If you are anything like me as a Jazz fan, you want to see more playing time for Favors and Kantor. You have also noticed that the 2nd unit for the Jazz has a lot more of the classic Jazz traits: energy, toughness, and a way of never giving up. This isn’t just an eyeball judgement either. Hoopsstats.com has the Jazz bench ranked 4th in the league. This is probably based on the fact that the Jazz have starter-quality young talent going against lesser opponents in the league. But, can you really learn and improve a skill or set of skills if you are not challenged? No. So, in my opinion it is time to make a deal of either Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson.
Why trade Big Al? Big in this nickname doesn’t just fit his size it reflect 2 areas of his game the Jazz fans hate. The number one reason Jazz fans would like to see Jefferson in another Jersey is his offensive game. Now, no one will say he can’t score or doesn’t have a nice touch shot, but they will talk about his passing. Jefferson is commonly known as the black hole. Something I was warned about by Timberwolves fans when the trades happened. I personally didn’t think it would be this bad. How can a basketball player be double teamed his whole career and not figure out how to pass out of it yet? He may have no turnovers, but really?
The other thing that is big with Al is his complete ineptitude on the defensive end, especially when it comes to defending the pick and roll. The first memory that comes to mind is the Clippers game where the Jazz gave up a 19 point lead. In crunch time the Clippers ran the pick and roll non-stop at Jefferson, especially the critical one where he fouled to CP3 to put him on the line. Is it that hard to step out and stop penetration?
Why trade Paul Millsap? This has everything to do with what Al Jefferson has that Paul Millsap doesn’t. Size and Scoring. Unfortunately, as much as Jazz fans want to keep Millsap, I am fairly confident that the he will not be growing anymore. Millsap is too small to be a power forward and too slow to be a small forward. Many people will say that this size issue hasn’t stopped him in the past. I do remember him recently having a game with no rebounds.
The size is also an issue causing the scoring difference as well. I am not referring to the average PPG where there is only a 2 point difference. I am talking about the clutch. Jefferson is clearly the best scoring option when the Jazz need to score. Jefferson is much more capable of beating his man than Millsap at any given moment.
Either way the Jazz need to move one of these players. This team is not growing very fast with the current roster and I don’t want to wait until the end of the season. That would be one more contract year off of Favor, Hayward, Kanter, and Burks contracts. Let’s make this happen sooner than later. However, with the recent interview of Randy Rigby I question whether the Jazz brass have enough knowledge to make sound basketball decisions.
So who do you want traded?