It feels like it's been forever, but Williams has only been gone for a year and a half. The time has come to find his replacement
The 2005 NBA draft was a turning point in Utah's organization. Selecting Deron Williams with the third pick gave the team a franchise-caliber point guard—one they were hoping to have for years to come.
Unfortunately, Williams was rumored to be having a feud with Utah's long time head coach Jerry Sloan, and the franchise was forced to respond. Williams got traded to the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), and Sloan announced he was resigning after 24 years.
That has left the Jazz in need of a reliable point guard and one that is consistently productive.
After this past season, it's easy to see that something needs to change.
Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Jamaal Tinsley, Alec Burks and Earl Watson all shared time at point guard this year. That might not sound like too big of a problem, but it happens to be a serious one since all five of them were played because they didn't know who "the guy" was.
Utah changed their rotation throughout the entire season.
Now that the season is over, it is time for the team to shift their focus toward fixing their point guard situation.
Let's take a look at a plan that does just that.
This offseason has one of the least talented pools of players in quite some time. Sure, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are members of the group, but both of them are going to be headed to a major city or stay in Los Angeles.
Utah is full of nice people, has some of the best snow and is a great place to raise a family, but those aren't the greatest selling points to an NBA player. Playing in large cities just happens to be much more appealing.
You can look at younger point guards that might have some potential or older veterans, but neither of them are going to get Utah to a better position.
Picking up a free-agent this summer isn't going to solve any problems.
In fact, it'll most likely put Utah back into the same situation they faced this season.
The next option on the list is for the Jazz to try and make a trade for a player that they feel fits what they are looking for out of their point guard.
The problem here is who do they trade?
Utah leads the NBA in upcoming free-agents with seven, and there's the possibility of an eighth with Marvin Williams early termination option.
And no, that is not a typo. Up to eight of their players are going to be able to test free agency this summer.
That leaves the Jazz's roster looking like this:
- Alec Burks, PG
- Jeremy Evans, SF
- Derrick Favors, PF
- Gordon Hayward, SF
- Enes Kanter, C
- Jerel McNeal, SG
- Kevin Murphy, SG
- Marvin Williams, SF (Potential free-agent)
Almost every one of those players is on the development list for the Jazz, and those that aren't wouldn't garner much attention in the trade market.
The bottom-line is that they just don't have anybody to trade.
If Utah is looking to make a trade to bring in that special point guard, then this is definitely not the time to make it.
2013 NBA Draft
This is where the Jazz get their opportunity.
It's almost fitting that the team gets the chance to make a big splash in the draft, seeing as how their last great point guard came from a Utah draft pick.
The NBA draft lottery is scheduled for May 21, 2013 and will decide what pick the Jazz receive. They currently have the worst chance at getting the No. 1 pick and the best chance to get the No. 14 pick—the last in the lottery.
On top of a lottery pick, Utah also gets pick No. 21 in the first round. That gives them two first-round picks and puts them in position to grab that point guard that they badly need.
The best part for the Jazz is that there is only one point guard who surely won't drop to them. Other than Trey Burke, all other point guards could possibly slip to Utah at No. 14.
Those other point guards would be C.J. McCollum, Michael Carter-Williams and Shane Larkin.
McCollum would be the best fit for the Jazz and is a pretty similar player to Deron Williams. McCollum has size at 6' 3", and his 190-lb frame actually has more stature than it would suggest. His best attributes are easily his ability to shoot the ball and score. He does both at an unconscious level, meaning he's pretty much automatic when he has the ball in his hands.
He might be the best fit, but he also only has a small chance of falling to Utah. It is highly-probable that he will get selected beforehand.
What point guard will the Jazz select in the draft?
Then again, one can always hope.
Carter-Williams and Larkin are completely different sizes, but they would provide pretty similar skill-sets to one another. They are pass-first guards that always look to get their teammates involved. The Jazz wouldn't be getting much from them as far as scoring, but that is something that could potentially get better with time.
Out of these two, Carter-Williams has the higher ceiling, as both a distributor and scorer. His height at 6' 6" is also something that not many point guards possess.
It's rare, but there could be two-to-three franchise-caliber point guards in this draft. The 2005 draft had two in Williams and Chris Paul.
It's possible that this one is similar.
All that's left is for Utah to make the correct decision and grab that player.
It's their best bet for future success at the point guard position.