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2010-2011 Stats in 36.0 minutes per game
PPG: 18.8 RPG: 9.7
BPG: 1.9 PER: 20.28
FG%: .496 FT%: .763
With the loss of Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan, it became quite clear that the Jazz would now enter rebuilding mode.
Andrei Kirilenko is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and naturally he will end up with former teammate D-Will and fellow countryman Mikhail Prokhorov in New Jersey. Therefore, the Jazz need to continue the rebuild and let Al Jefferson go as well.
I can see a trade centered on Andrea Bargnani and Al Jefferson being mutually beneficial for both clubs. Although at first glance this trade seems to heavily favour the Raptors, I am quite confident that Toronto could throw in another player to make it more attractive for Utah.
The trade would see the Raptors get a solid center that can score, rebound and defend, and the Jazz would free up some cap room and get a young player they can build around along with their two lottery picks in this year’s draft.
Al Jefferson is a very good low-post scorer, something the Raptors have not had for a very long time. Throw in the fact that he is a good rebounder and more than capable of blocking shots, and you seem to have the perfect solution for Toronto’s woes in the middle. But not so fast...
Although Jefferson does average 1.9 blocks per game, he is still a liability on defense and does not completely solve the Raptors' defensive woes at center.
He is an unenthusiastic defender, lacking the quickness to keep up with other players, which makes him an eerily similar player to Andrea Bargnani. Nevertheless, the fact that he averages a little less than two blocks per game makes him the better of the two bad defenders.
Beyond that, Al Jefferson is just as big of a threat on offense as Bargnani; he just scores in a different way. Bargnani is a deadly jump shooter from just about anywhere on the court, and Jefferson is a nightmare in the post. Jefferson would be a dominant presence in the post, which would create far more open looks for his teammates than Bargnani’s jump shooting ever will.
What sets the two players apart is that Jefferson averages nearly two times more rebounds per game than Bargnani.
In the end, this trade should improve the Raptors, and if they could somehow convince the Jazz to include Devin Harris in the trade, they could really improve their record next season, especially if they land Derrick Williams in this year’s draft.