With two lottery picks in this year's draft, the Utah Jazz have perhaps the most options of any team in the NBA. In addition to their draft picks, Utah also has proven players that are valuable trade chips.
With this year's draft seemingly lacking that superstar caliber player, the Jazz could still land solid players with the 3rd and 12th pick. But after last year's miserable season, is the addition of a few solid players going to do them much good?
The Jazz have two very nice players from last year's lottery, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. Utah will also have two lottery picks from this year's draft, and could potentially have two more lottery picks next season with Golden State's protected first round pick.
So now is the time for the Jazz to blowup their roster. It begins with moving Al Jefferson and Devin Harris for younger talent, perhaps more picks, and cap relief.
Al Jefferson is a 20 and 10 big guy, but doesn't do all the things that help your team win. He's very lazy on the defensive end, not a great rebounder for his size, and is a real ball stopper on the offensive end.
Utah runs a flex offense, which involves a lot of off the ball screens, hard cutting, and quick passing. This is not Jefferson's game.
Jefferson is a one-on-one type player that plays with his back to the basket, and has a hard time passing out of double teams. While Jefferson has amazing footwork and great touch around the hoop, his style of play does not fit well with Utah's offensive system—and in no way makes up for his poor defensive play.
The Devin Harris from three years ago would be perfect for Utah. He was an extremely aggressive defender, a very good passer, and was relentless in constantly driving to the hoop.
The Devin Harris of today, however, is not that same player. His defense has become mediocre at best, and at times he can seem indifferent to what's going on in the game. He is simply no longer in constant attack mode when he has the ball.
Jefferson and Harris have a combined payroll of $23 million for next season and are both under contract for two more years.
Having so many options, the Jazz should be actively looking for deals involving these two players.
Is Devin Harris enough to get Minnesota's 2nd pick? Is Al Jefferson and the 12th pick enough to get Cleveland's 1st pick? Could the Jazz move Jefferson and the 3rd pick for Washington's 6th pick, their first rounder for next year's draft and Javale McGee? Could the Jazz land Nicolas Batum for Devin Harris?
There are plenty of teams out there who need a good PG and a scoring big.
Using Jefferson and Harris to acquire young talent would put the Jazz in a great spot going forward. Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and their rookies from this year's draft could get a lot of playing time to develop. The inevitable struggles for a young team would land the Jazz more lottery picks for next year's reported strong draft.
Utah would then be loaded with young talent to build around going forward, Oklahoma City style.
With next year's season likely to be shortened, now is the perfect time for the Jazz to bear through the tough times of rebuilding. Utah needs to be aggressive in using their current roster and stockpile of lottery picks to position themselves for the future.
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