It's an annual tradition now, that all of the NBA blogs get together every June to go over a league wide, SB Nation mock draft. It's gotten more and more complex over the years where blog teams have gotten bolder, and the event itself becomes harder and harder to keep track of. Players are drafted. Assets are traded. And everyone, without fail, over values their guys and tries to pull a fast one on their fellow bloggers. It's fun. It's for fun. And in the case of the Utah Jazz, it was a chance to actually use all the "assets" and "flexibility" that we had on the table. For years we've been seeing the team collect almost meaningless 2nd round picks, bring on guys in contract years to fill up the cap, and keeping a revolving door open for NBA DLeague call ups. My biases are well known, I love our young guys. I want them to get as much playing time as possible. And I never want to part with someone in order to make room for a guy at his physical peak, or on the downside of his career. So for me this exercise was to see what it is like to do the exact opposite and defer development while trying to "win now".
As you can imagine, it became a hilarious game where each move looks horrible by itself, but all together it forms a tapestry of . . . well . . . I haven't figured it out yet. The SLC Dunk team worked on this as a team, and we communicated very frequently all throughout the days (The week of June 8th, before several actual real-world NBA trades) to agree, disagree, or give our opinions on what to do at each stage. As you can imagine our team had a few favorite guys they wanted to target. So, as the manager here, I made it a secondary win condition to try to pick up all the new rookies that some of your favorite bloggers here wanted.
This was fun, and for fun. And while the Jazz aren't going to do anything this crazy in real life you can still enjoy this imaginary ride while it lasts:
SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft:
Draft position is based upon the post-lotto results. Existing traded picks stand. Everyone is allowed to contact any other blogger and try to get things done. The whole thing is hosted by Ridiculous Upside here, and our bros at the Seattle Supersonics SBN blog, Sonics Rising, did a pick-by-pick / trade-by-trade commentary that you can find here. No one seemed to get what I was doing. But before I explain the madness, here's how the draft (just the 1st round was done) played out:
I think I added an extra "m" in Mudiay's name.
As you can see, there were a number of trades made by all of the blogs involved. Obviously, the blogs that didn't have playoff teams this year seemed to go a little crazy with it. Ourselves probably more than anyone else.
What SLC Dunk did:
The Utah Jazz, under our guidance, were able to snag THREE possible real-life lotto picks while moving future assets, and taking on a little salary. They weren't the three picks everyone wanted, but they were the players we got. In order to do this, the Jazz made three trades, one with the Charlotte Hornets, one with the Brooklyn Nets, and one with the Chicago Bulls. Everything that was done happened without having to trade the #12 pick in 2015, or without surrendering any of the following players: Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, or Grant Jerrett.
1. Step One: Move into the Top 10 without trading away the #12 pick!
This was tricky, but it required finding the right trading partner after the guy they wanted went off the board. As the draft was happening in real time this means a lot of e-mailing. This ended up being the third trade in this draft, and required us taking on some salary right off the bat. Here's the Ridiculous Upside info on this move, and here's the Sonics Rising take on it. (Hint: They didn't think it was a smart move)
Jazz get: #9 pick in 2015 draft, Lance Stephenson
Hornets get: Trevor Booker, draft rights to Ante Tomic, 2016 1st rounder (Utah), 2017 1st rounder (Golden State), 2018 1st rounder (Oklahoma City)
Right off the bat that's just too much to give up, and I know it. Also, I know that Lance is an off-court problem making a lot of money. However, there's one big thing that helps figure this out. This is the 2015 Blogger mock draft. By the time the 2016 Blogger mock draft comes around I'll get all of those future picks back -- so this has no real influence upon how we do. We're playing make believe here, and what's the point of holding all these future assets unless we use them? The Jazz pick next year is likely to be a lotto pick again, but a very late lotto pick. The Warriors pick in 2017 isn't likely to be a lotto pick either, but something in the mid 20s. The 2018 Thunder pick is most likely to end up becoming two future 2nd round picks. So while 'we' gave up three future 1sts, only one of them is going to be any good -- and that one is not going to be a future #9 pick.
Trevor Booker isn't in the long term future of the team, and we all understand that. Ante Tomic is never coming to the NBA, ever, so we got rid of one solid rotation player and one toxic asset and monopoly money (future picks, meaningless) for the #9 pick.
With the #9 pick the Utah Jazz select Myles Turner from the University of Texas (Ridiculous Upside, Sonics Rising). The actual target for this exercise was to move up to get either Mario Hezonja or Kristaps Porzingis. They both were off the board, so we picked a three point shooting shot blocker from a strong family who has cool hair. Here was my take at the time:
With the #9 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select Myles Turner, from Texas. The Jazz are in a funny situation; not quite a bubble Western Conference playoff team, but still not a team that wants to be in the lottery for much longer. Utah has many assets; primarily a ton of future picks (5 firsts and 11 seconds in the next four drafts). However, Utah would rather be in the second round of the playoffs within the next four seasons, and not be still relying on the draft. A failure to do that could influence players like Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert to Deron Williams their way out of town. Winning solves a lot of problems. And this trade helps the Jazz move towards winning a little sooner.
In a perfect world one of the top two Jazz targets would have still been on the board at #9, but Mario Hezonja and Kristaps Porzingis went early. While Stanley Johnson is probably the best player available, the Jazz need depth inside; especially after trading away the only other big on the roster (6'8 Trevor Booker) and one of their Euro-n-stash prospects (the 7'2 Ante Tomic) to Charlotte.
Myles Turner appears to be one of the best, last bigmen standing. The 19 year old (Texas - FR) isn't anything beyond raw at this point. Though the Jazz are only looking for a back-up here who will be behind two guys playing 30+ mpg. In Utah he will be challenged while still being allowed to grow at his own pace. There just aren't a lot of bigmen with 7'4 wingspans who can rebound like a beast, protect the rim, and hit spot up threes. If he is able to reach some of his potential he will be worth the short term cost.
Oh, and a wing rotation of Hayward, Alec Burks, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, and Elijah Millsap? Not bad.jpg
- AllThatAmar, SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft, June 10th, 2015
I stand by all of that still. Turner is a really good kid who could be a really solid bench player. Sure, with a Top 10 pick you hope for more, but our front court stars are already on the team. They need help though, and Myles can do just that.
The really sore thing in this trade is Lance Stephenson. He stands to make $18.4 million over the next two seasons. We'd want the majority of the wing minutes to go to Hayward, Burks, and Hood. He complicates things. He if buys into what Quin Synder wants of him, this could be a great reclamation project. If he doesn't, it could become a distraction. Wanting to maintain good chemistry is important to me, and Lance does not accomplish that. At the end of the day, this draft day trade means the team has a few months to work on trades to get him out of Utah before the season starts. At the worst case, the team can just swallow his contract, negotiate a buyout, and let him become a free agent. That is an option with all the flexibility this team has due to how well they've governed their cap situation. Quick Question: Is Turner going to be better than Booker in 2 years? Yes. Yes he will be.
Quest: Get into the Top 10 without losing anyone important, or losing the #12 -- complete
Bonus: Draft Mario Hezonja or Kristaps Porzingis -- failure
Draft Grade: Myles Turner -- 4/5
Level Score: 9/15
2. Step Two: Draft an NBA Rotation player at #12 who can help the Jazz!
This one is just relatively more easy than anything else, as this was the original pick we were given after the lottery and coin flip; and it was the draft position we've been scouting for quite a while now in real life. I have a bias for fit over best player available, but I'm not the only one making decisions in this draft -- it's a team effort. By going for best player available we get a) the best player available, and b) have someone good that we can use in a future trade if need be. The Jazz didn't have a specific need at this point as the team was constructed as:
PG: Dante Exum, Trey Burke, (Bryce Cotton)
SG/SF: Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Hood, (Elijah Millsap), (Chris Johnson)
PF/C: Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Myles Turner, Grant Jerrett, (Jack Cooley)
It should be known by now that I'm not a fan of Devin Booker, and I don't like BPA. But that's who most of the votes went for, so that's who we selected at #12. (Ridiculous Upside, Sonics Rising) And here's what I had to say:
With the 12th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz select Devin Booker from Kentucky. Last season was a wing travesty for Utah with the injuries to Alec Burks and Rodney Hood. This reinforced the idea that they need not just quality, but also depth. The Jazz may have acquired both with Devin Booker. Actual GM Dennis Lindsey is on a streak of adding defensive minded players who are long and/or athletic. Drafting Booker really bucks the current trend. He's not long for his position. He's not athletic. And he's not really a defender. Furthermore, Devin isn't going to improve his length or explosiveness. But with directed coaching and development he'll become stronger, and he's already pretty strong for a guard. So he's already on his path to being an average defender. That should be more than enough to get him on the floor a few times a game.
And while he's not really a Dennis Lindsey player, in those stints on the floor you'll really see that Booker is a Quin Snyder player. The Jazz head coach runs a hybrid Duke / CSKA / Spurs / Hawks offense. The players who excel are the ones who have multiple tools. Booker is a shooting specialist, perhaps even the best deep threat in this draft, but he's always on the look out to make the next pass. I'm also impressed with his movement off screens or how he cuts hard to the basket. He thrives in a ball sharing offense, and coming to Utah he'll find it's the place for him. There will be strong competition for minutes with Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, and Lance Stephenson (via trade earlier in this blogger draft) all on the team. But it also means that the youngest player in this draft class isn't going to be expected to sink or swim early on.
- AllThatAmar, SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft, June 10th, 2015
It is true that Booker is probably the best shooter in this draft class (at least from a big name school), and you can always add shooting. But adding him to the mix does make a minutes crunch at the wing spot. Either he plays a lot of the year in the NBADL, or real GM Lindsey has to fix Amar's mess and get rid of Lance Stephenson, or say goodbye to non-guaranted contract players Elijah Millsap and Christapher Johnson. The unsaid thing here is that there just isn't space for the guys on contract by taking a wing here, and as a result, no space for RFA wing player / hero Joe Ingles. Over the next few days trades were proposed and fielded for either Lance or Devin.
As far as this pick goes, Booker *is* going to be a good pro, and he does fit our offense very well. He may not be the best passer in the draft, but he can pass. More than anything else, he's a guy who doesn't miss open jumpers. That by itself is an upgrade.
Quest: Get a solid rotation player at #12 -- complete
Bonus: Draft Best Player Available -- complete
Draft Grade: Devin Booker -- 5/5
Penalty: -3 for TOO MANY WING PLAYERS
Level Score: 12/15
3. Step Three: Get back into the 1st round!
It's no secret that a number of Jazz fans like Kevon Looney, from UCLA. Having snagged Myles Turner and Devin Booker you could have called it quits and been happy. But Looney was one of the targets, along with either Mario or Kristaps. If I could move back into the 1st, without giving up anything from our emerging core, I would really be finishing up this Mock Draft with some swagger. Looney was likely to be there around #19, and the asking price to move back into the draft immediately for that spot was too much. If Dennis Lindsey could somehow get Rudy Gobert with a #27 (which he got for a song) then I would have to start there. I needed to get back into the 1st round. And then after securing that, I would have to try to move up.
So we made the deal with the devil, I mean Billy King and the Nets (actually good friend of SLC Dunk Tom Lorenzo of NetsDaily !) and got the pick we wanted. But at a cost.
Jazz get: #29 pick 2015, Deron Williams
Nets get: #42 pick 2015, 2017 1st (Utah), 2017 2nd (New York), $3 million in cash considerations
Lots of fun people were ripping this in the vacuum that it exists within upon the internet. And that's cool. I like Tom, I don't mind helping him out by getting rid of $43.3 million off of his cap over the next two season. If case you haven't been following along, the cap goes BONKERS next year. Giving up future picks (again, Monopoly money, I get them back next blogger mock draft) for a 1st rounder that is for sure going to be worse than the one I gave up hurts. Even if I get it back next season. The big issue here is Deron Williams. And everyone is already upset and astounded by this. But here's part of the reasoning:
Two seasons ago the Utah Jazz traded back into the end of the 1st round and picked up Rudy Gobert for a song. Last season they had a pick in the 20s and picked up Rodney Hood. Both appear to be rotation players, and look to be Jazz players for a while. Dennis Lindsey, the Jazz GM, has an excellent scouting department that I trust implicitly. As a result, the desire was to trade back into the 1st round and try to find another diamond in the rough. The initial idea was to get a low pick, and use assets to move up to get into range to draft Kevon Looney. Sadly I was incapable of doing that. But I did get back into the first round. This pick was later used in a trade with the Chicago Bulls.
In addition to that, a mission of mercy was executed to rescue Deron Williams from the Brooklyn Nets. His bloated contract helped to anchor the Nets in mediocrity. Back with Utah, who had all the cap space in the world, and perhaps in a new role, he could rekindle some of what made him so great in the first place.
The Jazz give up a future first rounder, two seconds, and cash . . . and immediately upgrade their PG spot with a playoff hardened veteran who isn't going to prevent Dante Exum from developing at his own pace. Deron's contract ends in two seasons, which coincide nicely with when the Jazz need to start pumping money into guys coming off their rookie deals, like Rudy Gobert and Dante Exum.
Hey, if LeBron James can come back and be welcomed with open arms, Jazz fans should be able to do the same with Deron Williams.
- AllThatAmar, SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft, June 11th, 2015
How this trade works out will partly be defined by what I am able to do with the #29 pick . . . and with time running out in this real-time mock draft, and few assets to play with . . . it was going to be tough.
Quest: Get back into the 1st round -- complete
Bonus: Don't give up any of our good assets -- complete
Draft Grade: (See next trade) -- -/-
Penalty: -4 for DERON WILLIAMS
Level Score: 6/10
4. Step Four: Move up in the draft!
I was able to do it, surprisingly. Sadly, I couldn't get Looney.
Jazz get: #22 2015 (Chicago), E'Twaun Moore, Cameron Bairstow
Bulls get: #29 2015 (Brooklyn), 2016 2nd rounder (better of Boston or Toronto), 2016 2nd rounder (Utah), 2017 2nd rounder (Utah), Trey Burke, Elijah Millsap
E'Tawun Moore, Cameron Bairstow, and Elijah Millsap are all non-guaranteed contracts; and this trade, like the Nets trade, can only be completed after July 1st. I had to give up Trey Burke (and in real life I wouldn't ever do that), but I did remove one of the wing players from the mix. Unfortunately, it was Lil 'Sap, instead of someone like Lance. I tried to get Kirk Hinrich earlier, but I'm glad the relationship I have with the Chicago guys was good enough get this last second trade done.
Again, the main things I'm giving up, besides Trey Burke and the #29 pick, are three 2nd rounders. Boston and Toronto will both be playoff teams in 2016. Our second round picks aren't going to be great either. So these aren't amazing picks to give up.
E'Twaun Moore is a shooting guard, but on a non-guaranteed contract, so he's out. Cameron Bairstow is a bigman who is from Australia, and his sister plays basketball at Utah State University, so maybe we don't cut him? I don't know. Financially I do that in a heart beat, but in a situation where it may be hard to add Joe Ingles keeping Dante surrounded by his countrymen isn't something to pass up lightly. The main point is that we've turned the #29 into the #22, and didn't have to take on another bad contract for it.
Of course, because I'm not the only one making trades, the Milwaukee Bucks snuck in and picked off the #19 pick from the Washington Wizards, and collected Kevon Looney. BOOO! When asked, they wanted Turner back in return. Instead we just went with the best player available, a guy named Trey Lyles! (Ridiculous Upside, Sonics Rising) And this is what I had to say back then:
In a desperate attempt to move up into Kevon Looney range the Jazz needed a late 1st rounder, which they got in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets; and coupled that with a number of assets and went door to door trying to move up. Though Looney was not to be, Utah did find a willing trade partner in the Chicago Bulls. The Jazz moved the pick they got from the Nets, and a combination of players and future picks, for the #22 and some non-guaranteed players. This trade will be completed after Free Agency has begun.
Utah receives two players on non-guaranteed contracts back, E'twaun Moore and Cameron Bairstow - and will cut them both. Though, it wouldn't be awful for the Jazz to keep the power forward Bairstow, a fellow Aussie to Dante Exum and Joe Ingles. His sister also plays basketball at Utah State University. But the real prize here is the #22 pick. It's not the #19 that got Looney, but it did get the Jazz a very solid power forward prospect in Trey Lyles.
Lyles has that Carlos Boozer range and can be a floor spacing stretch big down the line. The Canadian bigman is also active on the offensive boards, and on a team that relies so much on 2nd chance points that will be appreciated. Trey runs the floor and finishes above the rim, but most importantly, knows how to pass and seems adept at it. Entering this draft I was focused on upgrading the bench bigman rotation from Trevor Booker, Jack Cooley, and Jeremy Evans. With #22 Lyles and #9 pick Myles Turner I think I've done just that.
- AllThatAmar, SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft, June 11th, 2015
Lyles is the #15th best player in this draft, according to a 40 mock draft and/or big board consensus ranking. If we're going to judge the D-Will trade in a vacuum we should be internally consistent enough to judge this one in a similar way -- getting the #15th best player for the #29 pick and Trey Burke? That's not bad at all. This is an obvious upgrade to our bench bigman rotation.
Quest: Move up again in the 1st round -- complete
Bonus: Draft UCLA forward Kevon Looney -- failure
Draft Grade: Trey Lyles -- 5/5
Level Score: 10/15
SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft Final Score:
Players picked, assets gained; lost; and what remains untouched:
|Players / Assets lost||Players / Assets Gained||Players / Assets that remain untouched|
|1||2015 1st Rounder (#29, BKN)||2015 1st Rounder (#9 Myles Turner)||2018 1st Rounder (UTA)|
|2||2016 1st Rounder (UTA)||2015 1st Rounder (#12 Devin Booker)|
|3||2017 1st Rounder (UTA)||2015 1st Rounder (#22 Trey Lyles)|
|4||2017 1st Rounder (GSW)|
|5||2018 1st Rounder (OKC)|
|1||2015 2nd Rounder (#42)||2015 2nd Rounder (#54, UTA)|
|2||2016 2nd Rounder (UTA)||2016 2nd Rounder (CLE)|
|3||2016 2nd Rounder (BOS or TOR)||2018 2nd Rounder (DEN)|
|4||2017 2nd Rounder (NYK)||2018 2nd Rounder (UTA)|
|5||2017 2nd Rounder (UTA)|
|1||Trevor Booker||Deron Williams||Gordon Hayward|
|2||Trey Burke||Lance Stephenson||Derrick Favors|
|3||Elijah Millsap||E'twaun Moore (Non-guaranteed)||Rudy Gobert|
|4||Draft rights to Ante Tomic||Cameron Bairstow (Non-guaranteed)||Alec Burks|
|1||$3 Million in cash considerations||Rodney Hood|
I understand that when you look at it on paper giving up five 1st rounders, five 2nd rounders, and a bunch of players for these guys looks ridiculous. Only ONE of those 1st rounders is worth anything (our 2016 1st rounder), and one ONE of those 2nd rounders is worth anything (the Knicks 2017 2nd rounder). Oh, and one of those five 1st rounders is actually most likely to become two future, pointless 2nd rounders. I will minimize what we lost because quantity aside, the quality of what we gave up was really very low.
Lots of Jazz fans are already done with Trey Burke (please note that I am not in real life, but playing the role of the "Vets yes, youth nyet!" style of Jazz fan). Booker is limited and while doing nice things last season, isn't in the long term franchise plans. Millsap was a very good defender, but on the downside of his career, and he finally made it to the NBA last season at age 27. Tomic isn't coming to Utah, ever. The $3 million comes from the operating budget of the LHM Group of Companies sports and entertainment group. They already HAVE that money to use, as far as I understand.
Ultimately, some fans will judge this performance not on who we got in the draft, but by the fact that we added two players many NBA Fans just aren't fans of.
Quests completed: 4/4 -- 20 points
Bonuses completed: 2/4 -- 10 points
Draft points: 14/15 -- 14 points
Total penalties: -6 (+1 for making space in guard rotation with subtraction of Trey Burke and Elijah Millsap)
Total score: 38/45 = 84%
Degree of difficulty: Crazy hard. Trade back into the 1st round TWICE and move up BOTH TIMES without losing your lotto pick, or any core rotation players? And I did it? AND I STAYED UNDER THE LUXURY TAX WHILE DOING IT? I SHOULD GET BONUS POINTS!
Your Fictitious 2015-2016 Utah Jazz, brought to you by the good people of SLC Dunk:
In order by player class, by highest to lowest contract value; not in terms of rotation
Yes. So this is a 12 man roster, and the team needs a minimum of 13 according to league rules. The team is over the cap for next season ($80.1 is greater than $67.1 million), and thus over the salary minimum . . . but under the luxury tax ($80.1 is smaller than $81.6 million). However, and this is the important part, while the current Jazz buffer zone between their current salary and the luxury tax is only $1.5 million, because the cap explodes the next season that buffer zone increases to $24.3 million. So the team is going to be okay. They'll have space.
N.B. The new rookie salaries for Turner, Booker, and Lyles are estimations based upon the #9, #12, and #22 picks from the previous two NBA Draft classes (2013, and 2014).
Of course, the Jazz could go over the Luxury tax line for ONE season if they wanted to lock up Joe Ingles (RFA) for a 4 year deal worth something like $1.5 to $1.8 million per season. It would be a hilariously low tax rate for a team that's very likely to sell out a lot of home games. And it would only be over the luxury tax line for one season. It's not my team, not my money, and clearly not my place to say. It's just hilarious how this almost all worked out.
The next season the Jazz salary goes from $80.1 to $83.7 million. However, their luxury tax buffer goes from $1.5 to $24.3 million. Yeah. Financially taking on a whole bunch of salary for 1st rounders didn't sink this team. And the turn around time seems to be much quicker than what Lindsey actually did. Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush, and Richard Jefferson for garbage and future picks is kinda what I did, but he spread out the return for taking on salary over a few years after biting the bullet.
If the Jazz are forced to keep Lance for 2015-16 he's an expiring deal the next year. That's the same thing with Deron. If Deron can't adjust to being on Dante's team then he has an expiring deal the next year. Expiring deals are easier to move than these two year deals we were able to swallow because of all the cap space the team had.
So is this team any good?
I think so. And, again, in an exercise where I add vets (not what I actually want to do) I was still successful in getting three new rookie contracts that lock in lotto level talent to fill out our bench. And this team challenges for a Western Conference Playoff spot if they stay healthy and play together as a team.
Point Guards: Dante Exum, Trey Burke, (Bryce Cotton) --> Dante Exum, Deron Williams
I think our point guard rotation is strong right now, even with fewer players. As bad as Deron has fallen from his peak, he's really, really, really a lot better than Trey Burke and Bryce Cotton. Also, the Jazz have the space to retain Cotton here, so that in itself makes it even more of an PG upgrade from last year to this year. Dante still is the man, and he's going to start, and he's going to play as much as his little Kangaroo heart can take. Last season Trey played 30 mpg and finished a lot of games. Deron can do that, and do it better. He's also vetter. He's been to the Western Conference Finals, and knows just where Gordon Hayward likes his passes. Er. Maybe not. If Deron is on board, and re-discovers his mojo while becoming a humbled veteran this is awesome, even if it's just for two years.
Yeah, Dante would learn a whole lot having to go up against this guy in practice
Or it could be horrible. So very horrible. And even if it is horrible, isn't that still an upgrade over Trey Burke's shooting last year?
Wings: Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, [Joe Ingles], (Elijah Millsap), (Chris Johnson) --> Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, Lance Stephenson, Devin Booker
As with Dante, the main year to year improvement will come from internal development of Hayward, Burks, and Hood here. Adding Lance, who is a really good player when his head is on straight, and Booker, make this a much better rotation. Having to say goodbye to Millsap, Johnson, and possibly Ingles is sad. But Booker is objectively the best shooter of that group. Stephenson is the best defender of this group. So while keeping G-Time, Burks, and Hood our SLC Dunk blogging cabal was able to add a shooting upgrade and a defensive upgrade.
A late 3rd quarter lineup of D-Will, Corner Pimp, Born Ready, Hood, and Gobzilla would have illegal swag
This is, of course, contingent upon keeping Lance on the reservation. He could make things a lot worse and disrupt the fun, happy, everyone pulling for one another, camaraderie that the team currently has going for it. This has a chance to be good, deadly even; however, I think there's too much risk involved. I'd be happier with cutting Lance and still having to pay him -- while keeping everyone else happy.
Bigmen: Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Trevor Booker, (Jack Cooley), [Jeremy Evans], Grant Jerrett --> Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Myles Turner, Trey Lyles, Grant Jerrett
C'mon man. This is an obvious bench upgrade. Lyles has the offense game to possibly make up for the lack of an actual inside scorer like Enes Kanter; while Turner is an actual stretch big. WHO BLOCKS SHOTS.
You. Want. This. Bigs. Who. Hit. Free Throws.
The main goal for me was to recognize the poor state of our bigmen. This past season we saw what happens when one of your wings go down. And our wing rotation was waaay stronger and deeper than our bigman rotation. If one of Derrick or Rudy is in foul trouble our offensive and defensive schemes will fall apart. If one of them, knock on wood, has to miss some time -- our team goes from being a potential playoff team to being something much worse. Getting two bigmen who can develop off the bench and not be forced into the fire -- who will both be able to be starter level quality in a pinch -- is a huge upgrade compared to what the Jazz had inside after D-Fav and Rudy last season.
But if you put it all together, this is a very fun team. A team that is built for "win now" (something I am vehemently against), but the exercise was to build a team on the opposite principals of what I like. Working with the SLC Dunk team and using a lot of the accumulated assets we were able to get three first round lotto pick talents at different stages of the draft. And all without having to give up any of our core players.
This was for fun. But I think that in a world where these future picks don't mean anything because I get them all back next mock draft, we did pretty well. Personally I think Trey Burke is bound for a solid year, and Booker made a lot of nice plays for us last year, and Millsap is a dude I love . . . but our team is better. Even if it means having to take salary for one year, and bring in two guys who need to resurrect their careers.