I appreciate the argument that we should aim for the lottery and give our youngins the lion's share of the minutes. OKC is a great example of stinking it up, getting PT for Durant and others and drafting great thanks to high lotto picks. I, too, feel it is very important that we find out what we have in Favors, Burks, Hayward and The Underturkey. However, I wanted to bring a different point of view. I really think Ty, KOC and management are doing a great job right now. Here's why:
1. The youngsters are getting decent minutes. I'd like to see Burks and Kanter get a few more, but it's not like they are all riding the pine. Favors gets 22 mins/game, Hayward gets 25 mins, Kanter gets 13, Burks gets nearly 11. Big Al gets 35 mins a game (which is a lot), Millsap gets 28, Harris gets 26. Other than that, no one gets more than 20 outside of Hayward and Favors. 13 for Kanter and 11 for Burks are significant minutes the way this season is scheduled. It's not like the Jazz are playing the vets 40 and the youngsters 5.
2. What's more valuable for developing young talent: 20-25 mins for a team contending for a playoff spot or 30-35 mins for a team trying to get the best lotto position? There are a lot of assumptions there. Maybe the Jazz would win more games playing the younger guys. Maybe the Jazz won't remain competitive and in playoff contention. However, I don't think anyone here can say that they know better than the Jazz coaching staff what lineups give the Jazz the best shot at winning and I think that playing on a competitive team for 20-25 mins is more valuable than playing 30 mins in a bunch of blowout losses. There is no substitution for being on a winning team!
3. I think we are getting an idea of what we have in our young four. I would also like to see how Favors does in Big Al's spot (getting that many touches and shots). We've seen glimpses of the dominant player Favors can be. However, these guys are still barely even 20 (or not even that!). How the heck are we supposed to know how good they can be at that age? We all see the potential, for sure. It just seems a little premature to say that we need to find out what we have RIGHT NOW...THIS SEASON...IMMEDIATELY...at the expense of the season (again, making the assumptions outline above). I'll tell you how good they can be- Favors can be Alonzo Mourning with better offense, Kanter can lead the league in rebounding and score 15 a game on putbacks and 15 foot jumpers, Burks can be the scoring guard we've always wanted and Gordon can be a jack of all trades that does the little things to make a team a champion. I believe that our young core can be the start of a championship caliber team! Getting them to the post season this year will only help their development.
4. For every OKC, there are 10 Minnesota teams. Multiple trips to the lottery does not a championship team make. If we can get more all star talent through the draft, GREAT! However, I don't think that we should sacrifice the season for the chance to luck out in the draft.
I apologize for the novel. I just have had these thought floating around in my brain and wanted to put them down on paper (paper?). Personally, I am super excited with the way things are going this year. I feel like everyone--even Big Al--is making progress and we are, at least right now, proving doubters wrong and in playoff contention! All the while, our youngins are getting a bunch of MEANINGFUL minutes and we get to watch some great games where we win more than we lose.