Jordan Heimer of ClipperBlog said in a recent ESPN 5 on 5, "
After you trade your franchise player (Deron Williams) and lose your Hall of Fame coach (Jerry Sloan), you're supposed to fall into a protracted rebuilding process … which the Jazz managed to squeeze into six months. A rebuilt core of Devin Harris, Alec Burks, Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Paul Millsap will be one of the league's most sneakily entertaining teams.
Not quite sure I agree that we have avoided the rebuilding project, mainly because the quickness or slowness of the rebuilding project depends on how the 4 lottery picks we have from the last two drafts pan out.
Yes, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter are the hope for this franchise. Each shows a lot of promise. I believe that any of of them has the capability of being an all star or a fringe all star. I'm going to give my two cents on what they need to focus on this summer to prepare for the next season, to prepare to maximize their talents.
Gordon Hayward aka "OG"
I think the biggest thing he can work on is confidence and gaining strength. This is the guy who stared down Kobe Bryant and won, the guy who lit up the Denver Nuggets like the 4rth of July. The talent is there. He already has strengths of being a good positional rebounder; a good ball handler; good passer; good shooter. Even his cutting to the basket seems to be very good.
He needs to take these attributes he already has and wrap them together into a complete package. The kid is incredibly driven and hardworking. I think a dose of confidence and some time lifting iron would do him wonders.
Player he needs to pattern: Andre Iguodala with a touch of Mike Miller's shooting. Hayward can be the defender and distributor that Iggy is. Add a 3 point shoot and we got ourselves a good, young baller.
Derrick Favors- The boy who lived
Thanks to Mac Diego for that analogy. I do think Favors is our biggest hope basketball wise.
Favors needs to do two things: gain weight and work with a big man's coach.
Hakeem recently had a training camp of sorts. Marcin Gortat was there. Dwight Howard Emeka Okafor. Some big names. (See http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2011/7/4/2258395/busy-summer-for-gortat)
Favors needs to be working with someone like Hakeem (Malone maybe?) A good big man's coach can help him maximize his defensive smarts without fouling and improve his offensive game.
I would also like to see Favors gain some weight. If he could put on another 10-15 pounds of mostly muscle, it could really help him down in the post, provided he doesn't lose speed or agility.
Player he needs to pattern: Alonzo Mourning
Alec Burk's college stats (http://statsheet.com/mcb/players/player/colorado/alec-burks) bear a striking resemblance to Brandon Roy' s (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/player/profile?playerId=11305) and Dwyane Wade's (http://statsheet.com/mcb/players/player/marquette/dwyane-wade)
Now, don't misunderstand me. I don't think Burks will be Brandon Roy caliber- but I do think he can be a similar style as them but of the same quality as, say, Danny Granger.
Two things I want him to do. Improve his jumper. It's a shame this lockout will keep Jeff from working with him. But he's got to get a solid jumper; apparently his driving to the hoop and drawing fouls is already very good. Adding a jumpshot would make him a very complete scoring threat.
The second thing I want him to do is gain weight. He is too thin. He can go join Favors in the gym.
Player to model himself after: Roy/Wade- again, I don't think he'll be a superstar. But a good 2nd or 3rd option with that type of play? Sure.
Enes Kanter- The UnderKanter
I like Kanter a lot as a person, and I have hope for him as a player. I don't have regrets that the Jazz picked him.
He's already going to do what I want him to do this summer: play ball. He's signed up to play on the Turkish team. His basketball form is relatively good right now; he's in good shape, and is, IMO, a good weight (around 265 I believe) I just want him to get out there and ball.
Player to pattern: Luis Scola. I think there style's will end up being very similar (ie, high post scorer, with inside buckets, strong rebounder) and if he can be a 2 inch taller, decade younger, center version of Scola, I'd say we did well with that 3rd pick.
Now, I'll do a brief plug on what the Jazz management should do to maximize these guys (when the lockout is lifted.)
1. Provide them with the proper coaching resources, esp. Favors and Kanter. 2. Clear out salary space to be prepared to re-sign them when the time comes and fill in around them the proper supporting cast. 3. Clear playing time for them. This one is particularly touchy for me, and I don't want to re spark that debate, except to say, these guys need to play.