Participants: Moni, Basketball John, Kyle K, Yucca Man, UtesFan89, Clark, Andy, Spencer, Peter, and Amar
Okay Jazz faneroos, the trade deadline is nigh! As a result, we all have worried and concerns for what's happening. What's the best way to deal with that? Yes, to hide under some coats and hope everything works out in the end. But we're Utah Jazz fans, and as a result, we will do more than the bare minimum in a time of crisis and discord! We held a Jazzy Jam Session around three simple questions. Not everyone got a chance to voice their opinions, but we did get responses from quite a few Jazz fans who write here. They are listed above, and you may or may not interact with any of them outside of this blog proper; however, I think this is a mostly representative sample of Jazz fans. Without further preamble, here's Question 1!
"If you were the GM of the Jazz, would you make a trade before the deadline?"
Moni: What kind of reckless question is this?! This is why KOC hates boggers!
BBJ: If I were GM on NBA 2K13, I would want to make a trade. However, if I was able to assume GM duties for a day through some 80's movie-style shenanigans, I wouldn't make a move. As Dennis Lindsey explained, the Jazz are many steps from being one of the final two or four teams standing this season.
I'll stick with my prediction before the season and say that the Jazz keep both Big Al and Paul Millsap for the entire season and re-sign one of them. That last part is a slight variation from my prediction because I could see the team keeping Al now over Millsap.
And really, Lindsey is right. If the Jazz aren't going to contend this season, what's the point of dealing away one of your biggest assets - cap space and flexibility -- for a first-round exit when you could keep the current team as is and finish the season the same way? The only way I make a trade this season as GM is if I'm bowled over by an offer from another team for Al or Millsap. If a deal happens, I'm making it in the off-season in a sign and trade.
Kyle: No. Not unless some desperate GM brings a ridiculous offer to the table. The Jazz are not contenders this year, and no (realistic) trade [this season] will make them so. This team is far from perfect, but they like each other and are probably going to make the playoffs. If I'm GM, I wait till this off-season to make my major moves.
Yucca: Yes, I would.
UtesFan89: Yes. Trade or bust! Pretty much, my philosophy is win it all - or have fun trying. This team is not built to win it all, now or in the future (unless they start developing guys big time). So go out, take risks, and build a fun team. Maybe you'll strike it rich.
Clark: That's a question with to many variables to answer with a simple yes or no. But generally speaking, I would definitely make a trade in order to make the team better. But in seriousness, I would be looking actively to trade both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. If I could get back some combination of young prospects and picks without taking on too much long term money, I would do that. I would not hesitate in trading either or both if a good deal came along.
Andy: I would likely not make a trade if I were the GM of the Utah Jazz. Of course, it depends what I was offered, but Kevin O' Connor's reasoning is sound: it only makes sense to make a trade if it will make the team better. Given this year's trade market, there don't seem to be a lot of opportunities to trade our pieces for improved talent - that is, unless we want to start trading the core 4.
Our other issue is that the players most rumored to be traded away, Jefferson and Millsap, would be fairly likely to re-sign to the Jazz should the team want them back. While other teams may see that they're trading for just 25 games of Paul Millsap, from the Jazz' perspective, they're giving up a possible lifetime Jazzman. The limited amount of value you're likely to receive in return for such a small portion of a player probably isn't worth it.
Even if you don't see Jefferson or Millsap as part of the long term future of the Jazz, any potential trade package has to be more valuable than either 8 or 14 million dollars of cap space in this offseason, which is itself a valuable asset. Remember, just this summer, the Jazz essentially traded their 9 million dollar cap space for Mo Williams, a credible starting point guard. In my mind, any package for Jefferson or Millsap must include a credible starter in return, a long term asset of some sort, while also not messing up the Jazz' long-term future salary setup (i.e., no big money past the summer of 2014). I don't think we get that package right now, and so I would not make a trade.
Spencer: No. While we are not perfect, and we have had some missteps along the way. I don't think a trade at this juncture will make us better. I don't think there is a player on the trade block that will make us better in the long term either. Getting better or having a change to get better for three months does not make sense.
Peter: If I was the GM of the Jazz, I would have made a trade prior to the 2011-12 season or prior to the 2012 trade deadline. That was the ideal time to move the veteran players, maximize the return on the Golden State draft asset and the Jazz's own draft pick, and continue with the rebuilding plan which began way back two seasons ago when Deron Williams was traded.
Since I do not have a time machine to accomplish such a thing, I still must answer yes, I would make a trade as the GM of the Jazz. While landing a top flight all-star player isn't likely at this time, the team does need to fully embrace the youth movement and see if the core 4 is even worth building around going forward. The last thing the team should want to do is to extend both Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward's contracts prior to next season without first determining how good they will be.
Amar: I would have pretty much blown things up the off-season after the Deron Williams trade. Yes, a whole big cleansing forest fire that gives all the nutrients back to the soil so it can be fertile once again -- but far away from the expectations of being a big forest. I would have made the focus of our team Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, and we wouldn't have tried to make the playoffs last season -- that doesn't mean actively tank. It means try to win every possible game, but do it the 'right way', and not the band-aid way of signing short term mercs to do the job that hurts your future (Raja Bell / Josh Howard for example). We'd be in a different position today, with 6 lotto picks and no one taking minutes from them; but the reality is that we have four and are now having the entire NBA National media and bloggers telling us that we need to move our vets. But I think I understand our franchise better now, and understand what they are trying to do. That still does not mean that is what I would do; but I am a little more hesitant to be completely reckless. Even right now the prospect of NOT seeing Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap in a Jazz uniform makes me sad. I do love our players, and I do love our team. And while I am a sentimental guy . . . if I was Jazz GM I would have to do my job. And my job isn't to make a Disney movie. My job is to win the NBA Title. And I would try to move the pieces I could to ensure that our next base for our true playoff runs is a foundation of complete players who play both offense and defense. Young guys who can be taught the right way, and not be hindered in their development.
I'd move Al Jefferson if possible. I'd move Earl Watson if possible. I'd move Raja Bell if possible. I may even move Marvin Williams too. We'd lose games -- but Stockton and Malone lost games too early in their careers and still managed to propel that to win a lot. If you have the fire in your heart to get better and win you will, even if you lose early.
Well guys, that's a lot to digest, but I think you have your own feelings and ideas too. So please tell us what you think, and tell us who won this round!
Who do you agree with the most?
Moni (2 votes)
Basketball John (0 votes)
Kyle (1 vote)
Yucca Man (4 votes)
UtesFan89 (0 votes)
Clark (1 vote)
Andy (5 votes)
Spencer (1 vote)
Peter (2 votes)
Amar (19 votes)
35 total votes