*** This is a FanPost from last summer that I never finished. I happened upon my saved drafts from back when I wrote FanPosts. I also have a very short draft about why I thought DWill needed to be traded that I started about a week before the infamous Chicago game. Still disappointed I didn't get that one done before it all went down. The comments and 180s pulled post-trade would have been classic. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting retrospective piece, despite being incomplete.***
There seem to be 3 camps right now: 1) those who are frustrated/mad, 2) those who think that those who are mad are overreacting and irrational, and 3) those who had/have no expectations and therefore have no feelings either way.
I am in the first camp at this point. I am mad. The basis of this anger is the feeling that the Jazz, being a small market team as they are, need to be more innovative and savvier than other teams. I do not get the impression that they are nor will they be under this front office.
Amar has expressed his disdain for the Jazz shunning the Sloan conference. I think that's only the tip of the iceberg, but I do think it's an indicator.
At the beginning of this past season, I was willing to give Ty the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I was even further than that. I was *expecting* him to correct many of the mistakes he made in his first stint as head coach. I believed that he just needed an offseason to watch film and realize his mistakes:
- I firmly believed that he would realize that Raja Bell had no business starting or playing starters' minutes. I thought Raja would bounce back last year, and he did to some extent, but he still had no business playing more than 20 mins/night.
- I believed he would realize that playing Favors with either Millsap or Jefferson was the optimal front court, bringing the other one off the bench.
- I thought he would play Hayward at the 2 where he'd thrived at the end of the year before.
- I thought he would adjust his attitude about rookies and let them see the floor more if they played well rather than jerking them around like what was done with Hayward in his rookie year.
This is a huge factor in why I'm mad tonight. In fact, I'm madder tonight than last night. I have learned that if you want Ty to play and develop the young guys, then you need to take away the vets he uses as crutches. The young guys will be up for options and extensions soon. The front office can't reliably make decisions and valuations about the young guys if they don't get useful stats.
I don't really care about the Mo Williams trade. At first I was fairly pleased about it. Do I think it helps the team get better? Marginally at best, but I do think it does. Long term though, does it help the Jazz more than buying 2nd round picks and getting Machado and Ware? I don't think it does.
Mo Williams has one year. Devin Harris has one year. Watson has one year. Tinsley has one year. Watson and Tinsley are both old, serviceable backups. Devin Harris and Mo Williams are both expensive, serviceable starters. At the end of next year, the Jazz will most likely either be starting over with a free agent PG (consider the caliber of FAs that are normally attracted to the Jazz), a rookie PG, or re-signing one or more of the 4 for multiple years.
With the current composition of the Jazz, are you really going to tell me that *any* of those guys makes a significant impact over a pre-injury Sundiata Gaines? Are you comfortable with any of those guys running the team in flex sets?
The one glimmer of hope would be Burks learning the role this year and taking it over next year. If this is what happens, I will be ecstatic and eat my words. Can anyone really picture this actually happening though?
After this year, Favors will be making close to Millsap money. In 2 years, Kanter will be right there with him. Jefferson might be untradeable, but there's no way that Millsap is. What are the odds of Millsap being happy coming off the bench? What is the look of the future front court? If they're thinking Millsap and Favors, with Kanter coming off the bench, then I can't say I'm opposed. But shouldn't you find out how good Favors is before he's an RFA?
If Jefferson is on the roster, Ty is going to play him. There's no doubt about it. Jefferson and Millsap will end up with the most minutes this year, barring injury. Favors got a ton of playing time at the beginning of last year, showed major signs of progress, then got shut down. He had 2 games of 38+ minutes, both in the first month of the season. He went 20/11 and 16/12 in those games. He never saw another game of 38+ minutes the rest of the year.
I read a lot of discussion about our expiring contracts being more valuable at the trade deadline. That may be true in terms of what we can get back directly, but definitely less value for clearing out playing time for Favors, Kanter, and Burks. These moves need to be made now or very soon, not at the trade deadline.
Yucca and others have covered the fact that often the best play is to keep your own expiring contracts. If the Jazz can't get value back for Harris and Jefferson, then I totally understand keeping them on board to expire to get the cap space. If they don't have trade worth, then so be it.
However, with Millsap it's the totally opposite situation. You have to move him and get something for him. He is an asset, not a liability. His contract is reasonable, his skills are still improving. I love the guy, but you can't let him walk, nor can you afford to re-sign him.
Here are the questions I ask myself that worry me:
1) How much faith do we have in one of our current guys becoming a superstar?
1b) How much faith do we have that if one of our current young guys becomes a superstar that the Jazz will be able to keep him at the end of his contract?
2) How much faith do we have that KOC will select a future superstar in one of the next 2 drafts?
3) How much faith do we have that the Jazz will be able to attract high quality free agents without paying them above market rate?