Posted by: Danny Hansen on March 8th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
I am going to say it. The word we don’t want to hear or believe, but I am still going to say it: Rebuilding. Whether we, or mostly just I, want to say it’s true, it seems to be fact. The Jazz are in full rebuilding mode. They have talented players and are somewhat competitive, but let’s be real. They haven’t won back to back games since mid-January. The Jazz traded their star player for a good player and a lot of future talent. They are rebuilding. So the question now is, do the Jazz raise the white flag on this season and prepare for the future?
Let me clarify what I mean when I say the Jazz should raise the white flag. I don’t mean the Jazz should tank games for a better draft pick. This late in the season it would only be the difference between the 13th pick and the 12th pick. What I do mean is that we give our young players more playing time to develop, namely 19-year old Derrick Favors and 20-year old Gordon Hayward. With a shot at a title run out of the picture, it is time to play our young players without worrying about the outcome of the game.
For the first time in years, the Jazz have top ten talent on this team. The Jazz currently have 3 players that were selected in the top ten of their respective drafts, Harris, Favors, and Hayward. With New Jersey’s draft pick next year, the Jazz will have 4 players on their roster drafted in the top ten. The last time the Jazz had at least 3 players on their roster drafted in the top ten was 2000-01 season, (Danny Manning, Donyell Marshall, and Olden Polynice) and those players were in the twilight of their careers. The Jazz now have, and will have, promising young talent. The time to develop them is now in this lame-duck season.
One look at a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, should get Jazz fans excited. True the Jazz don’t have a superstar like Kevin Durant, but they have a chance to do what the Thunder did and let their young guns play and learn on the floor. Now the Thunder are a threat in the West. In two years the Jazz can have similar success. Plus with a possible lockout looming next season, now may be the only time to get them on the floor.
Look at the possible talent that the Jazz will have in two years. First there are players like Big Al, Harris, and Millsap. Second, the Jazz have young talent in Favors and Hayward. The Jazz also have foreign talent in Ante Tomic, currently playing extremely well in Europe. Add on top of that the pick the Jazz will get from the Nets, which currently is number 6. ESPN.com and NBADraft.net have this pick to be freshman phenom Harrison Barnes from North Carolina. And if the Jazz have their own pick this season, it is projected to be, per NBAdraft.net, athletic swingman Marcus Morris from Kansas, or per ESPN.com, one Jimmer Fredette. BYU Jazz fans would empty all BYU Creamery stores over this. Also, don’t forget we get Golden State’s draft pick in 2012.
The point is, the Jazz are going through a youth movement. And as youth do, they fall as they learn. The Jazz need to let them fall to help them grow. So though it may seem the Jazz are giving up on the season, they are doing what is best for the franchise in the long run. Imagine a lineup of Harris, Barnes, Hayward, Favors, and Al Jefferson or other possible lineups that could involve Tomic, Millsap, Kirilenko, Jimmer Fredette,or CJ Miles. The future of the Jazz is bright. It is time to start living it.
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