The Downbeat - 19 April 2011 - #471 - The Young Apprentice Edtion

1_medium One thing I forgot to mention in yesterday's DB is how this draft affects Jimmer in a Jazz uniform.  For one, as with everyone else, he moves up a few spots because the draft is thinner.  Though I think it's a slim chance, he might get selected before the Jazz come along with the #12 pick.  Lots of things can change after workouts.

My question is this though: If Jimmer is available when the Jazz pick, and they don't select him, what would the backlash be?  I don't know what percentage of Jazz fans in Utah are also BYU fans but would the Jazz dare select Kawhi Leonard or Alec Burks?  

Normally I would say that O'Connor couldn't care less about making a portion of the fan base unhappy.  He would probably get booed again, not for whom he picked, but for whom he didn't pick.  The hate wouldn't fade unless his pick ended up being better than Jimmer.  That might not happen for several years though.

However, what do we hear every year when trades and free agency happens?  The NBA is a business and good business for the Jazz would be to draft the boy from BYU.  They would sell more season tickets, more single-game tickets, and a whole slew of jerseys.

So if he's available, and there's not a clear-cut talent advantage for who's left, then the Jazz will select Jimmer.

If you hate it, then you can thank guys like Sullinger, Barnes, and Jones for returning to school.

  One more draft thought...  If the Jazz manage to hit the jackpot and land the #1 or #2 spot (#3 seems like a large drop off a cliff in this draft), they would no doubt select Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams depending on which spot they pick and who's picking in front of them.

While this would be a good problem to have, it does create some issues with the current roster.  Let's look at each scenario.

As you all know, we already have a good point guard in Devin Harris.  However, Irving has been given a Chris Paul-type ceiling by some.  If that's the case, then what becomes of Harris for next season?  He has two years left on his deal at about $9M per.  That's not too bad for a good PG.  What I see happening is that Irving moves to the backup PG spot fairly quickly.  I'm assuming that if we resume the season after the lockout in January/February, the Jazz do everything they can to bring back Earl Watson given the shortened training camps and his familiarity with the team.  That would give Irving time to learn the system.  Harris should then remain the starting PG for next season.  If Irving has shown progress, then that opens up the trade possibilities for Harris next summer who would have just one year left on his deal.

Where it gets a little sticky is if the team somehow lands Williams.  Sadly, he won't change his jersey number to 8.  That's not the issue though.  First, nobody seems to know where he's going to play in the NBA.  He's built like a PF but doesn't quite have the size needed in the NBA for that spot.  He was a terrific shooter last season with Arizona, making nearly 67% of his threes.  I could see him playing a lot of the three in the NBA and maybe the PF against smaller lineups.  He's going to move around a lot depending on match-ups.

Here's the issue the Jazz have though.  The front court is already controlled by the current Millsap/Favors/Jefferson triumvirate.  Millsap will get some play at the 3 next season but not exclusively according to Corbin.  Jeremy Evans also stated that he's going to try to move to the SF spot.  That leaves us Jefferson/Memo at C, Millsap/Favors at PF, and some Millsap/Evans/CJ/Williams hybrid at the 3.  That's assuming that Hayward takes over the 2.

In that scenario, there's just not enough minutes to go around and there's definitely not enough minutes for those that should be getting minutes.  Like the Irving situation though, trading some of the established Jazz players might not happen until next summer if there's a shortened season.

There's one more side-affect of drafting Williams.  It would almost certainly be the end of Miles or Kirilenko or both.

Oh, and we would have two Derricks.  Why haven't I thought of Zoolander until now?

 This is a great picture from Mike Terry of the Deseret News.  Cue the Imperial March music in your head and then click on through for the photo.

The first thing I thought of was the Emperor and his young apprentice.

  Phil Jackson is retiring at the end of the season and now Rick Adelman and the Rockets are parting ways.  That last move makes no sense to me given what that team has accomplished over the past several seasons despite injuries.  

Regardless, the result is that Jerry's name is going to start being thrown around for all of these positions that are going to open up.  I would put Sloan's returning to the sidelines at about 10%.  It would have to be the perfect situation with established players and control of the team.

That said, I don't think there's any way that he would coach in LA, even if Kobe wasn't there.  That team is also entrenched in the triangle offense and built for it.  Houston would be an interesting spot.  They've got some solid players and a good GM.  They're still a few pieces away though and I don't know how much rebuilding Sloan would want to do.

You also have to wonder if he would insist on bringing Phil Johnson back.  That would assume that Johnson wants to coach again as well.  Remember, he's older than Jerry is.

So while his name will continue to be thrown out there, I don't see him coming back.

One other thought on the recent events with Adelman:  Though the Jazz would never say it, I wonder if they knew that Adelman would be available if they would have held off on making Corbin the permanent head coach.  Not that he's not capable and that he won't do well, but when a coach like Adelman becomes available, you have to at least consider interviewing him or gauging interest.  There are other big names though that aren't coaching right now though (Van Gundy) that they could have pursued in the off-season, so it's likely that they wouldn't have looked at anyone other than Corbin anyway.  

  Tuesday poll...

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