In Yucca’s post a couple of days ago he was advocating a team built of 7 key players with a couple of other role players. I really liked the post and agree with it. The seven players are Point Guard (1 each), Shooting Guard/Small Forward (3 each), Power Forward/Center (3 each). I would add that I think that all 7 players should be starting quality players and the two that don’t start should be in contention for 6th man of the year, and we should all argue about whether or not they should be the starters. Here is what I think we can do.
We need 1 of the 7 key players to be a point guard. He doesn’t have to be the best player on the team but I think he should be the 2nd or 3rd best. Of the four teams left in the tourney only Miami’s point guard isn’t the 2nd or 3rd best player on the team.
Currently: Harris, Tinsley, Watson, Ahearn aren’t cutting it (Tinsley and Watson are doing fine as backups but nobody as a starter). Either Harris needs to improve or we need to look to make a move.
The key skills I think our point guard needs in order to compliment our other players are: facilitate (get assists), get to the foul line, hit 3 point shots, guard the pick and roll, guard the 3 point line.
Harris improved as the year went on so there is a good chance that he continues to get better. But if a chance came along to get better I would be all over it.
Possible trades that I like: Kyle Lowry for GSW Pick, Steve Nash for TPE, Eric Maynor for Devin Harris. We could also play the draft and pick up a point guard if the player drops enough for a team to be interested in one of our assets.
[Incidentally I don’t think that Burkes could be our primary ball handler like some suggested but I would have him play it as much as possible during the summer league to see and I would love to be proved wrong.
I also don’t think we can make up for poor point guard defense by having Burks or Hayward guard the point guard like against SAS.]
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Like Yuca pointed out, I think that Burks and Hayward complement each other well. I don’t think I would trade either of them unless we are talking about an All NBA 1st or 2nd teamer. I would hate to see Bell or Howard back (hate, hate, hate). I wouldn’t mind having Carroll back in a limited roll though.
That leaves us with finding another starting quality SG/SF. The skills I think we should look for to compliment Burks and Hayward are: 3 point shooting, defense (especially 3 point defense), facilitator.
Trades scenarios I have heard about and like: Anthony Morrow & Johan Petro for TPE, Andre Iguodala for Al Jefferson, Danny Granger for Paul Milsap, JJ Rederick for the MLE, Andre Kirelenko for the MLE
[I don’t think that Millsap can play the SF all the time, I think it will only work in limited situations so I am not counting him.
I love how much Alec Burks he gets to the line. I know he gets mentioned in trade scenarios but I would put him on the untradeable list if I could. If you take 10 shots and shoot 50% you get 10 points. If you take 10 3 point shots and shoot 38% you get 11.4 points. If you get fowl 10 times and take your foul shots shooting 80% you get 16 points. Getting to the line is huge in my opinion.
I think that Carroll should focus on 3 point shooting, especially from the corner.]
Currently three of our four best players fit into this group and probably four of our best seven (it is hard to tell since Kanter never got to play). Favors has the most potential of the four so he is my pick for the 4/5 to build around. So of the other three which two best compliment him? Or which group of three would complement each other the best. I think that Kantor would compliment him well, guarding the other teams biggest player. He also can play out a little bit more. He also has the most potential. So he gets my vote for the second big.
Between Millsap and Jefferson, I think both would work well with Favors. Both on great on offense but could use Favors defensively to cover weaknesses. Both are veterans. Millsap can play a little bit of the 3 spot, has a cheaper contract, and has improved every year he has been with the Jazz. Jefferson has beautiful footwork and can score. I think the Jazz need to see which one plays better with Favors.
[I would love to see us spend significant time at the start of the season (before the trade deadline) having Favors play in the starting line up with Jefferson and then Millsap and see which one he plays better with. Then at the trade deadline when both Jefferson and Millsap’s value is the highest we keep the one that compliments him the most and trade the other.
Our 7 Core Players
Point Guard (1 each)- ?
SG/SF (3 each)– Alec Burks , Gordon Hayward, ?
Roll Players –Tinsley or Watson, Demare Carroll, Jeremy Evans
Our Assets at their highest value
Trade Exception – Needs to be used between now and the end of December.
GSW Conditional 1st Round Pick – Has the highest value the first day Curry sprains his ankle and Bogut pulls a back muscle. Or the moment Jackson starts coaching his team everybody realizes what a joke he is.
Expiring contracts – At the trade deadline next February. I think Millsap will look interesting for teams who want to get his bird rights. Jefferson will look interesting to teams with subpar front courts but great back courts who want that extra little bit to get deep into the playoffs but want an out if it doesn’t work.