Posted by: jason michael crannell on August 10th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz recently offered Paul Millsap the best possible deal they could under the CBA, in order to resign him. They were fully aware that Paul (and his agent) wouldn’t accept the deal, because he stands to make much more money next summer in free agency. But, it served as a significant gesture on Utah’s part to let Paul know that they want to retain his services for the future, and how much they appreciate his contributions to the team, and organization.
What does this have to do with Big Al?
The Jazz have a bunch of young talent (including front court players like Favors, Kanter, and Evans) that will be seeking bigger paydays in the near future. The organization really won’t have enough money, or available playing time, to keep both Paul and Al happy beyond this coming season. I think the Jazz revealed which way they are leaning, by the recent developments concerning Millsap. It appears, at least at this point, that Jefferson will be the odd man out. So what should the Jazz do with Big Al? Do they just hold on to him, let his contract come off the books next summer, allow him to sign elsewhere, and use that huge chunk of cap space to pursue the best available free agents targets? It’s a gamble, because most top notch players probably won’t want to come to SLC, even if the Jazz have a bunch of cash to flash. The other possibility is that the Jazz deal Jefferson sometime between now and the trade deadline. But, when I look up and down this roster, I see great depth at all positions, and I scratch my head trying to figure out exactly what the Jazz would be best served to acquire in a deal for Al. After much deliberation, I think the Jazz would be best served to trade Jefferson to a struggling franchise in exchange for a “bad” contract, and future draft picks (without protections). By acquiring high lottery picks, the Jazz will get a shot at obtaining a potential future star (since they aren’t going to pull off a deal for an established all-star). The only way your going to get such a high pick, is if you pay the price by taking a bad contract off a teams hands (did someone just say Tyrus Thomas in Charlotte?).
If I was the Jazz GM, I would be scouring franchises at the bottom of the standings, who might like the idea of adding a quality veteran like Jefferson, while at the same time unloading a bad contract, even if that might mean parting with what potentially could be a very high lottery pick in the process. This is the ONLY way you have a chance to end up with a player the caliber of Kevin Durant.
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