OK everyone. I am pretty sure all of us love to play GM on this site. So let's get to it! We have a few games under our belt and have a pretty good idea of where everybody is at. Observations/assumptions.
1. Alec Burks will never get decent playing time while in Utah. I don't know why, but that has become obvious.
2. Favors is the best defender and could be argued the best player on our team. He most definitely has the most upside.
3. Kanter made huge strides this offseason and I can see him developing into an all-star one day. He has the offensive game going for him (good post moves, good range) and the athleticism to play good defense if he can put the mental side together. Anyone who says his offensive game is no good is not watching the games. Sure, he doesn't score on every single possession but nobody does. He is and will be a very good scorer in this league. The team has unfortunately created an environment where the young guys are overly criticized with every move they make so the mainstream media/casual fan has this misconception that they are worse than they really are. If they analyzed the vets games as much as the young guys... But vets are magical and don't make any mistakes... I digress.
4. Big Al is a great teammate, a decent scorer, and a very bad defender. I understand that he can defend 1 on 1 in the post very well, but he is absolutely horrible on pick and rolls and help defense. With the amount of PnR that happens in this league, that is not acceptable.
5. Millsap is a beast that can pretty much do whatever we ask. He needs to be paired with another legit sized big to help cover up his weaknesses on the defensive end because of his size disadvantage. Overall there is no question that he is a net positive while on the court.
6. Mo Williams is a great guy and all, but I don't see him as a legit point guard that you can win championships with. He is one of those guys who has irrational confidence and will lose games for you by jacking up horrible shots and not getting others involved on offense. I'd much rather have a non-star player who plays within his limits and allows others on the team to shine than a non-star player taking shots like he is a star.
So given those assumptions, here is my vision for the future being realistic with what we've seen.:
1. Core of Hayward, Favors, and Kanter. (Favors and Kanter absolutely can be a dominant front court in the future).
2. Millsap would be an ideal 6th man, first big off the bench and if we can re-sign him in the $10-12M range, I'd be all in. Seeing how he has accepted different roles on the team, I have no doubt he'd be a true pro about becoming a 6th man.
3. I would most definitely try and trade Big Al or let him walk at the end of the year.
4. I would try and trade Mo and either sign him to a cheap $10-12M 2 year contract ($5-6M per year) at the end of the year to "develop" our PG of the future.
5. Burks is doing nothing for us now and probably won't ever get that chance in the future, so let's get what we can out of him right now in a trade.
6. Foye and Marvin are both marginally productive guys if you can get Foye around $3-4M a year and Marv around $6M then let's do it.
7. I'd be going all in on shipping out anybody but Hayward/Favors/Kanter to pick up either a star player or draft picks. If we could get a legit star, I'd throw Hayward and Kanter into that mix. I'd be bundling all those draft picks together in the hopes of drafting or trading for a legit PG and another decent wing player (we already have a lotto pick that fits that description.. but he's rotting on the bench.. once again, I digress)
Roster in 2 years -
1 PG of the future, cheap back-up
That right there does not scream Championship Contender to me. Obviously we'll have some draft picks in there so that should help (in theory). Adding back in any of the vets we have only makes it look worse. I don't think we can sign star players to our team in free-agency. It has never happened in the history of the franchise and I can't see why it would happen now. This is where not developing Burks and seeing what we have in him makes absolutely no sense to me. We can't always be about the right now, it's going to keep us on the treadmill of mediocrity. Especially when the right now is fighting for an 8 seed and first round exit in the playoffs...
So, how do you turn it around? How do you get us where we want to go? Is a core of Hayward/Favors/Kanter good enough to build around or do we need to be looking for a star somewhere else?