I am very excited for the 2013-14 season to start. Very, very, very, very excited. Guess what? You should be too. Does everyone realize what is going on here? This offseason is unprecedented in Jazz history. We’ve never had an offseason like this! We are witnessing history Jazz fans and that is very exciting. Out with the old, in with the new. Hit the restart button because the old way isn’t working anymore. Get ready for some exciting basketball this season.
The news of the soon to be signed John Lucas III solidified my excitement. Not for the player mind you, but for the message. What is that message? It’s something like this: “We are going young Jazz fans. We agree with you. It’s time to see what these young guys can do. Each veteran we’ve brought over is a complementary piece that will not be stealing playing time from these guys. Coach Corbin will not be tempted to play these vets over the young guys unless they are completely under performing which we don’t see happening. It’s time to let our talent shine.”
The Jazz are finally doing what small market franchises have to do to be successful. Be smart in the draft, make good trades, grow from within. I fully expect Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors, and Kanter to come in highly motivated this year. They’ve been given the keys to the franchise and they want to make a solid impression. They are all working hard this offseason and it will show. They will be allowed to finally fully develop with true on the job training and experience. They’ll be able to learn from their mistakes without fear of being taken out quickly from the game. They will not disappoint.
I love that Dennis Lindsey has been given the green light by the Miller family to do this. His actions have spoken loudly. He knew the kind of talent the young players have and he knew it was time to stop trying to put a band-aid on this franchise. It’s time to truly heal and grow. There is no point in having all these young guys if you’re not going to give them a chance to show what they can do. Lindsey has also surrounding them with role players that compliment their games, will keep practices competitive but won’t be taking jobs away. It’s a great opportunity for them and I hope they seize the moment.
It’s funny to me how people have completely written off the players we received in the trade with Golden State. Yes the draft picks were the main part, but the Jazz are genuinely intrigued to see how these vets mesh with our young guys. People are quick to point out that they hardly played for the Warriors and that’s true. The question though is why? The answer? Golden State made a commitment to going young. That relegated Rush and Jefferson to back up roles plus Rush got hurt. The Warriors also acquired Bogut and that put Biedrins in a backup role as well. Rush will be 28 when the season starts and hopefully 100% recovered from his ACL tear. When healthy he is a very good 3 point shooter and defender, and upgrade over Foye. Richard Jefferson is not that far romoved from averaging double digit points and 40% 3 point shooting. Maybe in a backup role he can regain some of his old form. Biedrins is a very good backup big man. Yes his free throw shooting is terrible! I get that but he is a good defender and rebounder. Before Golden State’s youth movement he averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds per game in the 2008-09 season when he was 23 years old. He’s still young at 27 and can be a good mentor for Rudy Gobert. Here’s a quick rundown of the roster.
PG – Burke, Lucas III, Neto?, McNeal?
SG – Burks, Rush
SF – Hayward, Jefferson, Williams
PF- Favors, Evans
C – Kanter, Biedrins, Gobert
I like this roster. It will produce fun, compelling basketball that we can become fully invested in. These guys are hopefully going to be around a long time and we need to throw our support behind them. Of all the teams participating in “tankapalooza” the Jazz are the most intriguing. They have the talent to surprise a lot of people. I can see them winning 27 games like ESPN predicts because of their lack of experience and I can also see them winning 35 games because of their talent level. The 2014 draft is deep and they man end up with a high pick and another piece to help them toward their goal of becoming a championship contender. Maybe they win more than we think and finish 9, 10 in the West. The uncertainty of this season excites me. I don’t know what to expect and I like that way. One thing I do know is that Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors, and Kanter have my support and in Dennis Lindsey I trust.