Saturday, June 7, 2008
Summer with the Jazz
I am sitting on our couch, sick to my stomach. I am not sure why I am sick. Probably diabetes, colon cancer, MS or the Bird Flu. It has to be one of those. Anyway, I have plenty of time today to heal my ailment and so I will sit and type what I think the Jazz need to do this summer.
Now, the Jazz are notoriously stingy and even more conservative. I believe that this stems from their "car dealership" owner that is always looking for the best deal. However, I feel that they have been overly conservative in their moves and that cost them a championship ten years ago.
So, what should Kevin O'Connor and the Jazz do this summer to improve the team? There are many options. Unfortunately, the likely scenario is that Sloan, O'Connor and the rest of the traditionalist, restrained thinking boys will be to stand pat. (Except to draft a 7 foot stiff that will play for the Flash next year.)
What if I were O'Connor? What would I do? Here are some realistic options.
1. Trade Andre Kirilinko. Sure, he was much improved last year. But I just can't help but think that Milsap could put up at least the same numbers in the amount of minutes AK plays. Plus, Milsap won't jack up the occasional unauthorized three. So, who do you trade AK for? Here is a very legit option:
AK and Ronnie Brewer to Phili for Samuel Dalembert, Willie Green and Jason Smith. Who are these guys, you ask?
Dalembert is a 6-11 Center. He is 27 years old. He averaged 10 PPG, 10 RPG and most importantly 2.5 blocks per game. This is the kind of guy the Jazz definitely need coming off the bench. Green is a 26 year old SG. Last year he averaged 12 PPG but shot an abysmal 28% from the 3. Hmmm, sounds just like Brewer! Jason Smith is a young PF (you may remember him from Colorado State). The Jazz really wanted to draft him, but he was taken before they picked. As a rookie, he averaged about 5 PPG.
How does that make the Jazz better you ask? Simple. Green and Brewer are a wash. It allows Milsap to move into the starting SF spot and most importantly, it shores up Utah's biggest weakness - defense in the post. Wouldn't it be nice to throw Dalembert in there for half the game and Okur in for half the game. Can you imagine the matchup problems that would cause?
2. Trade Harpring. It will never happen. Larry H. is too devoted to this guy. But, lets face it, his prime time has passed. And lets face another truth. The guy is a flat out ball hog. If the Jazz brass could somehow get over their love affair with "Mr. Hustle", here would be a perfect trade.
Harpring to New Jersey for Stromile Swift. Swift is athletic PF that can play some C. He gets his share of blocks and he is 3 years younger than Harpring. I know it will never happen, but if Larry H. could somehow swallow some pride, you never know.
3. Move up in the draft. If the Jazz could somehow move up about 10 picks, there are some players that could really help them...in 3 years. The Jazz are poised to win now, and moving up just to draft anyone will not help them to accomplish that goal. Stupid idea!
4. Sign a free agent. OK, this one is likely to happen. However, the Jazz will only have the exception to work with and will have to beg and plead for anyone of value to come to Utah. Some possibilities are:
Hey, how about this - Michael Doleac???
Not exactly "barn burners", eh? But the way I look at it, any of those guys could come in and flop just as well as Jaron Collins does!
There you have it. A few Jazz options. Personally, I like the idea of trading AK, but I'd just be satisfied if they sign D Will to an extension. What are your thoughts? If Larry Miller cries this summer, we will know something big has gone down.