Posted by: Jason Michael Crannell on May 25th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz have only been eliminated from the playoffs for a few weeks, and I already miss the games. I’ve watched a few minutes of this game, or a few minutes of that game, since the Jazz season ended, but I honestly could care less at this point which team wins the title (at least it won’t be the Lakers).
This will be an interesting offseason for this franchise. KOC has preached “improvement from within” and “patience” during every interview he’s given since the season ended. This would logically lead me to believe that there may not be as many offseason moves made to this roster as some fans may be anticipating (or hoping for).
KOC is a smart bird. He won’t pull the trigger on any deal that he doesn’t think will make the team substantially better, because the Jazz organization has always been built on stability. He would rather the players we already have work on their games, and show improvement. That doesn’t mean we won’t see some new faces on the roster come next season, but I don’t see any major deals in the works. Free agency is usually pretty much a bust for the Jazz, and if the lottery doesn’t work our way, we will be fairly limited in the upcoming draft. Making a trade will be difficult as well, without possibly having to give up a young piece we would rather keep, and build for the future with. Are best chance of being a better basketball team next season, is having our young talent (Favors, Hayward, Burks, Kanter, Evans, Carroll) improve their skills, and make a more significant contribution. Coach Corbin also needs to lean less on the veterans next season, and have more confidence in the young guys. If he does, I don’t think they will disappoint him, over the long haul.
I do anticipate that the Jazz will add an outside shooter between now and the beginning of the season, but Hayward and Burks have got to improve in this area. If they are going to be our future starters on the wings, they have got to become more consistent perimeter threats. I also anticipate that if Millsap is with us next season, he will see significant time at the small forward spot. I see a tentative starting lineup of Jefferson, Favors, Millsap, Hayward, and Harris next season (I could also envision Carroll starting at the small forward, if Millsap would be willing to take on a sixth man role).
The real wild card in the whole offseason equation is the trade exception acquired in the Okur deal last fall. This might very will end up being the key piece that brings us the most substantial roster addition (I believe the Jazz have until just before Christmas to use it or lose it).
I think our current roster, with Favors starting and playing 30-35 minutes per game, is good enough to win around 50 games next season (assuming all our young guys come back better players). The Jazz just need a few tweaks here and there, and they will be competing for home court advantage in the playoffs.
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