Off-Day Odds and Ends
3. I mentioned in the last game recap that Deron’s shot has gone MIA. For the month of February (eight games so far), his FG, 3PT, and FT percentages are down 11%, 11%, and 6%, respectively, from January. His TOs are also up by one a game, although his APG has gone up by 3.
5. I’m not one to criticize the Front Office day in and day out. In fact, I rarely ever do. In general, I agree with the sentiment that some of the best trades are the ones you don’t make. I have a lot to say today, however.
Some of this was originally written in response to Yucca Man’s “The Jazz Front Office does NOT rock my world” post on SLC Dunk, which made the point that the Front Office clearly does not know what it wants. Is the Jazz a contender, or is it building for the future? In terms of moves you make at the trade deadline, there’s not much of a middle ground. The Jazz went and traded Ronnie B for a protected pick, which, no matter how many times KOC denies it, was a financial move. If we’re making moves to cut costs, we can’t be a contender/the Front Office doesn’t see the Jazz as a contender.
If we’re not a contender, then what justification do you have for not making a Boozer-for-Haslem-and-other-pieces trade? Boozer won’t be here next season. Millsap is clearly our PF of the future, which means that replacing him is the issue, not replacing Boozer. Would Haslem do as a replacement for Millsap off the bench? Um, YEAH. Does the team fall apart without Boozer? Look at the games earlier this month. Look at the convincing wins in the 12-game win streak last year.
You can’t tell me this team is significantly worse without Boozer. He played like crap to start the season; we won some games and we lost some. He played phenomenally mid-way through the season; we won some and we lost some. The reason(s) we’ve been playing so well of late AND winning games has everything to do with the reemergence of AK, and Sap stepping it up.
So Boozer for Haslem/Richardson/whoever/draft picks isn’t equal value. I readily admit that. That doesn’t mean, however, that it wasn’t a good trade for the Jazz. And I haven’t even talked about how the Front Office is delaying the development of Paul Millsap even further. Actually, scratch “delay”–the Front Office is by now deliberately and knowingly hampering his development.
On “The Basketball Jones,” Skeets (at the 8:50 mark here (video) or here (mp3)) not only hated the deal, but had a real problem with KOC trying to spin it as a trying-to-alleviate-the-logjam-of-wings move rather than coming clean about it being a financial one. As Skeets said, “That’s bullSHIT.” Also as Skeets said, “I would be pissed if I was a Jazz fan. Bit of a closet Jazz fan I am, and I just don’t like it. I think it’s ridiculous. If they’re a contender, you don’t get weaker with your rotation, you get stronger. You try to add pieces. They do the exact opposite, just to save $3 million.”
Dime also named the Jazz one of the league’s Trade Deadline Losers, saying:
Ronnie Brewer…was the guy Utah could stick on Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Brandon Roy and other elite twos. C.J. Miles probably replaces Brewer in the lineup, which automatically makes Utah’s bench thinner and makes their defense worse. In a year where the Jazz can make a deep playoff run, this wasnt the time to dump a starter and get nothing [emphasis mine] in return.
In sum, a Front Office should have a clear strategy. Are we trying to go somewhere this season, or are we building for the future? Are we buyers, or are we sellers? After you decide, stick with it. I understand that you can’t always be up front about the deals you’re trying to make or considering while things are happening, but after all’s said and done, at the very least be honest about why you did what you did.