Deron Williams Gone, Jerry Sloan Out: What Is Next for the Utah Jazz?

Jeff HansenContributor IFebruary 23, 2011

Thanks to a big trade, Deron Williams is taking his talents to Jersey
Thanks to a big trade, Deron Williams is taking his talents to JerseyStephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz have been a steady organization for years. Change was not something that many Jazz fans had to witness over the last few decades since the team moved to Salt Lake City.

But in the course of the last two weeks, Jazz fans will have to grasp the idea of cheering for a team without its two most iconic figures.

For nearly 23 years, you could count on Jerry Sloan being on the bench for the Utah Jazz, barking out the plays. For NBA players, you could count on the exact offense that would be run by the Jazz.

Jerry Sloan woke up on Feb. 10 and everything changed: He announced his retirement from coaching, effective immediately.

The face of the Utah Jazz was gone.

Jazz fans were disgruntled at the departure of Sloan, but not all hope had been lost. Two-time All-Star Deron Williams would still be calling the plays. As long as the Jazz had one of the best (if not the best) point guards league on their team, winning could still be expected.

But Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor shocked Jazz nation when sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that the Jazz had dealt Williams to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Devin Harris and Derrick Favors and some draft picks.

Only time will tell if this deal will be beneficial for both teams, but the question looms: What is next for the Utah Jazz?

The two faces of the team are gone—the Hall of Fame coach and the All-Star point guard. How are the Jazz going to cope with the loss of these two figures?

Right now, the Jazz have no face, no personality, if you will. They have a complete logjam of big men on the team.

Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Andrei Kirilenko, Kyrylo Fesenko, Francisco Elson, Mehmet Okur and Favors are all big men. They all play the power forward or center position.

It might be safe to assume that a deal regarding one of these players is imminent.

At the beginning of the season last year, the Jazz had a bevy of shooting guards that they could go to at any moment. Now, the Jazz have only the aging Raja Bell to fill the shooting guard position.

Ronnie Price has seen minutes in that position this year, but he is severely undersized to run the shooting guard. Earl Watson and Devin Harris are both true point guards that could be hybrid two-men, but not natural two-men by any means.

The Jazz now lack a go-to guy. Millsap, Harris and Jefferson can all score, but they can't score every time down the floor like Williams could. They lack a player that can single-handedly take over a game.

They desperately need a true scorer on the roster.

The Jazz have a bright future however because of the acquisition of multiple first-round draft picks. Many Jazz fans have already began salivating at the idea of BYU phenom Jimmer Fredette playing for Utah.

Whether or not he does, Jazz Nation can rest easy knowing that significant rookies are right around the corner.

But will the Jazz be able to establish a face that each team needs? In the immediate future, probably not, but newly appointed head coach Tyrone Corbin will be doing everything he can to try and create a superstar on this team.

There is turmoil in Jazz Nation, but a bright future lies ahead.

With only one day remaining before the trade deadline, Jazz fans better buckle their seatbelts just in case another blockbuster deal happens.