Posted by: Brian McCann on January 3rd, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Over the Christmas break I had a lot of time to think about the current Jazz roster and the moves I would or would not make if I were in KOC’s position. This team has been very inconsistent over the last three weeks or so, and a large part of that can be attributed to jelling, so if the Jazz do make a move, it could further the problem in the short-term. Another new face in a difficult offense might extend some of the problems this team has experienced thus far. Still, personally, I feel that this team is one major piece away from being able to seriously contend, and I wonder if O’Connor will pull the trigger before the trade deadline to bring in another new face that will help add offensive firepower and overall depth to this team.
AK is not contributing as much as I had hoped coming into this season in a contract year, and watching him ride the pine on Saturday as Gordon Hayward began to flourish furthered my perception of Andrei’s expendability. Like I have said many times before, when AK is focused, he is a really important part of this team-problem is, he rarely seems focused these days, and his enormous contract is looking better and better as a valuable trading piece. Right now, I would love to see the Jazz trade AK for Andre Iguodala or Gerald Wallace, and wouldn’t mind trades for Stephen Jackson or Kevin Martin as well. All four of those guys are rumored to be on the market, and all four would improve our team in certain aspects. In the cases of Iggy, Jax and Wallace, the Jazz could probably swing deals that would save them a lot of money this year and in the immediate future, although they would have to take on long-term contracts. But they need to win now, and they need to make moves with that in mind. Yes, you want to secure your long-term viability, but our core is still very young, so they have already done that to some extent. The key now is to identify what it will take to get you to that next level, and, personally, I don’t feel the money AK is getting is best served allocated to his contract.
This team is young, but Deron needs to see progress now, not next season or a couple of years from now. It is important to find the right fit, but when it comes down to it, KOC needs to be willing to pull the trigger if the right fit comes along. Question is who is the right fit? Do we stick with AK, or do we trade him for a more explosive player with a more economical contract?
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