The first two days of free agency didn’t disappoint. Quite the different Jazz team after trading Royce for a first and Rudy for Bev/Beasley/Kessler/Vanderbilt/A bag of first round picks. Damn. As someone who wanted to hit the restart button on this team it’s been a good first couple steps. But first, I hope Rudy the best. He was great for the Jazz and took a lot of shit for being one of the top 15ish players in the league. The only way I can describe the hate that always came at Gobert is that he wasn’t a type of cool that was favorable in the eyes of the media or upper echelon of payers. He honestly isn’t cool. He’s the guy that saves your team time and time again. He’ll be appreciated in Minnesnota. But I think that he actually went to a better place and a better fit.
D-Lo needs a screen to be effective, can I introduce you to the best screener in the league. KAT can’t control the post on both ends of the floor but now he has someone he’s swapped third team All-NBA and All-Star selections with. The twin towers approach could be great for both players. It would provide a real post player next to Gobert that could also go to the outside. Take the spacing Gobert provided for the Jazz and now apply it for D-Lo, KAT, Kyle Anderson, Jaden McDaniels, and Ant. Oh yeah, Anthony Edwards. He's going to thrive with Gobert. A guy that doesn’t need the ball to be effective, a guy that creates space, and a guy that makes your defensive life easier so you can spend more energy on offense. Gobert will do better with Ant. A guy that can play defense, create on offense, and is literally good at anything he wants to do (see the movie Hustle).
The Wolves got something that can be great to allow them to contend, and the Jazz got picks that extend to a time when the Wolves will be in a most likely rebuild mode. That’s incredible. Reminiscent of when the Jazz got Brooklyn’s picks for Derron Williams. Obviously, the Jazz aren’t done as has been reported by every Jazz beat writer and national media member. Will they trade Donovan still seems up in the air though. Let’s look at the new roster and see what it tells us (with the assumption that Donovan is now a PG).
WOW. I mean, in a game where tall people excel the Jazz are to quote @UtahJazzLeaks "playing chess not checkers". I kid. But in all honesty just because someone plays chess and doesn’t play checker doesn’t mean that they are good at either game and not an idiot. Some people are really good at checkers, just because chess pieces move a different way doesn’t make a chess player smarter or better than a checkers player. Let’s step off of that. The Jazz obviously aren’t done. This team would get destroyed by teams literally never taking a three-point shot. If they are going for Wembanyama this might get you there.
Let’s be honest though, what’s next? The two options right now that the Jazz are "considering", are rebuild the entire team or rebuild around Donovan. What’re the obvious moves? Probably trading some combination of Conley, Beverley, NAW, and Beasley. It’s too many guards. I’d say the Jazz would want to keep Butler due to him being on a 2nd round contract and a as a playmaking guard that can play defense, but where does he get minutes in his last year under contract. Yeah, the Jazz can match his salary, but he needs development that won’t come with another year of playing garbage time. Similar story for NAW and Bolmaro. But Bolmaro’s contract is under a team friendly option till 2024-25 and NAW’s is expiring. The biggest change this roster can expect is guards getting traded. If Donovan is still on the roster, expect Beasley and Beverley to be there. If he’s not, expect NAW, Beverley, and Bolmaro. (I know I didn’t mention Clarkson, his fate is probably in line with Don’s though). Don’s trade is currently in limbo. KD is a bigger prize, and once he’s off the board more teams will turn their focus to Don.
What the Jazz need are wings to compete. In a league that values wings so highly the value of their guards needs a specific team, and most likely a team that will have high draft picks. This isn’t a bad thing. Draft picks can be traded for better draft picks, or they can be traded for star players for a rebuilding team. If they Jazz want to retool around Don it’ll be an uphill battle in a crowded west that hopefully doesn’t outlast his contract. If they decide to rebuild it’ll be a long-term project. The next couple days will tell us more. The only thing sure about the Jazz is that they will change.
Side Note: Pat Bev tweeted that it was time to take another team to the playoffs, to which at this moment in time I can only assume is him saying trade me if you’re going to rebuild, because he wants to contend. This is fair and I respect it. He has value to a team that wants to contend and can return something to a team looking to rebuild, so it’s not like he’s being a punk. Being direct with words and saying what you want out of life is a good thing. It’s a better thing when it can be something mutual. I also hope Pat Bev gets what he wants. His story is a crazy journey on how you can get to the league that should be admired.
Final Note: To say it again or in a different way, I'm going to miss Rudy. Watching him shut down a team on a possession was something that I always enjoyed the last couple years. I hope he wins a title with the Wolves. He's one of those people that might be really abrasive and you find their flaws and point them out any chance you get (no, not that he got played off the court in the playoffs, but more so his post game), but more than anyone around you, he's the one you need.