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Give Peace and the 8th Pick a Chance- The Downbeat - #760

First off a sincere thank you to those men and women who do and have served our country in the armed forces. I know some of you may even read the downbeat this morning. Even with the memorial day weekend, your service is underappreciated. Thank you for fighting for us, so that we can do things that are often less watch and discuss professional basketball. Thank you.

A lot has been discussed thus far about the rumors of a Golden State-Utah Jazz trade dealing with the 2012 pick protections.

First off, I don't think it's going to happen. When has a consummated Utah Jazz trade ever been known about and didn't come to fruition in the next few hours? The Jazz don't deal kindly with rumors of trades. Remember when Kevin O'Connor publicly ridiculed the Warriors' front office for publicly discussing talks the two teams had been having. Kevin O' Connor does not like his hand to be played by other teams. The rumors they are talking again have surfaced and someone had to open their mouth. O'Connor may put an end to talks with the Warriors, not only on this deal, but for awhile.

On top of that, I hate the idea of the trade if it doesn't involve players, as was rumored. There really isn't anything that the Warriors could offer that should make it worth it to the Jazz. The Jazz have a 28% chance of landing the 8th pick without doing anything. That is a decent chance. Let's say the Jazz trade that chance to make the Warriors pick unprotected next year. So the Warriors have the pick and they have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, etc. That is a decent team. Is that team going to be a bottom dwelling team? If Bogut and Curry are healthy for 50 games, even, that team is winning 25-30 games right there. There is a really really great chance that the Jazz would be giving up that 28% for something that wouldn't have been any different the next year.

What if the Jazz trade that 28% for the 30th and 35th pick from the Warriors? Theoretically that seems fine. You are getting the 30th and 35th pick by trading something you may never have had anyway. The problem is that the average value of an 8th pick, while not guaranteed to be a starter is to be a rotation player. You can expect to get a player at 8 that will stay in the NBA past 4 years, even if they aren't great. The average player in the 30-35 range is out of the league in 4 years. You can expect to draft a player that won't make it past their rookie contract at 30-35. So again, if the Jazz don't land rotation players with those picks, then the value is nothing, essentially. Again they would have traded a 28% chance at the 8th pick for nothing.

Or the Jazz could trade the rights for cash considerations up to $3 million...

It's not that I am against the Utah Jazz saving money and protecting the bottom line of their company. In fact I have advocated for it. I think the Jazz should take advantage of these rookie contracts they have and keep team salaries as low as possible without being penalized. Then the Jazz should think about exceeding the salary cap, when they can legitimately compete for a top 3 seed in the playoffs. The Jazz should never have to pay a player $13 or $15 million to produce a number of wins a guy could do at $5 or $6 million with a little extra homework and forethought.

But I am against the idea of selling the rights to the 8th pick for $3 million when there are much better ways to save $3 million. I feel like I am Dave the presidential look alike, and I have to renegotiate the Federal Budget in order to cut costs elsewhere so that the children's orphanage (in this case the 28% for the 8th pick) can continue.

First off, the Jazz reportedly paid Josh Howard $2.1 million to play basketball for them this season. I had always assumed that the Jazz were paying Howard the veteran minimum ($1.2 million), but every website I have seen has him listed as $2.1 million. According to advanced statistics per, Josh Howard played 43 games for the Jazz and helped the team win 0.5 games. The Jazz paid DeMarre Carroll about $500,000 to play 20 games and basketball-reference has him tabbed for 0.4 wins. So don't resign Howard and replace him with a minimum player, even a d-league player for $500,000. You're welcome Jazz, I just saved you $1.6 million by using my brain for a couple minutes.

Then there is Raja Bell. The Jazz are on tap to pay Raja Bell $3.2 million this year to pout and wine and cause problems in the locker room. The Jazz have stated that they are opposed to buying him out. That's too bad, because it would be a great business decision. Using the Amnesty Clause on Raja Bell would be silly because the Jazz would still have to pay Bell the full $3.2 million minus whatever amount a new team offered Bell, which might be nothing. But with a buyout, you agree to pay Raja, say...$2-2.5 million to leave the team and try to find another team. If he really thinks another team will pick him up, he can make up his contract money with a new deal. If he's really that unhappy, and he seems to be, he'll agree to cut $500,000-$1,000,000 off his contract to walk away. He'll do it, especially if you tell him that things will be the same if he stays on the team. I'll do the talking, Kevin O'Connor. I'll save the team like $800,000 at least.

I don't want to be the one that has to tell a Jazz fan, there is no chance the Jazz get the 8th pick this draft, just so Tyrone Corbin can make himself feel better by playing an overpaid Josh Howard who makes the team only half a game better.



Did you notice a common theme? The Rocket players are furious with Kevin McHale's lack of effective communication. Sounds familiar to me. But don't worry. I have personally paid for Tyrone Corbin and Kevin McHale to attend John Hersey's workshop of effective communication (I haven't really).

I was pretty harsh last downbeat about some of Kevin O'Connor's transactions as general manager. So let's discuss his best moves ever. I think it's a tie between the Mehmet Okur trade and the drafting of Deron WIlliams. What say you?