According to a report by Ross Siler in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Jazz are showing interest in acquiring Zydrunas Ilgauskas to fill the empty roster spot left by Ronnie B. Here is my take on the possible acquisition.
Excluding Kosta Koufos, who hardly sniffs the court, the Utah Jazz only have one legitimate center who can patrol the paint defensively; Kyrylo Fesenko. Fesenko has come on as of late, and he has shown a bunch of ability, but he is hardly somebody that the Jazz can count on as the season winds down to the postseason. He barely has any experience, and Jerry Sloan is still trying to figure out how to use this guy on a regular basis.
Of course, Utah’s starting center is Mehmet Okur, but he is not the kind of a guy that I would really consider to be a typical center. He spends a lot of time hanging around the 3-point line, and he isn’t the defensive threat that the Jazz need from the center position. Sure, he can cause a nice match-up problem for opposing defenses because of his shooting ability, but his lack defense is something that is a liability for the team.
If you were thinking about moving Carlos Boozer to center, think again. Boozer is the perfect fit at the power forward position, and right now, I don’t think there is anybody better in the league. To mess with that kind of success would just be stupid.
Then you have the possibility of Ilgauskas. The guy’s a veteran, who knows what it takes to be successful. Although he is slowing down, his height is nothing to ignore. He is a true center, even though he plays soft at times, and he can alter opponents’ shots, which is something that is very valuable. Also, just like Okur, Big Z has a decent touch from the outside.
When you think about all of those things, it would really be a no-brainer for the Jazz if they have the chance to get him. He would add much-needed depth to the roster, and he can be a great guy as a veteran piece in the locker room. In my opinion, getting a player like Ilgauskas would truly round out this team very nicely.