Well, it took longer than some expected, but Al Jefferson was finally cut from the remaining players. If you've read this site for longer than five minutes, you'll know of the back and forth that has gone on with Jefferson's worth and in particular, whether he should be traded as opposed to Paul Millsap. I think the Jefferson/Millsap talk has eclipsed the Boozer/Millsap talks from before. There might be an overall greater number of discussions with Boozer and Millsap, but that's only because Al has only been here a season. I'd also like to point out that the reasons for each side for each player comparison are different. It's also worth noting that Jefferson and Millsap play different positions.
Big Al might be most similar though to Devin Harris. Both were selected in the 2004 draft with Harris going #5 overall and Jefferson getting selected between two Jazz picks at #15. They're similar in the fact that you know what you're going to get with them. They're both entering into the prime years of their respective careers yet both may have peaked already. Like I said yesterday about Harris, that's not a bad thing. Jefferson's numbers for the 2011 season were right at his career averages. The stat that was above his average was his offensive efficiency (point per 100 possessions) where he put up 111. His career average is 108. He also had a career highs in blocks and assists.
But you know what you're getting with Al. He's been working out in Santa Barbara at P3 all summer and according to Harris, you would be shocked at what he looks like. I know this is said about almost every player every summer but I think Al is putting in work. You know that he's going to be a 20 & 10 most nights but will provide terrible help defense. In a one on one situation against centers, he will do fine.
So while he will come back in better shape and more than ready to go, will we see a jump in his stats or on defense? The numbers show that when Jefferson was off the court, the Jazz only gave up only 103 points per 100 possessions. Compare that to 112 when he was on the court. The Jazz suffered a bit though on offense when he was off the floor, only scoring 104 points per 100 possessions. They put up 108 when he was playing.
That's what we'll get next season from Al. I think sometimes we expect players to be flawless in all aspects of their game. There are only a handful of players though that have all of the tools. Can he improve his defense? That will be the big question heading into 2012 (or whenever we see the NBA again).
The rest of the vote may be known, but where do Al's votes go?