as we are too focused on the future? Yes, these, my fellow friends, are the questions that keep me up at night.