I really like Earl Watson.
I like how he built relationships with the younger players. I like how vocal he was on Twitter about team-building, about staying positive, about respecting his teammates. I loved him when his attitude gave rise to the legendary SWARM unit that spent about two months saving the team's collective butt.
So it's sad for me to say it, but I think he's done.
He can still pass, and his rebounding is surprisingly good.
But man ... his shot.
He was never a great shooter in the first place. His FT shooting has been in the 60's more than it's been in the 70's. He's had a decent three-point percentage for 2 of his 11 seasons.
And last season his FG% approached 30% (!) and his 3P% was under 20% (!!).
Basically, Earl Watson is pretty much finished with his career.
Jamaal had a bit of a Rennaisance last year. 4th best FG% of his career. 5th best 3P% of his career. Second best FT% of his career. And we all loved the little bouts of street-ball-razzle. Passes to himself through the defender's legs, and the like. Man it was fun.
Put it that way, and things look pretty good. But put it into raw numbers and, like Earl Watson, wow ...
40% FG, 27% 3P, 76% FT
Like Earl, he could still pass. He could still give us a few minutes of defense.
But also like Earl, his NBA career is pretty much over.
* * *
I wrote about these two guys together because they fill the same role, they both have a lot about them that is appealing. And they're both pretty much done.
Barring injury, we probably won't see either of them in games much. Given their production last year, we should all be hoping not to, anyway.
And though it's a bit sad to see the end come, I'll always appreciate these two guys.
I'll appreciate Earl for his team-first attitude, his willingness to become friends with the kids, and the way he became Jeremy Evans' personal PR spokesman.
I'll appreciate Jamaal for coming to our team with a good attitude, for doing what he could when his number was called, and being okay when it wasn't. More than anyone else on the team last year, his attitude was a pleasant surprise for me. I expected him to be trouble, but he turned out to be a good guy.
If Utah is either of these guys' last jobs in the NBA, I'll be happy that they ended it with us. And if either of them plays big minutes, just know our season is kinda screwed.