The play that the Utah Jazz have recently put on tour is nothing short of destitute and is raising immediate concerns for one of the most consistent organizations, capped Tuesday night by 120-91 route against the Los Angeles Lakers last night.
Prior to their five game road trip, the season had seemed rather promising for Utah, a team who lost most of their key guys during free agency over the summer.
But the Jazz have lost five in a row with the San Antonio Spurs coming to town.
And while that concern is the forefront of the Jazz’ problems, another one may brewing that could set the organization further back than any single season.
All-Star guard Deron Williams’ merriment in Utah may be running thin, spelling worse news than the combined losses of Carlos Boozer, Wesley Mathews, and Kyle Korver.
It’s well known that General Manager Kevin O’Connor pretty runs the business end of basketball the same way that head coach Jerry Sloan runs his basketball team: without panic. So Utah probably won’t get involved in anything too risqué before the February 24 deadline.
The Jazz need to find a way to put the train back on the track, but also need to start looking towards the future, a future that will satiate Williams enough to resign in 2012.
There are six players for Utah who have expiring contracts, and none larger than forward Andrei Kirilenko’s, leaving them with seven available roster spots.
Kirilenko’s large contract ($17.823 million) comes off the books this summer, giving the Jazz some much needed breathing room even without the most stellar of players in 2011’s free agency period.
But with disgruntled players and dying contracts ruling the game’s transactions nowadays, the Jazz can sorely afford to see Williams’ current frustrations build.
Keeping the strengths and weaknesses in mind of the Jazz in mind, here are 10 players Utah should pursue signing this summer if they hope to keep D-Will in the Beehive State past 2012: