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What Is The Direction That The Utah Jazz Should Take With The Team? - The Downbeat - #580

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  Matt Moore of Pro Basketball Talk  writes about what the Jazz need to do once the lockout is lifted,

When the lockout ends, the Jazz need to: Make some sort of sense out of their roster? Devin Harris is more valuable as a trade chip than as a starting point guard, but he's more than serviceable at point. Burks covers for the liability Raja Bell was last year, even if Bell will need to return to prior years' defensive strength while Burks covered his offense.

But then everything gets nuts. Andrei Kirilenko‘s contract expired and it's been widely suggested that Kirilenko will return for a lesser deal. But his value is questionable on a consistent basis. So then you get into the umpteen combo forwards the Jazz have. They need to figure out some roles and discern who goes and who stays. They all have value on the market, but they need to figure out which ones they want long-term.    

Making sense of the roster and settling on a rotation will be one of the first things the Jazz need to do.  However, they're not going to have much time, if any, to do that.  We're already close to having the first few weeks of training camp cancelled.  Players were schedule to report the first of October with the first Jazz pre-season game being October 9.

That means that even if the regular season starts on time, Tyrone Corbin is going to have a slashed training camp and not enough time to evaluate everyone.  Worse is if there's a shortened season and there are no trades.  The Jazz wouldn't be able to move players until next summer if that's the course they take.

Besides the obvious hit the league would take should games be lost, the development of this team will be delayed.

   Wendell Maxey, writing for the Deseret News, explains why Andrei Kirilenko hasn't signed with one of his two preferred Russian teams yet,

 

The kicker: Kirilenko still desires an NBA-out contract with his deal. For this reason, negotiations are at a standstill with both teams. "They (CSKA Moscow) didn't want to include an NBA-out in their offer, so we couldn't agree on terms," Kirilenko said after Russian's win over Macedonia.

 

Should the lockout persist, it will be interesting to see what AK does.  He's an unrestricted free agent so he doesn't need an NBA out like other players heading overseas.  It's apparent though that he does want to play in the NBA next year.

He certainly doesn't need the money having made over $90 million for his career.  The only two teams that he wants to play for though are CSKA and Spartak Saint Petersburg.  If neither of them acquiesce, I wonder if AK will look elsewhere to play rather than sit at home (so to speak).  There is a team somewhere that would give him the escape clause that he's looking for.

  TrueHoop resumes its summer round table with five questions about the Northwest Division

3. Over/Under: The No. 8 seed in the West for the Jazz.

Henry Abbott, ESPN.com: Under. I believe inDerrick Favors, but this is Year 1 of a profound transition, and the Jazz are in a conference with the Mavericks, Lakers, Thunder, Spurs, Nuggets, Rockets, Grizzlies, Hornets, Blazers. ... The math gets tough.    

I don't think any fans has any delusions of grandeur heading into next season.  When you look at the playoff teams from last season, not many are going to slip.  Then you have other teams like the Clippers, Rockets, and the Kings who will be better.

The Jazz will have an interesting mix of veterans and youngsters.  If they stick with the roster as it is now and everyone pans out, interesting things could happen.  But more than likely, you're not going to want to get your hopes up.  They may not end up winning a lot of games, but they're going to be a fun (frustrating) team to watch grow.

 Zach Lowe, of SI.com, takes a fantastic look at how Paul Millsap would do at the small forward position.  On offense he could be something to be reckoned with.  On defense though is a different story,

That's a legit worry, though, just as it is when we talk about the Lakers going big with Lamar Odom at small forward alongside both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Millsap's feet might be smart, but they are not super-quick. He struggled (though not as badly as Jefferson) to help and recover on pick-and-roll plays, and he had trouble running out at spot-up shooters, especially behind the three-point line, according to the stat-tracking service Synergy Sports. Opponents shot better than 40 percent from deep in spot-up chances against Millsap, and he ranked well below the league's average in points allowed per possession on spot-up looks overall, per Synergy. Watch the video, and you see Millsap can look a bit uncomfortable diving down into the paint and then recovering onto an outside shooter.    

Millsap is underrated athletically but chasing around ultra quick wings could wear him down to the point that it starts to have an adverse effect on his offensive game.

Once again, the Jazz need to make a move once they figure out the direction the team is going.

  Man, even TMZ is effected by the lockout.  You can tell when they're scrounging around for comments from Earl Watson (no offense!) about the WNBA. (via BDL)


Keep it classy TMZ (I know that should go without saying) !