FanPost

Are the Jazz better off with a locked out season for 2011-12?


HoopsHype has the following salary data listed for the Jazz:

Player 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Al Jefferson $14,000,000 $15,000,000 $0 $0
Mehmet Okur $10,890,000 $0 $0 $0
Devin Harris $9,319,000 $8,500,000 $0 $0
Paul Millsap $6,700,000 $7,200,000 $0 $0
Derrick Favors $4,443,360 $4,753,320 $6,008,106 $7,882,663
CJ Miles $3,700,000 $0 $0 $0
Raja Bell $3,240,000 $3,480,000 $0 $0
Gordon Hayward $2,532,960 $2,709,720 $3,452,183 $4,677,708
Jeremy Evans $788,872 $0 $0 $0
TOTALS: $55,614,192 $41,643,040 $0 $0

 

If the lockout kills the NBA season, I would submit that it could actually be beneficial to the Jazz.

My usual shoddy analysis bereft of solid evidence after the 3-star jump that probably isn't much of a jump since I'm guessing most people use the FanPosts List View rather than the FanPosts Full View.

Here are my talking points:

1) Greg Miller has discussed that the Jazz are generally not very profitable, if profitable at all, and that if he were investing the money solely based on earning power, he likely would have divested himself of Jazz ownership by this point.  Missing a year of barely turning a profit or losing money doesn't sound bad from a financial standpoint.

2) Mehmet would be a free agent, so $10.9 mil off the books for the Jazz and potentially less of a PF/C logjam.

3) Al Jefferson would have an expiring contract and would therefore be a doubly valuable asset (attractive to both playoff-bound teams as a contributor as well as teams looking to dump salary and clear cap space).  Same goes for Devin Harris.  Raja Bell would also be an expiring, but depending on whether he can get his shot and defense back to a high level, might only be attractive as an expiring.

4) CJ Miles could be re-signed to a longer contract at a similar per year rate.  I personally feel that he's worth more than he's getting paid and that if there's a season (especially a shortened one), he'll play well and command much more in free agency next offseason.  If there's no season, I think he ends up with around the same per year amount, $3.7 mil currently, although he may not choose the Jazz.

5) The Jazz could end up with both the GSW pick AND their own pick for the 2012 draft by default, if the NBA ends up using some variation of the 2010-11 results again.

6) All of the young guys would be a year older.  The Jazz suddenly have some of the most promising young talent, but they are very young.  Gordon Hayward's 21, Derrick Favors turns 20 on Friday, Alec Burks turns 20 a week from Wednesday, Enes Kanter is 19.  The Jazz could have all of those guys working on their bodies (particularly upper body and core strength) and skills for a year without the wear and tear of the 82 game season.  Another huge plus is that Burks and Kanter will be a year older for their rookie contracts.  It'd also create a bigger gap between extending the rookie contracts for those 4 guys instead of having 2 each in back to back years.

7) It gives guys time to heal.  I don't know if Mehmet will ever recover fully from his injury, but he might be had for a steal as a free agent in 2012 when he's had 2 years to heal if he can get his shot back.  Millsap had some patellar tendinitis issues and is always nicked up and I'm sure his body could use a break from being fouled for 82 games with no calls.  Devin Harris has had fairly serious ankle, shoulder, hamstring, wrist, and knee injuries just in the last 2 years.  Raja certainly looked like he wasn't fully recovered from his wrist injury most of the year, and he had a foot injury at the end of the year.

I'd love to see a full season next year.  There are several story lines that would be fun to watch.  It'd be great to see how Jefferson and Harris look after an offseason of work.  The young guys are very exciting, and I'd love to see Favors, Hayward, Burks, and Kanter all developing together.  Millsap always comes to camp with a surprise addition to his game.  CJ is on an audition year, so he's an intriguing story line all on his own.  Jeremy Evans is trying to transition to the 3, and his body should look significantly different by the start of the season.  Corbin has to prove that he can manage the minutes effectively to put out the team most capable of balancing winning now and in the future.

It seems that the worst thing for the Jazz would be a shortened season.  It would mean paying big chunks of expensive salaries without getting the young guys the playing time they need to develop, as well as eating up rookie contract years for Burks and Kanter.

I don't think anyone's looking forward to a lost year, but with the summer leagues already canceled and training camps looking like they'll be shortened or skipped, combined with a new coach and potentially new systems, losing a full year doesn't seem so bad.  At least there could be a silver lining.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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