Posted by: Ryan Martinez on December 29th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
In February, Golden State traded Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Andrew Bogut. They then proceeded to let Bogut and Stephen Curry get ankle surgery, ending their respective seasons. At the time of the trade, the Warriors were on pace to finish in the lottery getting either the 9th or 10th picks. Their pick was top-7 protected to the Jazz, they tanked so hard, that they were able to get down to that 7th spot and keep their pick.
At that time, many Jazz fans weren’t worried, many said that the Warriors would be bad this year, that we would get a lottery pick this year. Well with the core of Curry, Bogut, David Lee, Klay Thompson, and number 7 pick Harrison Barnes, the Warriors are 20-10, 5th in the west, and 2nd in the pacific ahead of the Dwight-Kobe Lakers. So much for that pick.
The Jazz on the other hand are 15-16 11th in the west, and 5th in the Northwest, and the major teams that are showing that they are the teams of the future out west all have good point guards. OKC (Westbrook), LAC (Paul), Denver (Lawson), and Golden State (Curry). The only exception is Memphis (Conley) but they have Rudy Gay, a guy who would be a superstar if Durant, LeBron and Melo didn’t play his position.
People can talk all they want about trading Al, Paul, and all of the other guys, but the fact of the Jazz is that we need a point guard, a young one, who has the talent to compete with the others in the west. The only current players who fit that description are Kemba Walker, John Wall, and Kyrie Irving. All are franchise centerpieces for their teams.
So we look to the draft. Now, we all think that the Jazz can make it into the playoffs. But, to get a talented player that could eventually be a top competitor, you need to be in the lottery, so, a trade must happen. The teams, who are unlikely to be able to avoid being in the Library are Orlando, Toronto, Detroit, Charlotte, Cleveland, Washington, Dallas, Phoenix, Sacramento, and New Orleans.
Of those teams, virtually all are in rebuilding mode, which makes Draft Picks a better investment than a trade, most of the time. This makes a trade unlikely, but not impossible, especially when offered valuable pieces that speed up a rebuilding process. Now, the Jazz do have one piece that could easily speed up a rebuilding process in Al Jefferson. He is a piece that could make nearly any lottery team be able to have some optimism for their near future.
I believe that a Package of Al Jefferson and the Jazz and GS picks would be enough to pry away the probable lottery pick from any of these teams, throw in some role players to balance everything out and the Jazz get a lotto pick.
The other option is to keep playing the way that the Jazz are, and they will stay under 500 and be a lotto team on their own.
So, now that we know how to get into the lottery, the question becomes who to draft? The top PG prospect in the draft this season is Michael Carter-Williams. He is ranked anywhere from 9th to 15th on draft boards as of right now. But he will likely rise to a surefire lottery pick as he is leading a 10-1, 9th ranked Syracuse team. He is 6′5″ 175 lbs. and in 32 mpg, he averages 12.4 Points, 10.3 assists, .9 rebounds, and 3.4 steals.
He has good size, is excellent offensively, good defensively, and definitely would be a guy that would fight constantly to become better.
I’m a guy that likes looking to the future, I’m the guy who would start Favors, Kanter, Hayward and Burks if I could just for the purpose of experience, so it’s natural for me to look for ways that the jazz could be good in the future, I’m not saying that this would necessarily work, and I’m not saying that anyone will agree with me. All that I’m saying is that I do not agree with the continuance of minutes going toward the veterans when we have young guys that are supposed to be the future of the team. Also, I’d be completely fine with missing the playoffs for a few years if our young guys got the minutes necessary to develop.
Just my 2 cents.
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