Are you tired of people telling you how to feel about the Jazz offseason? I am. But David Aldridge isn't! He's here to tell you why you totally didn't get his ranking the Jazz's offseason 29th-best in the league:
I understand why the Jazz did what they did. That does not change the fact that, if we are strictly evaluating the offseason -- not next year, but this summer -- Utah is much worse off now than it was at the end of the regular season. That's all I was judging. Yes, Utah is rebuilding. But, again, the Jazz is not going to be able to get free agents to come to Salt Lake City as easily as, say, the Heat can get players to come to Miami, or the Knicks or Nets can get players to come to New York. That's just reality. And, so, the Draft and retaining good players are even more important to Utah than in other cities. Losing both Al Jefferson and Millsap, no matter the circumstances, cannot be spun as having a good summer.
I was with you, D-Ald (can I call you D-Ald?), until the second-to-last sentence. You're right: the draft is much more important to Utah than it is in other NBA cities.
(And oh, by the way. Utah? Not a city. It's okay. Karl made the same mistake once.)
But you're in luck, David! The Jazz know how important the draft is. That's why they made trades to bring in more draft picks. And they couldn't have made those trades if they kept Al and Sap.
Retaining good players? Also important. You know what else letting Al and Sap leave does? It makes it so the Jazz have the cash to retain good players -- ones named Hayward and Favors. CRAZY.
All sarcasm aside, I see Aldridge's point, and I know he sees the Jazz's. What Aldridge is really judging is this: Is the Jazz roster better today than it was at the end of last season?
And in that, he's correct. It's worse. But that certainly doesn't mean the offseason as a whole was bad. Far from it.
For a more local perspective on the Jazz offseason, you can take a listen to Clark and Andy on the Salt City Hoops Saturday Show.
I won't spoil it, but you might be surprised at which move they rate as the best of the summer.
I've got just one FanPost to feature this week, but it's a good 'un. TameKate gives us a personal account of how the toughness of past Jazz teams made her a fan (and brought her boyfriend into the fold as well):
There have been moments like that, that cemented my Jazz obsession. Multiple times of Millsap getting hurt, getting stitches, and getting back on the floor. A couple of times watching someone take out A.K, usually feet or knees first, and have him finish most of the game before he HAD to sit out. I think its the best part of basketball for me, watching the bodies hit the floor and the foul sorting and the toughness that leaks out.
She goes on to examine the possible leadership and toughness qualities of the current roster. Who will make the bodies hit the floor? We'll see.
Twitter is funny.
Great lunch today with Gordon Hayward. Super guy. Go buy your kids a #20 Jazz Jersey and feel very comfortable about it.— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) September 17, 2013
Which led to...
@Lockedonsports Will it be current for the 4+ years?...— Rocky Mtn Rundown (@RMRSports) September 17, 2013
@Lockedonsports Sounds like he wants to be here long-term...great news!— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) September 17, 2013
@Lockedonsports hmmm are implying this extension will be signed?! Lol— Brock Bigler (@xbigl3rx) September 17, 2013
@Lockedonsports is that a hint that he will be here for a long long while— Josh Cox (@joshcox8) September 17, 2013
Which led to...
The intention of my last tweet was simply what a solid human Gordon Hayward is, who you should be proud to have your kid represent— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) September 17, 2013
So, yeah. Stand down, citizens -- no news on the Hayward Extension Signing front yet.
HOOPSWORLD contributor Nate Duncan, who was very bullish on the Jazz's draft choices at the time of their selection, addressed some changes in his feelings in his weekly chat:
Burke obviously had a horrible summer league. That was concerning in much the same way it was for Otto Porter, in that his perceived weakness of inability to finish and lack of athleticism were one of the big reasons he didn’t succeed. That said, I think his jumper is much better than what he showed. Also, a pick and roll operator like that needs practice with his teammates and actual good teammates as well to really make the most of his skills. The jury is still out, but I do have some reasons for concern to be sure.
Gobert was playing with a foot injury that he had surgery on after the summer league. I was again hopeful he’d block a few more shots than he did, but for the #27 pick all he needs to do is be a solid backup center to be a steal. I think he can eventually accomplish that and more.
I'm still not sure what (if anything) to read into Trey Burke's summer-league performance. His tweet from yesterday's Downbeat that he's spending time in Spokane is certainly a good sign that he's committed to working hard. But I won't be at peace until I see him with the rest of the team on the court.
What do you think?