By now you've heard all the Utah Jazz news, right? You haven't? Okay, let me catch you up. (But really, you should be reading the downbeats more) The Jazz cut point guard Jamaal Tinsley (he still made $100,000 for his 8 games of work), and recently signed Diante Garrett.
Jazz Signs 6'4" Guard Diante Garrett (@kingarrett10) from NBA Development League. Details: http://t.co/m9thPF8To6 pic.twitter.com/VCqRdpPWfC— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 13, 2013
Diante Garrett will wear #8 and is expected to be available for tonight's game vs the Pelicans. #NOPatUTA— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 13, 2013
We have our 1st Call Up of the season! @utahjazz sign @kingarrett10 from @iowaenergy! Averaged 17.3pts, 7.3ast last yr w/ the Jam (8 GP)— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) November 13, 2013
Strange, right? Well, it looked very strange those few hours back when we only had one point guard on the roster and cleared to play in games (Hey boo, John Lucas III).
Well, Jamaal had played in all 8 games this year (110 minutes), and while he played only 13.8 mpg he still managed 1.1 ppg, 2.9 apg, 1.4 rpg, and 0.3 spg. He did not shoot well (20.0 fg%, 6.7 3pt%), and that sucked. I felt like Jamaal's value this season was based more on being a mentor who did not play a lot of games. While I felt his traditional skills were better suited to this team than Lucas (who is a shoot first PG), the Jazz team did not think so. It's interesting to see him go, and now the burden of being the grey beard on this team is now Richard Jefferson. (See: post on Jamaal's signing and all the allegory there.)
So Jamaal is gone. He played in 111 regular season games for the Jazz (+4 more in the playoffs), and nearly 2000 minutes in our uniform. This is a short goodbye again, and his 3.4 ppg, 3.9 apg will be missed.
A goodbye to Jamaal is a hello to Diante. DG has previously played for the Phoenix Suns (19 games back in 2012-13) and averaged 2.1 ppg, 1.6 apg in 7.8 mpg. He's not a three point maker at the NBA level (20% from downtown), and isn't a big steals guy either. He did average 17 and 7 in the NBA-DL. But if we're looking at D-League stats I know a guy who got 50 points twice there named Morris Almond.
Anyway, maybe this move isn't even about the quality of Diante or the ability of Jamaal. It's, rather, communication between GM Dennis Lindsey and head coach Tyrone Corbin. Corbin has not been playing Alec Burks or Ian Clark at the point guard spot enough during this limited time period where Trey Burke is hurt. Moving Tinsley removes the 14 mpg he was playing at the point guard spot and has to be filled with someone else.
This season is supposed to be about development and discovery. And Lindsey could be sending a moneyball move to Ty -- if you don't play the guys you are supposed to play this year I will get rid of the players you perceive are better than them.
Of course, that'll be called a 'tin foil hat' theory by this site's detractors. So this then is clearly a 'winning' move to win basketball games right? Nope. The polite thing is to call this a money-ball move, the blunt thing is to call this a tanking move. Pick which one it is, because Trey Burke isn't coming back this week -- so moving Tinsley is independent to Trey's health.
Anyway, welcome to the Jazz Diante.
Oh, one more thing (X-Files theme song) Diante and Jamaal went to the same college, Iowa St.