Okay, that was heartbreaking. Well, maybe it wasn’t heartbreaking, but it sure was a disappointment. Last night many of us had just finished completing week long prayers and sacrificial rituals to the NBA gods that the Jazz would somehow land a top 3 pick in this years draft. We still got a top 10 pick by landing the number 9 spot. All is not lost. In actuality, picking number 9 might be beneficial to the Jazz. We no longer would be distracted by the thought of landing Wall or Turner and we can focus on landing a big man we’ve been coveting for a few years.
Since being swept painfully into the offseason by the Lakers, I have begun to construct a wish-list of what I would like to see done this offseason. So, here is what I think would put the Jazz in a good position for years to come.
We have seven players currently under contract- Williams, Kirilenko, Okur, Millsap, Miles, Koufas, and Price. With these 7 players we are sitting around 55 million dollars tied up in contracts. Somehow we need to get 6 more players. The Soft Cap sits at 57 million and the luxury tax 68 million. So the idea is to try and land 13 players without trying to exceed 68 million dollars too much.
So here is my plan:
We resign some of our free agents. I would like to see the Jazz tie up Wes Matthews first and foremost. Something like a 2-3 year deal for 2- 2.5 million dollars a year with a team option for a fourth year. We then resign Gaines and Jeffers for one year deals of 1-1.5 million dollars.
This puts us above the soft cap and around 60 million dollars with 10 players. We let Korver and Boozer walk. We can’t resign Boozer without hurting ourselves over the next few years financially. I think at the end of another deal with Boozer we are looking at another AK situation. Too much money in a player for what he’s producing. Not only that, resigning Boozer would almost certainly cost us either Milsap, AK, or Okur. I’d rather not part with any of those three. I want Okur and Ak to finish their careers in Utah and I want to see what Milsap can do with a starting role. He costs about half of what Boozer does. It’s just a smart move financially.
I hate the idea of losing Korver but he is going to want 4-6 million dollars and I really think CJ can step up with Korver gone. I will sorely miss Korver. If the Jazz really feel like they don’t mind going over the Lux tax a little more than by all means try to keep Korver here.
The NBA draft, we have to try and get at least 1-2 players from the Draft that can contribute and get playing time.
With the number 9 pick I would like the Jazz to go after a defensive/athletic PF. I know, I know most of you are going to riot and say we need a Center. I’ll get to that a little later though, trust me. With Boozer gone and Millsap starting we are thin at the PF position. AK can come in and play but I don’t think he has the weight to hang with some of the bigger PFs for an extended time. He also would be playing the SF position.
I want one of four players: Patrick Patterson from Kentucky, Epke Udoh from Baylor, Greg Monroe from Georgia Tech, or Ed Davis from North Carolina. There are other players I could live with, such as Cole Aldrich, Hassan Whiteside, or even Solomon Alabi. However I think any of the first four players could come in and contribute behind Millsap. Not only that getting playing time would help them develop. (We saw how the Fes and Koof experiment of barely playing worked). There will be later time to argue and compare who is better but I think one of these 7 players is who the Jazz land most likely, one of the first four I believe would be best.
With the 55th pick I would like to see the Jazz go after a SF. Lazar Hayward from Marquette (played with Matthews), Charles Garcia from Seattle (he’s 6’10 but played SF/PF in college, he could be another Odem), Darrington Hobson from New Mexico, or Luke Harangdony from Notre Dame, could all be there at our pick. Draft a SF would allow from the loss of Korver and possible trade of AK midseason to hurt less. It would give us more depth behind CJ miles (we know how streaky he is).
Undrafted Rookies can also be a huge lift if you land a diamond. We landed Wes Matthews last season. Is there another rookie that could possibly contribute as much as he had in this years class? I would seriously consider Millsap’s younger brother. Elijah Millsap is a 6’6 small forward, If he’s anything like his brother turned out to be he could be a steal (He is a rebounding machine). Another possibility is the 7-4 behemoth Boban Marjanovic. He’s another big European whiteboy, we seem to love them. He’s raw but could be developed into something. Jon Scheyer the PG/SG from Duke would also be an interesting play.
This is the most important aspect. Up to this point after the draft we’d have 11-12 players on the roster. We are at around 62-3 million or so if we sign 2 rookies. The rookie at 9 would be around a 2 million dollar contract and the 55 would be the minimum contract of around 500,000.
The hard cap is at 68 million dollars this leaves the Jazz with more or less of 5-6 million dollars to offer a Mid Level contract to a free agent……
I really, really, really, really, really, really
Want the Jazz to try and sign Brendan Haywood. Brendan Haywood is a 7’0 Center who played the last half of the season for the Mavericks after being traded from the Wizards. Brendan Haywood averaged 2 blocks a game last year with both the Wizards and Mavericks. He averaged 8-9 points a game and 7 rebounds.
Brendan would be the defensive center we have craved for a few years now. We could sign him to a 2-3 year deal with a player option 4th year (this would make the contract more lucrative). Brendan made 6 million dollars last year. However he is getting older and had a relatively poor performance in the playoffs. His stock is dropping seeing as he will be turning 31 in November. However, he still has the defensive prowess to block shots. He ranked 3rd this season in blocked shots behind Dwight Howard and Andrew Bogut all while fouling LESS than both of them. He obviously knows how to position his body and use his length to alter shots without fouling. He would be a devastating 1-2 punch with Okur at the Center position.
He would get playing time while Okur recovered and Okur could come off the bench for the Jazz after he fully recovers to cause matchup issue. Brendan’s length in the paint would allow for Millsap and AK to roam freely on their man and block more shots as well. His length would and presence would allow for perimeter defensive to be better because we would have to double team less.
Best of all. It’s not a huge contract and keep us relatively close to the Luxury cap. It gives us a good defensive center at a decent price and he would be an asset that could be traded in a later season. It would allow us to have more flexibility next year when AK’s contract comes off the book. It allows us to resign most of our guys this season while improving the team as a whole. It also allows for our rookies to get playing time in the SF and PF positions. Plus we get to keep AK, Okur, and Millsap! Hooray! Maybe even Korver too!
Plus, imagine this lineup against the Lakers.
Williams, Matthews, AK, Okur, Haywood. Okur is lounging around the perimeter forcing Gasol or Bynum to leave the paint to play defense on him. Haywood underneath, against the other seven-footer. AK and Matthews slashing to the basket on a give and go from Williams…. Mmm that paint is a whole lot easier to attack now.
This concludes ForTheLove’s Fantasy hour. Seriously though, KOC should be all over this.