With the recent news of Trey Burke’s surgery, the Utah Jazz are in a bit of a dilemma at the point guard position. Right now, the Jazz have 1 point guard signed for the season, John Lucas III. There are a few different options the Jazz will have to take a look at and see what can give them the best chance to, not only try to win games, but keep their financial flexibility for the upcoming off season.
Alec Burks at point guard
With the players that they already have on the team, the Jazz don’t necessarily NEED to sign another point guard. Alec Burks seen minutes last season in a point guard role and could be asked to do the same thing this season with Trey out. Alec, according to shootaround interviews yesterday, seems to feel confident in being able to play that role. After playing that position a little bit last season and also working with Stockton, has gave him some confidence to do that.
If you put Alec at backup point guard, a healthy Brandon Rush will play shooting guard. Until Rush is healthy, we could see a guy like Ian Clark get an opportunity to see the floor. Alec playing a backup point guard role is a little disheartening for Jazz fans to accept, because we all want Alec to be the starting shooting guard. However, Alec is a pretty good ball handler and he could excel in that role.
Also, another option this team has is to sign a guy from their training camp roster. Scott Machado and Lester Hudson are trying to make this team. Machado seems to be a guy that Jazz fans want on the team. However, judging by the first few preseason games thus far, neither Machado or Hudson have really shown that they need to be on this team. With Trey going down with injury though, one of these guys could be an option for the Jazz to consider.
Free agent signing
Coach Tyrone Corbin said yesterday in his shootaround interview that the Jazz management is going to look at available guys on the market and see how much the Jazz can give to bring a guy in. The Jazz want to remain flexible for the upcoming off season, and some point guards left out there want a deal that signs them to a team for multiple seasons. That is something the Jazz are not wanting to do.
One of the better options that could work for this team is re-signing Jamaal Tinsley. Tinsley knows the Jazz’s offense for one, but you can also bring him in on a 1-year deal for the vet’s minimum and remain flexible. Also, Tinsley, like I have mentioned in earlier articles, would be a great mentor for Trey. Trey will be sitting on the bench for a little while studying the game. Tinsley wouldn’t be a bad guy to be sitting next to while you’re learning from the sidelines.
Trade for a point guard
There were reports as soon as Trey’s injury happened that the Jazz were interested in re-opening past trade talks for Chicago Bulls point guard, Marquis Teague. Although we don’t know how serious these talks are, I for one am not sure this is the best option to try and trade for. Last season, Teague played in just under 9 minutes a game and scored 2 points per game. Also, Teague is still under his rookie contract, which is not all that much money to be paying him, but he is signed for the next 3 seasons. That could be something the Jazz are not willing to do right now.
I don’t know if I dare say this, because it might cause drama, but doesn’t this feel like the perfect time to finally trade for Jimmer Fredette? Jazz fans might have mixed feelings about bringing in the former BYU Cougar, but I think that it will happen eventually, so why not now?
Last season, Jimmer seen the floor for just over 14 minutes a game. 7.2 points per game, but Jimmer connected on 42% of his 3 point shots last season. The Jazz could use his outside scoring. Also, Jimmer wouldn’t be asked to control the ball all that much. If Alec is on the floor, he can do the majority of the ball handling while Jimmer would play more of the shooting guard role. He could also continue that role is Gordon Hayward is on the floor. Floating to the open spot as Hayward or Burks drives to the basket could help open up this offense.
The other thing to think about, is that Jimmer is still under his rookie and he is in the final year of that deal. If the Jazz trade for him, and he works, the Jazz look smart for doing the trade, Jazz fans are happy, and we look at re-signing Jimmer in the off season. If it doesn’t work, the Jazz simply let Jimmer walk after the season and no harm is done. It really could be the best situation for the Jazz.
Still, out of all these situations, I hope that Trey recovers from this injury sooner rather than later. The plan that is mapped out for this team has Trey being a big part of it. Look at the positives of this injury though. Trey will be able to learn about the NBA from the sidelines and really be a student of the game. If he can take those lessons he is learning from that aspect, Trey will come back pretty strong. Stay positive Jazz fans and lets get this season started!