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NBA Free Agency Mania - The Downbeat #1669

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Updated to include the footnote that I was totally stoked to add, then completely forgot about.

The smoke is clearing. After the heavy bombing that took place yesterday (to the tune of $1.5 billion in salary), most of the higher profile free agent situations have been settled. Amidst the chaos of the past 24 hours, the Jazz emerged having possibly acquired a giant German and some guy named Alec Burks.

Jazz fans are once again split down the middle. Camp one trusts the decisions of Dennis Lindsey and the Jazz organization implicitly. Camp two is frustrated because their team, yet again, has shown it can't or won't be a major player in free agency. Camp one (motto: Confidimus processus) believes that the Jazz will reach the promised land (whatever you identify that to be) organically. They will reach the summit through good old fashioned hard work and internal improvement. They're okay with how free agency has played out thus far.

Camp two (motto: successu per additionem) seeks to streamline the system. They don't want to climb the mountain. They want to take the gondola to the top. They believe there are players to be had that will bump the Jazz from that slow progression up the ranks of the Western Conference, and help b-line for the playoffs next season. They are frustrated because they see the WC elite continue to get stronger.

There's no Switzerland here. Everyone must choose a side. Where do you stand?

Kurt Kragthorpe, the featured columnist for the SL Tribune seems to be in camp one. He thinks that despite what has already shaken out at the start of this free agency period, the Jazz should make a splash with one player. 

From his column at

The Jazz should keep making pitches, though. If they fail to land a suitable player, they will remain on an upward trajectory. Yet their growth will not come as quickly as many fans would hope, and everyone will have to deal with some degree of deferred rewards with a team who last victory in a playoff game came in 2010.

Sending an envoy of player-ambassadors to woo free agents seems to be all the rage this year, especially in the pursuit of LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs sent newly re-signed* Danny Green along with someone named cap space. The Lakers brought Kobe Bryant. TheSuns marched in newly signed Tyson Chandler and new assistant coach Earl Watson.

Who would you nominate as the Jazz's official ambassadors of free agent signings? Personally, I think it should just be a dark room, with a single light hanging over a table. There are only two chairs. The player makes his way to one chair, and sits down. There are papers on the table. He looks down at them. They are a letter of intent to sign with the Utah Jazz. He looks confused. He squints to see into the darkness. Is there a figure there? Yes. He can just make out the silhouette of a man. Coach Snyder steps forward into the light. The player immediately sees his face.

snyder glare

The player is handed a pen. He signs the letter. The signature is shaky, and illegible, but it is done.

*One of my favorite part of free agency is how difficult it is for writers to differentiate between re-sign and resign. If you were new to following the NBA, and knew nothing of this phenomenon, you would think, "WHY ARE ALL THESE PLAYERS QUITTING! WHAT IS HAPPENING!?" Right?

Of course, the other side of all of this is you do bat___ crazy things like the Kings. Man, they love them some inefficient players. There motto: "Give us your inefficient, your slow, your players yearning to chuck threes."

They have shipped out young Nik Stauskas to the Sixers.

That's one deal I wish the Jazz could have been involved with. Whatever your feelings about Rodney Hood and Alec Burks, adding a promising shooter certainly wouldn't help.

Say the Jazz follow Mr. Kragthorpe's advice and splash the cash at someone that's left. Who would you want it to be?

A shooter like Belinelli?

A combo guard like Lou Williams?

Here is a good list of free agents from Sports Illustrated: