First of all I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July Weekend! Most of us had Thursday off and many of us had Friday off but the Utah Jazz front office was as busy as ever. In what started off as an uneventful couple first days of free agency, Jazz news soon started to break left and right. Big Al heading to Charlotte was the first bit of news, but that was soon followed by the big shocker, the Jazz trade with Golden State. We will discuss that trade in more detail in a little bit. Soon after that trade both Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll signed with the Hawks and Earl Watson signed with the Blazers. After a mostly quiet day on Sunday, a new piece of news broke early Monday morning that the Jazz were in talks in a 3 team trade.
The 3 team trade is actually an expansion of the original Jazz – Warriors trade. In the original scenario the Warriors will be sending Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush (who if fully recovered could easily be our 6th man for many years. He is a 41% 3 point shooter and solid wing rebounder) along with 2 unprotected 1st round draft picks in 2014 & 2017 and 2 or 3 (not quite sure how many reports just said multiple) 2nd round picks to the Jazz for Kevin Murphy. The Warriors would then use the newly created cap space to sign Andre Iguodala. In this new scenario the Jazz would still receive all the mentioned pieces above but the Warriors would receive Iguodala in a sign and trade with Denver. The Warriors would then send the Jazz one more 2nd round pick to the Jazz and the Jazz sign and trade Randy Foye to the Nuggets which also creates some important cap room for the Jazz. So where does this leave us? Here’s a projected look at lineups for the Jazz after these moves:
PG – Trey Burke
SG – Alec Burks
SF – Gordon Hayward
PF – Derrick Favors
C – Enes Kanter
PG – Raul Neto (Not yet cleared by FIBA to play with Jazz Summer League team. May not play with Utah this year)
SG – Brandon Rush
SF – Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams (Will start season on IR)
PF – Jeremy Evans
C – Rudy Gobert, Andris Biedrins
That leaves the Jazz roster at 11 with at least 2 more spots to fill. They will need to fill this trough either free agency or trade. I get the feeling that the Jazz may not be done wheeling and dealing. It is rumored that the Kings are shopping Jimmer Fredette and Chuck Hayes in order to create the cap space to sign Monta Ellis. This is where the cap room created by the Foye trade comes in. The Jazz could offer to help their conference rival by trading for those 2 players along with another unprotected 1st round draft choice. Perhaps the Jazz could talk them into to sending Jason Thompson instead of Hayes. Thompson is 26 years old but does have 4 years left on his current contract. He can be bought out before the 2016 season for $2.65 million though so the Jazz would have him for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. In 2015-16 he’d be making $6.4 million which is a manageable and tradeable number. It fits in with the Jazz youth movement and takes care of the backup point guard and power forward spots.
Enough speculation though. I could not be happier with the moves the Jazz have made. They were in desperate need of a youth movement and that’s what Dennis Lindsey has done. It’s what the fans have been clamoring for and now it’s our job to show our support and thanks by going to and watching games. I hope everyone understands this HAD to be done. We’re not LA, New York, Brooklyn, Miami, Dallas or Houston. We can’t reload by signing top tier free agents. We’re not 1, 2, or 3 on their lists. We have to rebuild through the draft and trades. Look at the Spurs. All their major players were acquired through the draft (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Leonard) or trade (Green). The Jazz have to do the same thing and are doing the same thing. Dennis Lindsey is moving the Jazz into the 21st century and removing all the band-aid patch up moves that O’Connor made in recent years. He’s essentially doing what the Jazz should have done 10 years ago.
It’s time to see what these young guys can do. Particularly Alec Burks. This year is going to be huge for him. If he can show he can score the ball and be a playmaker on a full-time basis he’ll be in the Jazz future plans. His playmaking ability could take a lot of pressure off a young point guard in Trey Burke. It’s an exciting time to be a Jazz fan and witness the first true rebuiling project of my lifetime. The youth movement is finally here and it’s as exciting as ever.