I just don’t get it. Yeah I understand the frustration. It sucks. I feel bad for Trey Burke. 8-12 weeks is a long time. If this team was a playoff contending team, they would be in a world of hurt right now. But they’re not, so guess what? There is absolutely, positively no reason to panic. The history of the Utah Jazz has been to carry 3 point guards on the roster. Well this isn’t your old fashioned Utah Jazz. This is a new era of Jazz basketball. We have combo guards on this roster, we have guys that can fill in for a couple of months. Let’s not forget that almost a third of the projected possible 12 weeks that Burke could be out is the preseason anyway. That leaves the 1st two months of the season for other young guys to step up and gain valuable experience playing 2 positions. This team and the goals it has for this season does not need to bring in another veteran point guard to tempt Coach Corbin into giving playing time over Alec Burks.
Alec Burks has proven to be a serviceable fill in Point Guard. His full-time position in this league is definitely as a Shooting Guard but he can handle the backup duties for 2 months. Or as some have suggested, he may even be a better fit as the starting point guard playing along side Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson. Hayward has publicly stated that he enjoys playing with Burks and this would give them an opportunity to show what they can do. This would allow Lucas to stay with the 2nd unit and play alongside Holiday, McGuire, Evans and Biedrins/Gobert. This allows Burks the playing time that he needs to develop and to continue to gain experience at another position that will allow him to become a better all around player.
So what should the Jazz do? Their roster currently stands at 19 players: (roster provided by UtahJazz.com)
|Num||Player||Pos||Ht||Wt||DOB||Prior to NBA/Country||Yrs|
|11||Andris Biedrins||F||7-0||242||04/02/1986||BK Skonto/Latvia||9|
|21||Ian Clark||G||6-3||175||03/07/1991||Belmont University/USA||R|
|40||Jeremy Evans||F||6-9||194||10/24/1987||Western Kentucky/USA||3|
|15||Derrick Favors||F-C||6-10||263||07/15/1991||Georgia Tech/USA||3|
|27||Rudy Gobert||C||7-1||235||06/26/1992||Cholet Basket/France||R|
|0||Enes Kanter||C||6-11||248||05/20/1992||Fenerbahce Ulker/Kentucky/Turkey||2|
|5||John Lucas III||G||5-11||165||11/21/1982||Oklahoma State/USA||5|
|8||Dominic McGuire||F||6-9||235||10/20/1985||Fresno State/USA||6|
|2||Marvin Williams||F||6-9||237||06/19/1986||North Carolina/USA||8|
They will cut 4 players over the next week or so. In my opinion, those players should be Scott Machado, Lester Hudson, Mike Harris and Brian Cook. That would bring the roster to 15 players. More than a backup point guard, the Jazz need athletes. Keeping Dominic McGuire, Justin Holiday and Ian Clark satisfies this. Of those 3, I think Dominic McGuire has proven the most that he belongs a spot on the team and will stick around for the rest of the year and the other 2 will be cut as Brandon Rush and Marvin Williams come back from injuries. Once Trey Burke is back and the roster is back to how the Jazz envisioned, Burks moves seamlessly back to his role as Gordon Hayward’s backup and 3rd point guard, Brandon Rush becomes Richard Jefferson’s backup until he gets back into basketball shape and McGuire becomes the 3rd Small Forward. Brandon Rush has the best chance of pushing Richard Jefferson out of the starting lineup, but I’m very interesting to see the firepower that he, Burks and Lucas could provide off the bench together. We’ll have to wait until late November, early December to see that though.
If the Jazz are to make a an external move, the only one I would want them to make is to acquire Jimmer Fredette. It’s no secret that we here at Purple and Blues are fans of the Jimmer. He is currently having a miserable preseason racking up DNP’s for the Kings. He is in desperate need of a change of scenery and Burke’s injury could provide an opportunity for him. If the Jazz were to acquire Jimmer there would be no need for Ian Clark and he would be their 5th cut. This would give them 12 healthy players with 3 on the IR to start the season. Jimmer can help out at both the point and shooting guard positions and is young enough that he fits in with the youth movement. His contract is up at the end of the season so if things don’t work out he walks. If he proves he has value the Jazz can re-sign him and bring him along for the ride. To me it makes a lot of sense, but the Jazz have not shown much interest in Jimmer other than a draft day rumor. Jimmer makes more sense than adding another veteran like Jamaal Tinsley.
The take away from this is that the Jazz are fine. They are team in the business of developing talent, building a foundation and developing a defensive minded attitude this year. They have the right amount of veterans to compliment the young players and in my opinion should only acquire a player if that player fits into this model. There is no need to panic, they just need to stay the course.