Well the Jazz officially acquired Mo Williams into their Traded Player Exception over the weekend. From what I can tell, I think most Jazz fans are excited about the trade. I'm pretty lukewarm about it. I think it's because there are some good reasons and some bad reasons to have Mo on the team.
-Mo was a fan favorite when he was here originally and he played on that 03-04 team we all loved.
-Mo will turn 30 this season and his best years are behind him.
-Mo Williams is a veteran point guard who will give us some meaningful minutes at the point and can play some shooting guard as well.
-The team only has veteran point guards.
-Williams could take away some shooting guard minutes that could go to Hayward and Alec Burks.
-Williams is a career 39% three point shooter and is a perimeter shooter the Jazz have been missing.
-Raja Bell shot a better percentage from 3 than Williams did last year.
-His expiring contract allows the Jazz to keep their financial flexibility after this year.
-$8.5 million is a lot to pay for a guy who hasn't achieved 3 win shares in the last 4 seasons.
-Mo Williams probably makes the Jazz a better team.
The US men's olympic basketball team announced that they will name their 12 players for the team roster on July 7th. That date is a little surprising since the first practice is only the day before the announcement. We know that Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are all out due to injuries. I think we all had hopes that Derrick Favors, or to a lesser degree, Gordon Hayward could be impressive and perhaps sneak onto the team, but given these dates, I don't think so. The coaches won't even have time to be wowed by Favors in practice before they decide. It also sounds like Anthony Davis would have the inside track anyways.
The Jazz have 14 players on the roster already. They have 7 point guards and 7 big men. Just kidding, although I do think the team is without a starting caliber small forward as of now. Technically Gordon Hayward could start at the 3 and we hope Demarre Carroll will turn into one, but right now, we have nobody I'm super excited to see starting at small forward.
Its clearly time to bring back AK-47. Last friday I mentioned offering Brandon Rush the full MLE so he could become our starting 3, but from everyone I've talked to that would have knowledge of Golden State's thinking, the Warriors would match that offer. I still think it's worth a try.
I hope we have come to an understanding that the Jazz CANNOT sign and trade Kirilenko, although they can sign him to whatever contract they choose since they hold his Bird rights. I did a little digging and I found out that Andrei made $3.8 million this year after taxes to play for CSKA Moscow. So what would the Jazz have to offer AK to match that? Digging a little deeper, I found that $6.5-7 million a year would be equivalent to his current salary after taxes. To me 3 years, $20 million is the perfect offer for AK and the Jazz. The Jazz sure could use him, in my opinion, since they don't have any starting SFs on the roster and aren't going to likely add one in free agency besides Kirilenko.
Of course an offer like that would take the Jazz right up to the luxury tax line, but I have a feeling they could cut some costs through trades the rest of the offseason. Or else they could use the amnesty provision on Raja Bell's contract.
Speaking of contracts and offers and such, there has been a lot of discussion about a possible Paul Millsap extension. I have wondered if the Jazz don't want to extend Paul and keep him here and then bring him off the bench this upcoming season. In terms of Al and Paul, they are both in their last years of their contracts and they will want prominent roles in order to show their value as they prepare for new long-term contracts. So one thing you can't ask Paul or Al to reasonably do is come off the bench, without long term security in the form of an extension. So that leaves the Jazz's only ethical and respectful courses of action, in my opinion, in terms of both Paul and Al to either A) start them B) extend their contract C) trade them. There is no positive outcome, that I can see for any other option.
But I think I have also figured out a way to pay Paul Millsap market value and have his salary be lighter on the salary caps in the future, if the Jazz choose to keep Millsap around. Millsap can only be extended for 3 more years past this one and let's say his market value is a 3 year extension at $30 million. The Jazz could pay Paul Millsap a bonus of up to 15% of the entire contract ($4.5 million) which would be paid to Paul next July 1st, but be spread out over the course of the contract. In essence, the Jazz could pay Paul $14.5 million next season, when he's presumably a starter, and only have $8.5 million count against the cap in 2014-15 and 2015-16, when he might be a third big man. It would work out exactly how Millsap's contract has worked currently.