Over the last few seasons the Utah Jazz built their team to win now, and challenge for the Western Conference playoffs. Sadly, over the last few seasons that just didn't happen. At all. Even if the Jazz would make the playoffs it's almost as if the spirit of Jazz basketball wasn't there with them. Most of the players from those teams have moved on now as the Jazz *finally* committed to the youth and admitted to rebuilding. Still, the Jazz did say goodbye to many good players. I looked them all up, every single player that we've said goodbye to since the 2010-2011 season. (n = 35 players) Of course, because this is from the disaster season till now we omit the years where the team actually *was* a contender, and thus we omit the contributions of Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews, and Kyle Korver from this observation.
So how have our Jazz-ex's done so far this season (or their last NBA season)?
|1||Paul Millsap||ATL||63||2086||2014 2015||33.11||16.89||7.92||2.98||1.76||0.90||30.46|
|2||Al Jefferson||CHA||54||1691||2014 2015||31.31||17.22||8.78||1.78||0.74||1.31||29.83|
|3||Enes Kanter||OKC||11||324||2014 2015||29.45||15.73||10.18||1.45||0.64||0.27||28.27|
|4||Mo Williams||MIN / CHA||53||1572||2014 2015||29.66||14.17||2.42||6.72||0.74||0.21||24.25|
|5||Deron Williams||BKN||50||1563||2014 2015||31.26||13.06||3.10||6.08||1.00||0.26||23.50|
|6||DeMarre Carroll||ATL||56||1753||2014 2015||31.30||11.93||5.11||1.52||1.32||0.21||20.09|
|7||C.J. Miles||IND||53||1349||2014 2015||25.45||12.51||2.83||1.13||0.91||0.32||17.70|
|8||Devin Harris||DAL||63||1429||2014 2015||22.68||8.95||1.90||3.29||1.08||0.21||15.43|
|9||Mehmet Okur||NJN||17||454||2011 2012||26.71||7.65||4.76||1.76||0.53||0.29||15.00|
|10||Marvin Williams||CHA||60||1491||2014 2015||24.85||7.05||4.48||1.20||0.87||0.43||14.03|
|11||Ronnie Price||LAL||43||982||2014 2015||22.84||5.14||1.60||3.84||1.56||0.09||12.23|
|12||Josh Howard||MIN||11||207||2012 2013||18.82||6.73||3.27||0.36||0.91||0.27||11.55|
|13||Randy Foye||DEN||37||683||2014 2015||18.46||6.97||1.24||2.05||0.46||0.27||11.00|
|14||Richard Jefferson||DAL||61||1038||2014 2015||17.02||5.56||2.67||0.84||0.43||0.18||9.67|
|15||Chris Johnson||MIL||5||100||2014 2015||20.00||4.60||2.00||0.60||0.60||0.40||8.20|
|16||John Lucas III||DET||12||140||2014 2015||11.67||4.00||0.50||3.00||0.42||0.00||7.92|
|17||Kyrylo Fesenko||IND||3||17||2011 2012||5.67||2.67||3.00||0.33||0.67||0.00||6.67|
|18||Malcolm Thomas||PHI||17||194||2014 2015||11.41||2.65||3.29||0.41||0.18||0.06||6.59|
|19||Elliot Williams||NOP||4||46||2014 2015||11.50||3.50||1.00||1.00||0.00||0.00||5.50|
|20||Toure' Murry||WAS||1||1||2014 2015||1.00||4.00||0.00||0.00||1.00||0.00||5.00|
|21||Brandon Rush||GSW||27||215||2014 2015||7.96||0.67||1.26||0.44||0.11||0.44||2.93|
|22||Earl Watson||POR||24||161||2013 2013||6.71||0.50||0.63||1.17||0.21||0.04||2.54|
|23||Steve Novak||OKC||2||13||2014 2015||6.50||1.50||0.00||0.50||0.00||0.00||2.00|
|24||Andrei Kirilenko||BKN / PHI||7||36||2014 2015||5.14||0.43||1.14||0.14||0.14||0.00||1.86|
|25||Francisco Elson||PHI||5||16||2010 2011||3.20||0.40||0.20||0.20||0.20||0.20||1.20|
N.B. There are 10 players who qualify for this list, but haven't played a single NBA minute since leaving the Jazz: Andris Biedrins, Blake Ahearn, Diante Garrett, Jamaal Tinsley, Kevin Murphy, Kyle Waver, Marcus Cousin, Mike Harris, Patrick Christopher, and Raja Bell -- the one dude who told it like it was and got the Animal Farm treatment from a hyper sensitive PR department and front office who didn't have the balls to take valid, internal criticism.
Yeeeeah. Who knew that Mo Williams would be having a better season than Deron Williams? That's the crazy thing that sticks out to me for sure. Big Al and Millsap have become big name players in the Eastern Conference. With the Thunder 22 year old Enes Kanter's positives and negatives are magnified -- but when was the last time that franchise had a bigman who can score like him? Shawn Kemp? If there's anything to learn from Big Al it's that if you are big and can score you'll get paid. You may eventually be called an All-Star or All-NBA player at some point if you are on a good enough team. In effect, Kanter was Jefferson's best student.
Beyond the Top 5 we see a funny group where Carroll, Miles, Marvin and other wings hang out with Memo, and Ronnie P -- players we just adored. It's slim pickings after that.
If you want to feel bad about "the one that got away" you feel bad about Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews -- two excellent wings with deadly range from long distance. But from the "awful period" of Jazz basketball till today you have a few good players to lament about. I think Deron Williams under-estimated how good Jerry Sloan and his offense was for him. Millsap is motivated again, something he wasn't in his last 2 seasons with the Jazz. Big Al is having a lot of fun not worrying about two young guys behind him on the depth chart. And Enes is finally have fun again playing basketball.
I wish them all well. But man, #MOLO never forgets. Or forgives. Dude is really the only guy I had written off who is fighting hard in the NBA making big plays and helping his team. Randy Foye can't even get into a double overtime game. Devin Harris is an energy guy for his. Josh Howard is out of the league. Richard Jefferson is making a few big dunks, but that's about it.
The cancer of the awful years have been removed, and our team is better for it today. But you really can't help notice the good players that got away.