A little prelude... These are the top 5 players affected by Boozer's leaving. I'm addressing them first and then giving a little commentary.
So, Mr. Williams. This is officially your team now. Not that there has been much doubt, but there's no longer a co-leader with Boozer in Chicago. That means everything falls on your shoulders.
If that's the case, the Jazz really need to bring in a vet to help Deron shoulder the load. Maybe he steps into that role. But he's more the court leader. There needs to be someone that can help with the locker room. That said, should there really be any disruptions in the locker room with this group?
Next up, Mr. Paul Millsap. Well, this is what you've been patiently waiting for. Time to step things up. Time to be smarter about fouls. Time to step up the hustle. Time to help shoulder the load.
Here's what I don't get. Here's this quote from KOC,
They also had a successor in waiting in backup power forward Paul Millsap. The Jazz believe Millsap can approach Boozer's productivity while being younger, cheaper and having missed just six games in four seasons.
"That's why we signed him a year ago," O'Connor said, with the Jazz having matched a four-year, $32 million offer sheet from Portland to keep Millsap last summer.
If that was the case, then why wasn't Boozer traded at the deadline to get a guaranteed asset? If their intent was to have Millsap take over for Boozer and "approach [his] productivity," then why not do it then when it was likely Boozer was gone? I'm sure the Jazz had a price they were willing to keep Boozer but he was going to get paid this summer.
Mr. Miles. We're going to need the driving and smart CJ to start the season to help pick up the scoring slack. Please don't wait until late in the season.
I'm guessing CJ moves back to the starting 3 spot this season with AK backing up Millsap. So we have Deron, Matthews (hopefully), Doe, Millsap, and whatever we end up doing at center until Memo comes back. Are we good with that starting lineup?
In addition, it looks like the Jazz are talking to Ronnie Brewer about coming back,
O'Connor said the Jazz will look at swingman Ronnie Brewer, who played with Utah until being dealt last February to Memphis. The Grizzlies did not give Brewer a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted rather than a restricted free agent.
"We're going to talk to him,'' O'Connor said. "He's unrestricted. It's a lot easier to deal with an unrestricted player than a restricted player.''
He would have to come off the bench if he re-signed, right? Though there's a slim chance that Korver comes back, signing Brewer would slam the door shut on that. We would be a bit thin at wing as well going into the season with AK primarily playing the four.
Mr. Kirilenko. Please save us all. It's been 6 years since you played significant minutes at the 4 and we're dying to see it again.
I really am excited for this. AK should play with some extra motivation here. We all know that he doesn't have to be starting to make an impact. Of course he's a very expensive 6th man but we should see his workload increase. Let's just hope that he can stay healthy.
This spot is there for the taking. If there was ever an opportunity for someone to make a move, now's the time. Whether it's the KOOF, Fess, Hayward, or someone else, we need someone to step into this role. Maybe we're in trouble if that's the case. Maybe a vet gets brought in.
Whoever it is, there might not be a bigger opportunity than now.