February 23rd, 2010 by Jay
Wow, it’s been since the summer since either of us slackers (Ben and myself) have posted anything – even throughout this tumultuous season which I have been following every game of! I was responding to a comment on the post that describes how we got the Knicks draft pick this year, and it got me talking about the possibilities and also about the controversial Brewer trade. I thought I’d copy some of it here and expand on it a little.
First, what to think of the Ronnie Brewer trade for nothing but a future 1st round pick from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Does this improve the Jazz? For now or the future? Did it hurt them? Let’s take a look at some pros and cons and then I’ll share my opinion:
(1) Jazz save several million dollars – Brewer’s salary, doubled because of the dollar for dollar luxury tax.
(2) Jazz get a future 1st round draft pick from the Grizz. Will it be used on another player? Or coupled with something else to acquire a much better draft pick or player?
(3) Jazz wing players AK, Wes Matthews, Kyle Korver, and CJ Miles all get more minutes, more experience and should be happier and improve with the added playing time.
(4) Jazz get SOMEthing in return for Brewer, who was somewhat likely to leave for nothing in free agency because he and the Jazz were apparently far off in new contract negotiations.
(5) Jazz don’t lose much because the play of Matthews and AK had made Brewer, and his lack of shooting expendable.
(1) Jazz lose out on Brewer’s strengths, which were many: Hustle, heart, competitiveness, athleticism, length, steals, defense, amazing dunks, assists, moving without the basketball, fast-break creation and easy buckets, smart basketball IQ player, great teammate and person, etc, etc.
(2) Jazz risk throwing off team chemistry in the midst of a HUGE hot streak by losing a valuable player and adding a FUTURE asset in return.
(3) Apparently D-Will is PISSED! Williams considered Brewer like his little brother, and in addition to losing a great friend, he views the trade as management making the team worse, while other teams are trading to improve. Will this trade work itself out, making D-will forgive and forget? Or will he hold a grudge and leave after his comments to reporters “That’s why I only signed a 3 year deal.”?
(4) Jazz also risk turning the future draft pick into a player who will not work out or replace the quality of player Brewer is/was/can become – making the trade look stupid – only time will tell.
On to my analysis of the trade.
I loved Brewer! He was one of the guys that brought it every night! He provided hustle, defense, steals, energy, athleticism, dunks, etc. But he was a shooting guard that COULDN’T SHOOT! Kobe Bryant didn’t even bother to guard him in last year’s playoffs, hurting the Jazz when D-will and Boozer were bothered by the Lakers’ length, Brewer, among others couldn’t make a shot. When I heard of the trade I was first shocked, then kinda sad, then I thought (still sad, obviously) “Meh, that sucks, but Brewer’s not irreplaceable, and from the business side it makes sense.” Getting SOMEthing for him before he leaves in free agency is a nice move. We’d love to keep him, but we can’t overpay for him (*cough* AK! *ahem*). Similar to Boozer’s situation, getting something before he walks is ideal, but nobody would bite on Boozer, and with the play of Matthews, and AK, occasionally Miles, and Korver improving, Brewer was more expendable than Boozer right now. People doubt that the Jazz can find a talent equal to, or greater than Brewer with the first round pick. No offense to Brewer, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Only 3 players on the Jazz roster were 1st round picks!!! Matthews was UNDRAFTED! Boozer, Okur, Miles, Millsap, etc. were all 2nd round picks! Dejuan Blair from this year – 2nd round pick. Talent CAN be found. I don’t see the Grizz being a top 8 team in the next few years. Needless to say, Brewer was a class act, and good player, and he WILL be missed. I just hope that the other wings step up, and D-will doesn’t hold a grudge and it turns out to be a nice move by management and they can much improve the team and make Deron happy after all.
Now onto the draft. As one reader commented, might the Jazz be considering coupling the Grizz pick with their pick from the Knicks and/or other players to move up in the draft to select a certain player they are targeting? No one knows, but it definitely gives them options!
Currently the Knicks have the 6th worst record in the league and are only a few games out of the 4th or 3rd worst. Lottery, and odds aside, that would give us the 6th pick. I have been trying to follow as closely as I can all of the prospects I would hope the Jazz could take and HOPE they turn out to be a GREAT pick (many times lottery picks are hit or miss success-wise). I have been tracking stats and profiles of such players as Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, Evan Turner, Xavier Henry, Larry Sanders, Ed Davis, the dude from Wake Forest with the long name I can’t remember or spell. Anyway, at this point it’s just TOUGH trying to see who’s going to be a huge success in the NBA. There doesn’t seem to be a Kobe Bryant, or Carmelo Anthony [meaning big name, surefire star] in this draft aside from John Wall – and although he’s a freakish athlete and could work well running with Deron Williams, I personally don’t see that as the best fit.
The 2 players I hope most for are probably Evan Turner or Derrick Favors, possibly Wes Johnson, while some of the other prospects I’d be happy with, but have to PRAY they turn into our savior. Favors is only a Freshman, and he’s garnering comparisons to Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire. Yeah, I’d take that! Evan Turner is a well-rounded beast! He can score, pass, rebound, do almost ANYthing, which I think would make him a GREAT addition into the Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz system. However, both of these prospects are projected to go #2 and #3. So unless the Knicks lose every game the rest of the season, or we get lucky and win one of the top 3 spots in the lottery, they’d be gone by our pick.
So do I think the Jazz are targeting 1 or 2 players and they want to use the Grizz pick to move up in the draft? Not necessarily, but it’s possible. It may depend on how the lottery shakes out, how the top prospects finish the season, and many other things. But why have a top 10 pick only to fall just a pick or 2 short of a player that could REALLY help the Jazz get over the hump? The pick is just another asset to use how they see fit.
I see the Jazz as sitting pretty right now. Would I like to re-sign Boozer? Hell yes. He’d have to accept much less money to stay – AK’s still due about $17 million next year before his contract’s up. If the Jazz can add some pieces [Knicks pick?] to keep D-will happy and get him to re-sign, and the Jazz keep or add other key role players: Millsap, Matthews, CJ, Fes and/or Koufos, AK and Booze (for less money?) the Jazz should be well on their way to winning the coveted Championship!!! And if not, well, at least it’s better to win every single season and come close than to suffer through horrific seasons like the Nets, Clippers, T-wolves, etc.
Here’s hoping for continued Jazz success, getting an AWESOME draft pick (or 2), keeping D-will, and winning that Championship (or several)!
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