Posted by: Stephen Loveless on October 19th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
We’re all familiar with shop talk. It generally includes machinery, weaponry, food, women, and sports. I get a fair dose of shop talk as I spend about half of my day in one. This particular shop is also inhabited by several other Jazz fans, one of which is rather spirited and recently shared some thoughts with me. Let me offer a small disclaimer before I continue:
The following is the opinion of one man and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the author.
As we discussed a recent game, the performance of the Utah big men came up. There will be some paraphrasing here for the sake of family-friendly journalism.
“Put Jefferson on the end of the bench and tell him to get comfortable. Unless there is foul trouble or someone goes down with an injury that’s where he stays. He’ll stay there for a year to finish out his overpriced contract and then he’s out of here. He’s a bum.”
Now I personally disagree with this comment. I believe Jefferson has immense potential. I’d love to see him in a little better shape but that’s true of any player. Defense can always be improved upon and I think we’d all like to see more consistent play out of the entire roster. Al has excellent foot work and a deadly push-shot. Is that enough to merit the $15M check? Not really, but that doesn’t mean we bench him and just eat that money. As far as his free agency is concerned, I’m not ready to make end-of-season decisions right now with Kanter and Favors on the cusp of breakout seasons.
“Give Millsap two options. He either comes off the bench as sixth man or we take the first third-round pick we get offered for him.”
I think he’s closer on this one. Don’t get me wrong. I love Millsap. Or I did before we matched the Portland offer. The drive that endeared him to fans has fizzled out. The talent is still there but he’s no longer trying to prove himself.
Trading him is one option but a late round pick is not even remotely worth it. Maybe I’ll write another post about possible options on a Millsap trade… But that’s really not my specialty. I function more on chemistry and hunches than raw statistical data.
What this really comes down to for me is the relative value of Jefferson/Kanter and Millsap/Favors. Kanter showed some serious dedication with his workouts this summer but that doesn’t mean he’ll keep it up if and when he’s offered big money. Favors is begging for more time and I think he deserves it. His athleticism makes him much more of a threat on both sides of the ball.
Personally, I’d like to see all four of these guys get good minutes this year. I’m glad it’s not my job to figure out how to make that work. Millsap and Jefferson need to step up in order to keep their spots. Favors and Kanter need to take advantage of every opportunity to take those spots away. Whatever happens, can we please leave Ostertag in retirement?
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