Posted by: Patrick on June 16th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
If you read back on these blog posts you will find that most people agree as to what our needs our as a team. The difference is in how we should fix our problems. We all agree that perimeter defense, perimeter shooting, and rebounding is what our team needs to improve upon. Then the very next line you hear someone say, so we need to draft two bigs.. Ok, how many bigs shoot from 3 point range? How many bigs defend the perimeter, let alone do any good at it? Hmm, so I am guessing they are getting Bigs for rebounding correct? Then look at this draft and see how many bigs within this draft will help with our needs?
Lets look at why Bigs could improve us, but they wont make us a winning team. Well to put say Biyombo on the floor to gather rebounds and play defense in the paint, you take Millsap or AL off the floor. Yes defense may improve, and you may get one or two extra rebounds correct. But you give up points in a big way. Even if Biyombo does great deffensively and grabs those two extra boards he probably wont get much more than 12 ppg. So we lose scoring when he is in the game. The important thing here is did we get better? No, we did not address the above needs for perimeter defense and or shooting by putting Biyombo on the floor. We didnt improve our wing or guard rebounding either.. We replaced one productive big, with a different productive big.
So, ok, we put Valanciunas on the floor so that we dont lose out on points. Say he does as well as Al scoring wise, and he ends up being a better defender and he starts next season (stretch). He defends the paint gets another rebound or two per game. Did we improve and are we contendors? No, we didnt address our perimeter shooting very much, and we didnt address perimeter defense. Again, we solved nothing. We took a productive player off the floor and replaced them with another productive player.
Say Favors takes off next season. He rebounds better than Millsap and we know he does a bit better defensively. Al is doing well and we have Kanter backing them both up adding size and such. Will this make us contendors? No, we still have not fixed our perimeter shooting and defense. Seeing the pattern? We may improve a little, but the “Big” suggestion doesnt make us contendors with our big hole on the perimeter.
If we bring Knight in here, will that address our needs? Not really, but maybe some. Again, your taking a productive Harris off the floor and putting a productive Knight out there, unless Harris and Knight are on the floor at the same time.. You then slide Hayward to SF, but I like him as SG. Am I against any of the players I have mentioned. No, because they may be upgrades to the guys they replace. But bottom line is until we fix our problems of perimeter defense and shooting, we will be a very similar team. So how do we address these issues?
Well, where is the problem? Its out on the perimeter, in the form of lack of defense and shooting. Our wings are not helping out with the rebounds either, much.. Hayward is going to start helping us in this coming season. We saw improvement in his game. He seems to work very well at the SG position, so I say lets keep him there. So our problem is in SF position and depth.
AK’s departure hurts us. We lose out on 12 ppg, 5 rebs, 3 ast, 1 st, 1 blk per game. That is a huge loss, in an area we are already weak. AK, when on the floor last season made us a better team. With Miles poor offensive effeciency, and inconsistant play, do you want him replacing AK on a full time basis? This is already a problem, and due to become a much bigger one if we do not address it. You may not like Bell, but for the time being, coming off the bench would not be a bad plan for him, unless we find a nice trade for him.
So looking at the situation, it seems we need to finish grooming Hayward and find a decent back up at the SG position. But the biggest problem we have is a gaping hole at the SF position. Millsap is rumored to be working on his game, to maybe plug that hole. If that happens, then who fills his shoes at the PF, or backup PF position? Say Favors jumps right in next season, without Millsaps help at PF we lack depth there and at Center.. So how do we fix the problem?
There are several different ways, the draft being first since we are strapped for funds. One solutions is to rely on Harris, bring Kanter in to back up PF and Center, move Millsap to SF, and find a backup SG/SF. Singleton and Hamilton could fill that spot. Another possible solution is leave Millsap in his spot, bring in a SF Leonard, and then Hamilton or Singleton.. Again these are just some scenerios, but they are things we should be looking at.
I guess if we got two PG’s then we could trade Harris away. In a perfect world maybe we get what we want. Send Harris, Bell, and Miles to porland, and Bring back Mathews, Batum, and Babbitt. But is it a perfect world? Can any two PG’s in this draft come in and be productive immediately? Wish wish wish. There are even wishes for trading away our dead weight to fill our needs, but who really wants Okur, Bell, or Miles?
What are your thoughts? Look at our roster, and look at our stats for last season. With AK possibly moving on, and us already weak on the wing, is getting two bigs a smart idea? I guess you could if you wanted to continue building for a few yrs, and thought that one or two of this yrs bigs would come immediately and would really turn into something big and solid.
Many guys say trading down may not be smart. If we landed Leonard, Singleton or Burks, and Harris Hamilton or Brooks, would that be better than Knight and Singleton, or Kanter and Fredette? How about a Leonard, Biyombo, Hamilton or Harris? What makes our team better. AK leaving hurts us. Maybe we get lucky and he loves us too much to go. I doubt it though.
I still havent mentioned Veseley or Valanciunas much because until they get their contracts cleared up we cannot afford to draft them. They could be the top picks in the draft, but without knowing they are available when we need them, whats the point in drafting them. So we can say they are developing overseas? Yeah, we made a great draft pick, and hopefully we will see him in 3 yrs. We need guys now, not in 3 yrs. We need to develop them here, to an NBA game, not in Europe where they like them tall and skinny.
Well, there is no perfect fix or scenerio, but I can think of a lot of bad ones. We draft Valanciunas and biyombo. Valanciunas cant get his contract worked out and we dont see him for 2 more yrs. Biyombo comes in, provides great defense, and little to no offense. Or becomes a foul troubled player who rides the pine for the remainder of his contract. Due to lack of funds, we bring in two D leaguers to fill our wing positions and they flop and we make it to the lottery next season. Wasted 2 lottery picks.
Here are some possible team lineups depending upon the draft and how we choose. Pick the lineup you like best or add one of your own. Then let us know why you chose it. Hopefully it will be to make the team better, instead of having a man crush. Some are lineups assuming we traded down and drafted 3 guys instead of two.
1) D Harris/Watson, Hayward/Bell/Miles, Leonard/T Harris/Evans, Favors/Millsap/Okur, Al/Biyombo/Okur. Traded down for another pick. (Leonard, Biyombo, T Harris)
2) Harris/Knight, Hayward/Knight/Bell/Miles, Millsap/Singleton/Evans/Miles, Favors/Okur/Millsap, Al/Okur/Favors (Knight, Singleton)
3) Harris/Fredette, Hayward/Bell/Miles, Millsap/Evans/Miles, Favors/Kanter/Okur, Al/Kanter/Okur (Kanter, Fredette)
4) Harris/Watson, Hayward/Singleton/Bell/Miles, Leonard/Singleton/Evans/Miles, Millsap/Favors/Okur/Motiejunas, Al/Favors/Okur/Motiejunas (Leonard, Singleton, Motiejunas)
5) Harris/Watson, Hayward/K Thompson/Bell, Millsap/Evans/Miles, Favors/Okur, Al/Valanciunas (Valanciunas, K Thompson)
6) Harris/Watson, Hayward/Bell/Miles, Millsap/Evans/Miles, Favors/Biyombo/Okur, Al/Valanciunas/Okur (Valanciunas, Biyombo)
7) Harris/Knight/Fredette, Hayward/Bell/Miles, Miles/Evans/Millsap, Millsap/Favors/Okur, Al/Favors/Okur (Knight, Fredette)
Harris/Fredette/Watson, Hayward/Hamilton/Bell, Hamilton/T Harris/Evans, Millsap/Favors/Okur, Al/Favors/Okur (Fredette, Hamilton, T Harris)
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