Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jazz Management 101

So, where do the Jazz go from here? The Pasty Gangster brought up a great article (and I can't stand Gordon Monson, but his article was right on target) about the reality of the team salary situation.

First off, Deron Williams is eligible for a max contract extension in July. And there's no doubt we'll give it to him. He's the franchise player. Carlos Boozer can opt out of his contract after next season also. He'll be seeking a raise from his $12 million final season. On top of it, Kirlenko is already being paid the max amount. Millsap's contract is up after next season as well as Brewer and Okur the following year after that (09-10). Each player is gonna be seeking the "Quan". Check out shamsports for the details.

The key season to analyze is 2009-10. As currently constituted, the Jazz have $54 million contracted out, without mentioning Deron's pending contract extension, nor Boozer's opt-out ability. With Deron's max extension and Boozer staying put, salary would approach $70 million for '09-10, while, the luxury tax would be near the $70 million mark as well. As Jazz fans know too well, Larry H. Miller will NOT pay the luxury tax for salary above and beyond that mark. This ultimately comes down to one thing...Jazz Management 101. Player moves may need to be made in order to meet financial expectations. Unfortunately, this could jeopardize the competitiveness and contending stature of our team.

So what are the options considering the circumstances?

1. Trade AK47.
Who would be willing to take on Kirilenko's contract? It's huge! Certainly, we'd be looking for expiring contracts. Perhaps the Jazz ought to be looking East. New York has D'Antoni as coach and an expiring in Stephon Marbury. No doubt...the Knicks would enjoy having Kirilenko in its fastbreak offense. However, they might want to shed salary in the distant future with the hope of obtaining King James. The other team might be King James' current squad, the Cleveland Cavaliers. They need to win now and retool. Can you imagine Kirilenko playing alongside the King? Cleveland has expiring contracts in the form of Wally Szczerbiak, Eric Snow, Joe Smith and Damon Jones. Maybe the Jazz would take back such players. The expirings list also consists of players like Wilcox, LaFrentz, Jeff Foster, Rasho Nesterovic, Stromile Swift and Malik Rose.

2. Stay Status Quo and Risk Losing Boozer to Free Agency
Perhaps the Jazz value Kirilenko more than Boozer. If that's the case, the Jazz may go one more season with the current core and try to win it all. If this happens, we won't have the room to accommodate the Booz. We have to shed salary before '09-10 in order to make room. It would be tight otherwise.

3. Trade Okur
Memo doesn't make a lot. He's a rather good deal considering his pay and play. But, maybe the Jazz stick with DWill and the Booz.

4. Just Don't Re-sign the Kiddies
Millsap and Brewer would probably walk if we didn't make any moves. With contracts building up against the luxury tax level, we'd probably replace young studs with younger draftables, avoiding the payment of our kiddies.

Overlooking the concern of our salary situation, I'm always for certain, particular moves...getting rid of the deadweight. Let's open up some roster flexibility! Who are the trading chips? Expiring contracts of Jarron Collins and Jason Hart, the potential of a young Morris Almond, and our #23 pick. It's not much, but hey, we gotta do something to improve.


The Golden Griff said...

Another team that would like to clear A LOT of cap space for the 2010 season is the New Jersey (soon-to-be Brooklyn) Nets. Jay-Z and the rest of the ownership there will do everything they can to get LeBron.

Orlando said...

Great assessment, Kofoed. The situation with Boozer and Okur will be interesting to watch. They both can opt out after next season, and they will both be looking to cash in. They are both going to want to opt out - not necessarily for a higher salary - but for longer term money.

Also, I fear no one wants Kirilenko. His contract is SO bad. No one wants to take on a $47 million commitment to a defensive niche player. If only his contract expired one year earlier; I think New York or Cleveland would bite in order to free up cap room for the Lebron summer, but as is, no one wants a bloated contract expiring the year AFTER all the great free agents hit the market. I'd look for one of those teams to trade for Camby this summer - a guy whose contract does expire at the right time.

Honestly, I think our best trading chip right now is Harpring. He sucks, but his contract expires at the right time. A lot of teams would like to cut $6.5 mil off their roster and offer that cash to Lebron, or Wade, or Bosh. However, I fear that no one wants his contract this year - they'll want it one year from now when they will only be taking on a one year obligation.

My predictions for this summer: the Jazz max-out Deron, and offer Millsap some money and then sit tight. Then cross your fingers that they can move Kirilenko and Harpring together next summer.

Ryan said...

What about trading Boozer? I think he has peaked and is overvalued right now. In addition, he is unlikely to resign with us after next year. He has a house in Miami and the Heat are looking to make something happen this offseason. I have also heard that they are not excited about anyone but Rose, who appears to be locked in with the Bulls as the #1 pick.
We could sign and trade Boozer for the #2 pick and some dead weight contracts and pair Beasley and Williams up for the next four years. Milsap could pick up the slack while Beasley comes of age. We may suffer a little next season but our potential for continued success will be much greater.
Beasley appears to me to have the physical ability and mindset to be an aggressive defender and rebounder and his offensive game will come around, especially with Williams feeding him the ball. I've loved what the Booze has done for us the last couple of years but we are never going to win a championship with out a big man who can play some D.

Orlando said...

OOtag: I thought about the Boozer for Beasley idea. But I'm not sure (1) the Heat would trade Beasley for a guy that could walk next year and (2) Larry H. would take on a guy like Beasley.