I know this happened a few days ago, but Bill Sharman passed away. For those who are a little unfamiliar with Utah's ABA past, Bill Sharman was the head coach of the Utah Stars from 1970-1971. He brought Utah its first professional national championship when the Utah Stars beat the Kentucky Colonels for the championship.
NBA.com posted a video "In Memoriam: Bill Sharman". Give it a look. I learned a lot of things. For example, did you know the Utah Stars were the first team to implement the pre-game shoot around at the request of Bill Sharman? It's amazing.
It has been reported that Gordon Hayward are far apart on contract negotiations. Before the preseason began I would wager it would have been easier to get a deal done. But then Gordon Hayward had himself a preseason.
Gordon Hayward's PER36 average for the preseason was 20 ppg, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals while shooting 37.8% from the field, 50% from three, and 73% from the line in 7 FTA. It would not surprise me in the least if Gordon's camp was aware of these numbers. They are also aware that there is a big chance he plays more than 36 minutes a game and outdoes even his PER36 numbers and puts up big "per game" stats. Like any contract negotiation the Jazz are lowballing and Hayward's camp is doing the opposite. There's nothing wrong with that. Each side is protecting themselves.
The only way I see a deal not getting done before the season is if Gordon Hayward and his representation see him as a max player. If they do then I could see them withdrawing from the negotiations and playing out the season to prove Hayward's worth as such a player. If Hayward were by some amazing feat average his PER36 numbers over the course of an entire season he would be in All-Star consideration. Do I believe that is likely? I don't. I would love for it to happen though. In my opinion, I see a deal getting done before the deadline and the Jazz having both Favors and Hayward locked up going into the season.
Are you a poor Jazz fan like all of us? Do you live in Utah? Do you wish you could attend the Jazz's first game of the season? Well ... are you in for a treat.
Trey Burke captions this picture saying, "Be my guest opening night. I'll be at the arena box office Tue at 1pm buying pairs of tix for the 1st 400 fans to show up in @utahjazz gear."
So do what you got to do to get over there. Take your lunch break at 1pm. Call in sick. Call in sick for your friend. Wear your most awesome Jazz gear. Be sure to let us know if you're able to gets some tickets from Trey!
Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com gave his final 2013-2014 Schoene projections of every team's chances to win the championship and to win the lottery. First the good news.
Pelton's projections gave the Utah Jazz a 1.7% chance of making the playoffs. So to all those, myself included, who said the Jazz are tanking, it might not be the case. "SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE!"
Now here's where it gets interesting. The Schoene projections gave the Utah Jazz a 4.5% chance of landing the #1 pick, a 5.0% chance of landing the #2 pick, a 5.6% chance of landing the #3 pick, a 22.6% chance of landing a Top 5 pick, an 80.1% chance of landing a Top 10 pick, and a 98.3% chance of landing a lotto pick.
In addition to the Jazz's own pick, Golden State's pick is very volatile. Check this out. Golden State has a 0.6% chance of landing the #1 pick, a 0.7% chance of the #2 pick, a 0.8% chance ofthe #3 pick, a 2.1% chance of a Top 5 pick, a 11.9% chance of Top 10 pick, and a 56.3% chance of a lotto pick.
To sum this up, the Golden State Warriors are more likely to owe a Top 5 pick to the Utah Jazz than the Utah Jazz are to make the playoffs. In short, analytically, the Utah Jazz are likely to have two lottery picks in next year's draft. If the Utah Jazz receive two lottery picks in next year's stacked draft class there won't be many people questioning whether the Golden State trade was worth taking on the high priced contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson.
In Kevin Pelton's projections the Utah Jazz will have the #6 pick before the lotto balls drop and the Golden State Warriors' pick owed to the Jazz will be #14. Right now, according to DraftExpress.com, the Jazz would draft Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden with those picks. Most likely, the Jazz would be wheeling and dealing with their assets.
The NBA season finally starts tonight. Who will you be watching tonight?