NBA general manager: "I'm not one of those GMs that subscribes to the tanking theory. You can lose all the games you want, but you're still not guaranteed to get the top pick. Not since 2004 has the team with the most losses won the top pick. The moment you intentionally start trying to tank, and that philosophy gets in your building, it's hard to get it out. Teams that have done that over the years in trying to get the top pick have ended up being in the lottery for nine, 10 years straight. It's one thing if you're doing that in the NFL, where if you've got the worst record you're guaranteed to get the first pick. I could go along with that a little bit.
This next draft it's not necessarily about one pick though. The first few picks all could be studs from the hype anyway.
"It's hard to tank, though. It's one thing if there wasn't a lottery like the NFL. But because there's never anything guaranteed, tanking is a hard thing to do. It's easy to say you're going to do it, but when you're going through the dog days of January and you're 5-30 and there are 4,000 people in the stands, it's painful. The other thing is that while Andrew Wiggins is a good prospect, he's not the next LeBron -- or even Kobe when he came out back in '96. He's not that. He's a very good player, but it's not like when Tim Duncan was coming out of college.'' ESPN.com
As Jazz fans seem to be realizing after getting what they wished for.
While Burke has yet to see regular season action due to his finger injury, fans are excited to see what he will add to the youthful core the Jazz have assembled.
Excited? I'm anxious to see if he's not a complete bust and better than Lucas and Tinsley.
They next traded into the last first-round, snaring French center Rudy Gobert. Reports have circulated that the Jazz liked him so much that, had they kept their initial picks, might have considering using the #14 pick to draft him. It is already apparent what they saw in Gobert. It is early yet and the 7’2” big man has a lot to learn about positioning and the speed of the game (he fouled out versus the Brooklyn Nets in just 16 minutes). But his defensive instincts ooze with potential. While his blocked shots total is low, his presence alone alters opponents’ approaches close to the basket. Gobert has also showed strong rebounding skills. He’s not afraid to fight for boards, using his length effectively. The more experience he gets this year, the better his future becomes. Trading up to snag him already appears to be one of the Draft night’s winning moves.
Lastly, Utah traded for Brazilian point guard Raul Neto. In his limited summer league action, Neto showed some true point guard skills. While the two sides mutually agreed to hold off this year, it is largely believed that Neto will be in a Jazz uniform very soon—perhaps as early as next season. He can use this year to hone his skills. It was a low-cost, potentially solid-reward move.
As of July 1st, seven Utah Jazz players became free agents: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Randy Foye, DeMarre Carroll, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley. When it was all said and done, six of them departed. The franchise decided that, while all these players contributed greatly, it was time to go a different direction. They turned to keys over to the young players, with high hopes that they will develop into a new era of Jazz basketball’s leaders and cornerstones.
With the conscious decision to not retain these veterans, the Jazz were left with ample cap room. Lindsey’s regime decided to use the space to make a big trade that would garner some valuable assets. On July 5th, they swung a deal with the Golden State Warriors to swap little used Kevin Murphy for veterans Brandon Rush, Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins along with unprotected first-round picks in 2014 and 2017. They also received two second-round picks and some cash (which essentially could have help offset the resources expended to obtain Gobert). The three vets combine for $24 million worth of expiring contracts, thus helping Utah maintain financial flexibility going forward.
While Jefferson ($11 million) and Biedrins ($9 million) have particularly onerous deals, Jefferson has been a pleasant surprise. He earned the starting small forward slot and through four games, is contributing 9.3 PPG and 3.8 RPG, while providing a veteran voice on the court. Biedrins suffered an ankle injury, and Rush made his debut versus the Nets, almost exactly a year from the date of his horrific ACL injury. Anything these three can add on-court will be additional value for the team. Rush could bring a 3-and-D ability to head coach Tyrone Corbin’s rotations. Naturally the three could also be used in midseason deals, although many teams possess similar expiring deals. The draft picks in the deal will loom large; given their unprotected nature, Jazz fans will once again have reason to carefully monitor Golden State’s scores each night.
The Jazz continued to be aggressive in filling out their roster, holding free agent mini camps and bringing in myriad others to workout in Salt Lake City. For a team that prides themselves on finding hidden talent, this was a subtle, but impressive investment.
Utah finished its on-court product by inking guards John Lucas III and Ian Clark, as well as forward Mike Harris. Clark was a summer league standout who had many suitors. The Jazz jumped on the opportunity and provided him with an offer he could not refuse. He’s someone to watch over the season.
Or at least until January when his guarantee runs out.
While the talks with Hayward fell short, the Jazz were able to complete a four-year, $48 million extension with Derrick Favors. While Favors has played a secondary role, his immense potential on defense and the boards was undeniable. He offense has a ways to go, although he’s showing signs of improvement (his six-point outing in Brooklyn notwithstanding). To lock up a very young, mobile big man with what could be elite defensive abilities could be a coup in the long-run. His re-upping also bodes well for retaining other pieces or acquiring new ones. He is one of the cornerstones.
Off the court, Lindsey and the Miller family continued to be aggressive in developing and enriching their desired culture. Legendary coach Jerry Sloan was brought back in an official advisory capacity. Sloan was present throughout the Draft process and has been a fixture in Jazz practices. Having his voice not only adds to the basketball acumen of the organization, but has been big for the fanbase.
In a similar vein, the one and only Karl Malone was invited to be a coach for the young corps of promising big men. Favors and Enes Kanter both took trips down to be with Malone and then #32 was working out with all the bigs during training camp. It is evident that this partnership is already paying dividends, seen both in Favors’ and Kanter’s on-court improvements, as well as the respectful, almost reverent tones the duo speak of their experiences with the Mailman.
Likewise, Utah sent Burke and Alec Burks up to Spokane to learn under the tutelage of Malone’s partner in greatness, John Stockton. (It doesn’t directly reflect on the Jazz’s offseason, but how amazing has it been to see the excitement about Stockton’s autobiography? It feels like there has been more national publicity, more interviews and so forth than Stockton had during his illustrious career). These moves with Sloan, Malone and Stockton not only make basketball sense, but it helps connect the past with the now—something that is very meaningful to the fans.
While the Jazz lost beloved Jeff Hornacek to the Phoenix Suns, Brad Jones was promoted to assistant coach and former Utah Ute Alex Jensen become a developmental coach. Both are viewed very highly as young minds and workers who could one day be head coaches in the NBA. Lindsey hired Justin Zanik as the assistant GM, a new role for the front office. As a former agent, Zanik offers a new perspective, especially with future negotiations. Utah also bolstered their scouting and strength coaching group, hiring Bart Taylor and Isaiah Wright.
Lastly, the Jazz made some much-needed enhancements to the EnergySolutions Arena through the additions of their state-of-the-art Jumbotron and screens.
All in all, the commitment of the franchise, especially the Miller family, has been wonderful. Many efforts and resources are going into making the team one that will succeed on and off the court. Dennis Lindsey’s vision has been refreshing and while there will be bumps and bruises this season, the direction the Utah Jazz is going is an upward one.
5. Andris Biedrins. With one year and $9M remaining, Biedrins represents the Jazz’s best pre-deadline chance of turning next summer’s cap space into more assets. To do so, they’d have to gamble that they’d get more now than they’ll get in July, but the gamble could net them an extra pick or something similar. If Biedrins could still play some basketball, this would be an easier deal to orchestrate, but it’s been about four years now since there was a carrot at the end of that stick.
Looks like the d and rebounding is still there. He could help someone including the Jazz.
4. Richard Jefferson. This is probably more intriguing than Biedrins if Jefferson shows the world he can still play basketball after an off year. If Jefferson can prove he could still help a playoff team, he could get some extra attention, but otherwise, he’ll mostly be seen like Biedrins: a way for a team to exchange a longer 8-figure contract for Jefferson’s expiring deal. The Jazz would get rewarded with assets for that type of deal, but would lose some 2014 flexibility.
Not necessarily they could could take on more money and more players with their current flexibility and still acquire expiring contracts.
3. Marvin Williams. If Marv made a little less coin, I’d promote him to the next group (still at #3, though). Marv is the cheapest, youngest and best basketball player in this little subgroup, so he’s the most likely to be traded for a mix of actual basketball reasons and the expiring deal.
Best is highly debatable. There's no one else on the Jazz I'd rather see go right now because he sucked so bad last year.
As an above-average defender with some offensive strengths, a contending team could look here for a short-term rental. Again, they’d likely want to send back some dead salary in return (assuming it’s an over-cap team, they’d have to send something north of 4.93M for a deal to work), but Utah could request compensation in terms of young role-playing talent or draft considerations. Such a deal could help sweeten the haul of the Deron Williams trade, which resulted in the Jazz getting:
2011 #3, used on Enes Kanter
2013 #21 pick, combined with Jazz’s own #14 to get Trey Burke
Devin Harris, traded for Marvin Williams, potentially traded for ?
Scenarios: Particularly for Biedrins and Jefferson, the likelihood here hinges largely on the Jazz’s willingness to take a longer deal to get assets. Marv might garner some basketball suitors, too, but this group will largely appeal to the NBA because they come off the books at the end of June.
Now we arrive at the two guys I think are most likely to be traded. This is because they’re on value contracts, they have desirable skill sets, and the Jazz would be willing to deal because of the type of assets they could bring back.
2. Alec Burks. Yeah, I get that this will be an unpopular pick, but hear me out. Everything the Jazz have said and done under Dennis Lindsay’s reign suggests they’re trying to land a franchise-changing player in the 2014 Draft. But I don’t think they’ll be bad enough to land a top 5 pick where they’ll find a Jabari Parker or Dante Exum type.
Apparently this was written a couple weeks ago?
(Andrew Wiggins won’t be available via trade; for him, you win the lottery or you miss out). Golden State owes them a pick that Kevin Pelton thinks might land in the lottery, but a combo of a 6-10 pick with a 14-20 pick doesn’t usually get you into the top five.
If you look at the history of recent trades leading up to the draft – I examined 10 years’ worth here prior to the 2013 draft — you’ll see that it’s possible to buy into the top 5 (never the top spot overall), but it always requires more than just multiple picks. Usually it requires picks, a star or starter-caliber player, and often taking on some bad salary, too.
Scenario: First, let me say I think there’s almost no chance that Burks gets moved before the February deadline. But I’m increasingly convinced that the Jazz are pointing to a draft-season swap, and Burks is their best shot at making it happen. Depending on how the season and lottery shake out, perhaps a team picking in the 3-5 range has needs that are different from what the best player available offers, and they’re prefer multiple solid starter types versus going all in on one guy like Parker, Exum or Julius Randle. If the Jazz offer 7 + 14 + Burks, that’s exactly the kind of deal that sometimes can get you up into the top five, especially if they also take back some salary.
I don’t know if it will work, but I’m suddenly very convinced that this is the scenario Jazz management has been stockpiling for, (unless they just get the lottery luck and don’t need to package anything to get a franchise-changer).
Yes I can definitely see Burks being moved in this manner but I think it's less likely now with G possible gone once he hits free agency.
1. Brandon Rush. Rush is a low-cost rental (expiring $4M) that would be perfect for a contender needing wing depth and 3-and-D help. It’s almost a given that the Jazz will get calls, and it makes sense for them to listen given that Rush isn’t a surefire part of their future. I would say it’s highly likely that there are some serious discussions around Rush in February, particularly if he returns strong from injury. I’ve questioned why the Jazz didn’t get more in return for taking $24M worth of bad salary from Golden State, but if they flip Rush into something nice, that trade starts to look better.
Scenario: A contending team has a wing player go down (like an ankle tweak to Jared Dudley or Mike Miller) or just lacks good perimeter bench players (OKC, even San Antonio). They call up Utah and can offer anywhere from $2.6 to about 6 million to get the deal to work so there are plenty of options. Rush is a short-term fix, so they won’t give up anything of huge value, but they’ll make it worth Utah’s while, maybe with some young, cheap role players.
* * *
The Jazz are all about collecting and maximizing assets right now. The draft and subsequent free agent frenzy represent Utah’s best chance to quickly leverage those pieces. which is why I think it’s extremely likely they’ll get a head-start by moving somebody ahead of the February deadline or next June’s draft.
There will be roster moves. Rather they can make a worthwhile trade remains to be seen.
Shooting guard Brandon Rush is expected to see limited action against the Bulls. He sat out the loss Wednesday in Boston after playing 10 minutes in Brooklyn — the first time he’d played in an NBA game since tearing the ACL in his left knee on Nov. 2, 2012.
The Jazz are also planning on reintroducing injured Marvin Williams to the playing court. The 6-foot-9 small forward hasn’t played this season after having surgery on his Achilles tendon just over five months ago.
“I hope it comes true,” Williams said.
The NBA veteran said his Achilles “feels good” and he’s confident enough to test it in a real game. He lacks a bit of explosiveness, although doctors have told him that will return as he plays more.
“It’s definitely strong enough to get out there and play,” Williams said.
Williams has had injuries before — a back surgery kept him out for eight weeks — but this medical issue has been tough to deal with for multiple reasons.
“I was literally in a cast the whole summer — we’re talking like three months,” Williams said. “It’s been long. It’s been long, but I’m really excited to get back out there.”
The Jazz are equally excited to start getting some of the guys who are expected to be regular rotation players back into the mix.
Mixed feelings. It would be great if he could show enough for a quick trade. Otherwise I'd just as soon not see him on the court again.
Utah has only had 10 available players in four of five games during this 0-5 start because Williams, Rush, Trey Burke (finger), Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff) and Andris Biedrins (ankle) have been sidelined with health problems.
“It’s huge. We’ve got a lot of guys injured and banged up. It’s definitely taking a toll on us,” Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said. “When they come in and are ready to play, it’s good to have some people who can space the floor and (provide) some veteran leadership.”
Rush probably won’t play in Toronto on Saturday as the Jazz bring him back slowly from his January knee surgery.
Burke continues to make progress as well. He hasn’t been cleared to practice yet, but he has been allowed to run and do light shooting and dribbling. The 2013 NCAA player of the year will be re-evaluated Monday by the hand specialist who surgically repaired his fractured right index finger almost four weeks ago.
In an encouraging sign, Burke sank a one-handed 12-foot shot using his right hand while reporters talked to Corbin following shootaround.
— Hayward on what the Jazz need to do to snap the five-game losing streak: “We’ve got to be focused for the full 48. That’s been our problem. Hopefully, we can not focus on whether or not we’re winning or losing, but just (focus on) doing our job.”
— Williams on how tough it is to be sidelined while your team struggles: “It’s always difficult. I’m a part of this team just like everybody else. Unfortunately, I’m not out there to kind of help them. There are times when I feel like I can definitely help the team out when I’m not out there, but I try to stay as involved as much as I can whether it’s pulling guys aside and telling them what I see, and I’m always trying to be as positive as I can for everybody on the bench.”
How tough is it to be on the court helping your team struggle because of your poor play?
— Corbin on his team’s attitude: “It’s a tough time. Losing is not fun. We’re not having a great time losing games, but the guys are growing. We’re shorthanded. Their attitude is understanding that we have to continue to work, we have to stay together as a group. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this. We’re hanging in there.”
— Corbin on the struggles of John Lucas III and Jamaal Tinsley at point guard: “We need everybody to play well. I can’t point at one position.”
— Lucas on returning to Chicago, where he played during various stints between 2010-12: “It’s very special. This is like my second home. I love it here. It’s always good to play in the United Center when you play there (as a Bull) and also when you come back and play. It’s electrifying in there. The atmosphere is crazy. It’s a lot of history there. It’s just, I love it. I can’t wait to play tonight.”
Rudy Gobert got our only Jazz note. He battled and plays fearlessly. When I saw him after the game the first thing he said was free throws. He knows where he needs to improve and he is getting better at a really high rate. The kid works hard. He didn’t have very good coaching in France and he is improving. His mentality is his best attribute. If he isn’t scared it helps a great deal.
Defensive boards looks to be the big difference in the game and he at least hit the defensive glass.
Really nice to see Marvin back on the floor tonight. I liked the lineups Tyrone rolled out with Marvin tonight. He played Marvin at the 4 and stretched the floor. Gibson went at Marvin but this was his first game back and it brings a level of versatility to the roster we haven’t had prior and I like that Tyrone used Marvin at the 4.
Don't you have to be able to hit shots to stretch the floor? I assume Rush tomorrow and Marvin on the bench?
This team can’t shoot right now. They just can’t put the ball in the hole. I hope this changes but there is a real chance this group is going to be a bottom 5 field goal percentage team and that puts a huge burden on the defense.
We are taking too many long 2 point shots.
Especially when you have Kanter and Burks and Hayward but without player that can stretch the d teams will pack it in.
Can we combine Gordon and Alec. Gordon comes out like a ball of fire in the first quarter, he is averaging 8 points per 1st quarter, Alec looks like he needs about 8 minutes before he gets into the flow of the game or gets a rhythm to his game.
Might be coming off the bench is his problem? Don't know what else they can do? Bring G off the bench?
Jazz can’t commit fatal turnovers. Turnovers above free throw line extended.
Defense forced a ton of turnovers in the first half and they just couldn’t covert any of them into points.
Ron Boone talks about running to score we need to do more of that to get some easy looks. It is hard to score in the half court. Yes, I know our fast break offensive numbers are terrible but they are more likely to improve.
Point guard is a real issue, Jamaal doesn’t have his legs. Lucas not hitting shots and is an energy back up and Trey had a meeting Monday but has to be still weeks away. Chance Trey makes a major impact because he has to improve off of 22 of 72 shooting from our points right now.
See you Toronto
Posted in Emptying the Noggin
He does? He hasn't shot well in the little we've seen of him. So is he weeks away or close like was recently said in another arcticle?
In another reversal, shooting guard Brandon Rush did not play Friday as Corbin had said he might during his shootaround interview. Rush hasn’t played since Tuesday when he had 10 scoreless minutes against Brooklyn — the first time he’d played in an NBA game since tearing the ACL in his left knee on Nov. 2, 2012.
Corbin said the new Jazz player experienced some pain before the game, so he opted to sit him and play Williams.
After spending time in Italy, Spain and China, Lucas the Bulls gave Lucas another shot at the NBA. He played for the team in two games in 2010 before being released. After another stint in China, he was signed by Chicago in 2011 and has been in the NBA since.
"He was huge for our team," Thibodeau said. "Always ready to play. Great in practice. Whenever he had the opportunity to play he was always ready to go. We never skipped a beat."
I was impressed with Gordon Hayward leadership tonight. Gordon is learning leadership. Tonight I saw him go out of the way numerous times to guys who had just made mistakes to try to prop them back up. This is how you lead. It is better to be by example and supportive. Gordon has played hard every night so far and he has the numbers to back it up. He is gaining respect and now he is showing that he supports his guys. At some point he can be harsh and push them forward right now he is being supportive
He's stepping up. It's especially nice to see because he's started slow every year and finished strong. He should only get better. Burks, Kanter and Favors need to do it consistently now. Favors has the least amount of excuses. Burks has been in and out of the rotation and Kanter didn't play for 6 months coming off his injury.
The not winning is wearing on this group. It is 14 straight if you count the pre-season while it doesn’t it still has been a really long time since they have taken the floor and left with a good feeling. It is not fun to come to the arena right now. These guys are not feeling good about themselves and that has an impact. Once they get one it will be different. They won’t suddenly be a super team but there will be a freedom to their play that doesn’t exist right now.
That's one reason why tanking isn't a great idea. It's ridiculous for them not to have one NBA rotation qualified pg on the team.
This is the season of discovery and we starting to learn some things. Kanter is not doing a good job as a defensive rebounder. The lack of defensive rebounding is really hurting this team on both ends of the floor.
Yeah not sure what the deal is? He looked like he would be elite as a rookie and appears to be on the offensive end.
Derrick Favors offensive skills are still not complete. The Jazz want him to be a rebounder and a defensive player but as the team struggles offensively you can see him trying to pick up the slack. This may not be the best for him. His self-worth as a player needs to be based on defensive and rebounding performance . This was a not a good road trip for his offense we need to appreciate him for what he does well and let the other stuff come.
Will it come though?
This team is not going to do much when the shooting % of the non 4 youngsters are 34%, 34%, 43%, 27%, 13%, 21% and 13%. Those are the options beyond the young 4. Not much help for these guys.
And Ty gets the blame!
[quote]But this year is for Hayward, Favors, Kanter and Burks and Trey once he plays and for them to learn the difficulty of this league. This week they learn how hard it easy. Hopefully, next time they go through this they understand it better and perform better./[quote]
Trey should already have an idea after not getting it done against D-Leaguers and fringe NBAers in summer league and pre season.
Jazz Notes tonight from Thurl for Richard Jefferson for being a pro and an example and I gave one to Gordon Hayward for his consistent effort and his development of his leadership,
See you Monday at Energy Solutions
Posted in Emptying the Noggin
Last edited by Xiao Yao You : 11-10-2013 at 12:28 AM.