Jazz-Related Bits from Zach Lowe Interview, 5/9
Assessment of Tyrone Corbin’s performance this year*
* The question was of course prefaced with “Tyrone Corbin took over the job under difficult circumstances, had so many free agents this year,” etc.
He was given a difficult situation…but you know, I do think there are serious issues with his rotation choices, playing lineups that just didn’t work, playing guys or not playing guys that clearly were net positives enough. And we’re just gonna have to see how those things shake themselves out going forward.
And obviously the defense has really just gotten no better through two years on the job for him, or two-plus years on the job.
And that’s, you know, once you start to get into Year Two and Three and Four without a lot of improvement on that end–that’s where a coach can really make his mark, I think, more than on offense even.
Which young point guards do you see as good fits for the Jazz?
The best young point guards are obviously going to be restricted free agents, and pursuing those guys is difficult because you can, you know, tie up your cap space on an offer that the other team is then just going to match, and just end up striking out and maybe having to sort of go into the unrestricted pile, which is mostly placeholder guys like a Jarrett Jack or Jose Calderon or the guy that’s already there, in Mo Williams.
But they’ll certainly take a look at Brandon Jennings, who I don’t know would be a very good fit there. And a guy that’s really come on strong in the second half of the season, and people in Utah probably have not seen him much, is Jeff Teague, and I think that’s another name of the restricted guys that I think they’ll definitely look at.
Thoughts on the “Core Four” and the Jazz’s direction going forward?
It’s a nice core group. I mean, I sort of call it the “Core Three and a Half” because we just haven’t seen enough of [Alec] Burks to conclude exactly how good he’s gonna be, and his shooting has been sort of hit or miss, that, you know, really, if you look at a guy, you know, what has he played…over 2,000 minutes, rather, in the NBA? That, in the scheme of things, is a really tiny sample size. But no, that’s a nice core of players.
They would definitely be a lottery team without that veteran presence up front. And, if, but if you sort of plug in some good veterans, you know, on the cheap, guys that play defense, guys that play, you know, can shoot threes, a guy like Matt Barnes maybe comes in on the wing on the cheap, something like that, you can crank out 35 wins with a roster like that. All of those young guys will clearly improve.
[Gordon] Hayward especially, I think, is ready for a little bit more of a burden on offense. But yeah, I mean, there’s no question, you let [Paul] Millsap and [Al] Jefferson go without getting a really good player somewhere along the way, you’re gonna be in the lottery. And the Western Conference is what it is; it’s loaded. (1280)