You may have seen the discussion on twitter already, but our SBNation sister site for the New Jersey Nets ran a post a few days ago that basically insinuated that the Jazz lost on the Deron Williams trade and that we, as Jazz fans, were just starting to realize this. I think there are certainly some errors in the way the post characterizes the trade and the players the Jazz acquired in the trade. More interestingly, to me, is the incessant need, for both franchises to have "won" that trade. To my knowledge, this is probably the first time a Nets fan has been brazen enough to declare that trade a win for them. And heaven knows, most Jazz fans feel like the Jazz "fleeced" the Nets.
In reality, both franchises got what they wanted and both could "win" on the deal. The Nets got a star to build the new team around in Brooklyn long term, and the Jazz got out from the burden of pleasing a disgruntled (to what degree, no one knows, and I think that includes the Jazz front office) star, while getting "something" for him definitely. But it feels good to have your front office take advantage of another front office. That is why this post was written on Nets Daily. And that is why Jazz fans will reaffirm their love of the trade, now that Deron has proven, he can't take a team past a beaten and bruised Bulls team.
But I agree with Basketball John on this ultimately:
And furthermore, I don't think we will be able to measure this trade for another 2 years or so. Especially not until we see what we get during the upcoming draft. Our part of the trade, still hasn't played out.
But what the post really made me think about, was all of the parallel universes the trade created. What could have happened if the Jazz didn't make this trade? What would the best and worst case scenario be? Here is my imagination of those scenarios:
One person somewhat close to the Deron situation that I have talked to, believes that the Jazz could have kept Deron around, if they had kept Deron's best friends on the team around. That would include Wesley Matthews, Kyle Korver, and Paul Millsap. It would also mean, that the Jazz would have chosen Wesley and Kyle over Al Jefferson. If that was somehow enough to move forward with, the Jazz could be looking at a roster with:
Paul Millsap (Free Agent)
Kyle Korver (Free Agent)
#20 pick in 2011
#18 pick in 2012
Own first round picks in 2012 and 2013
This roster would cost the Jazz about $38-40 million and they would have cap space this summer to re-sign Paul and Kyle or pursue bigger free agents. Ironically, this team's ceiling was probably only slightly higher than the real Jazz team the last two seasons. Of course that is the best case scenario. What if Deron had walked last offseason/ The 2012-13 roster would have looked like this:
Mo Williams (You know that Kevin wouldn't have been able to help himself)
All those picks
Some washed up veterans on one year deals
So basically the Jazz would have Wesley Matthews and Kosta Koufos instead of Derrick and Enes and probably have a 5th to14th pick in this upcoming draft. It wouldn't have been the end of the world, but certainly not as good as what we have now. But those are my pretend realities. What would your's look like, if the Jazz had never traded Deron/ It's only hypothetical and fun; let's not get super worked up about it.
If you were asked "what is the biggest problem that needs to be fixed with the Jazz this off season?" I would hope that you would answer "defense." It needs to and I believe, will be addressed. But like last off season, I think the 3 point shooting needs a little fixing as well.
Last season the Jazz shot 12.8 three pointers per game for 29th most in the league. This season they increased that number to 16.9 attempts per game, an impressive 32% increase in team attempts. However, that only moved the Jazz from 29th, to 28th most attempts per game. For a team that shot the 8th most accurate 3 point shots in the league, 28th most attempts is not acceptable. Even just 3 more attempts per game would put the Jazz above average.
With all of that said, the Jazz should not only target accurate three point shooters this off season, but ones that aren't gun shy either. Here is a list of the most accurate 2013 free agent 3 point shooters and their attempts per game:
Jose Calderon 46.1% - 4 Per game
Kyle Korver 45.7% - 6
Mike Dunleavy Jr. 42.8 - 4
Kevin Martin 42.6% - 5
Martell Webster 42.2% - 4
Chris Copeland 42.1% - 3
Roger Mason Jr. 41.5% - 2
Randy Foye 41% - 5
Nate Robinson 40.5% - 4
Jarrett Jack 40.3% - 3
Here are the numbers of a free agent big men, without name or prestige. What kind of contract would you be willing to give this player? Can you guess who it is?
Offensive Stats - 1.12 points per possession