Thursday, June 12, 2008

From NBA Jam to Roster Jam

One of the coolest games ever to grace the video game world was NBA Jam. For those that grew up in the '90's, NBA Jam ruled the basement, the quickie mart, and the weekends. That game was full-on addictive. It gave a new meaning to "time-consuming." I remember playing that game for hours on end, until our night was completely over. Who can ever forget the phrase..."He's on Fire!"

If we were considering this year's Utah Jazz team with the ability to populate the Jazz roster in NBA Jam, which players would make up the top-4 slots? My quickest thought would be Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur. Can you imagine how versatile that line-up would be? Williams would be the constant "no rest" player, never subbing out, while the others would provide their particular niches; Boozer playing the boards and postgame (dunks), Okur shooting the three-ball and Kirilenko running the break, providing showtime slams and stuffs. Unstoppable!

On a virtually unrelated note, how do the Utah Jazz manueavor out of the roster "JAM" where they currently find themselves? Some of us might actually think that the Jazz are in a healthy roster situation, with options and possibilities a plenty. But, I believe we're overloaded with players that shouldn't belong in our top-15, providing player combinations that just don't add up(ie...6-deep wings, no post defenders, and excessive deadweight).

The challenge the Jazz face this off-season is trimming off the "FAT". We need to get a leaner, meaner roster! And we actually must 'cut away the fat' before we 'bring on the muscle'. Currently, the Jazz have 13 players under contract. The league limit is 15. CJ Miles brings that number to 14 if the Jazz decide to give him a qualifying offer sheet. In addition, the draft is around the corner with the Jazz holding 3 draft picks in the 1st and 2nd rounds. How will they be able to carry all of these players? They won't! And can't. If the roster stays the same, the Jazz won't have the available movement to venture into the free agent market or select a draft pick. So, what should we do?

A) Trade 2 for 1 or 3 for 1
Thank goodness for expiring contracts! Jarron Collins and Jason Hart ought to be the first passengers sent packing...even if it means trading for another worthless expiring. At least it's two for one! We need the roster flexibility. Perhaps the Jazz could send away a young asset along with these two bench-warmers, in order to sweeten the pot. Maybe a sign-and-trade of Miles? Or offer up young Morris Almond? In addition, I'd rather have young guys with potential than players with zero production and added age. With roster flexibility, we may have the chance to land a solid vet from the free agent market.
(For some reason, I don't think the Jazz will trade the likes of Warrior Matt Harpring or Sweet Shooting Kyle Korver, meaning there may not be ample opportunities for player trades.)

B) Draft and Stash
This concept is probably more suitable for 2nd round picks. The reason being is because foreign players tend to increase their stock playing overseas and likely receive higher salaries in consequence to their added production. The Euro contracts usually end up being higher and more desirable than late-1st round, automatic NBA pay scale contracts. Thus, it's better to choose foreign players in the 2nd round. Who are the potential 2nd round foreign prospects that could be around for the Jazz? Thanks to, here are some options:

  • Omer Asik - big, 7-0 Turkish center with length and athleticism. Blocks shots.

  • Nikola Pekovic - powerful, 6-11 forward who's a scoring machine.

  • Goran Dragic - 6-4 point guard...could become Deron's backup someday

  • Semih Erden - another huge 7-1 Turkish center. Perhaps Memo could use some company.


Draft Guru said...

Feel free to add a suitablable, appropriate image to my post.

JC said...

CJ has grown on me the last season. The Jazz should only give him a qualifying offer if they intend to actually play him. I think he is a good option at the 2, but you're right, it's a jam. Brewer showed some great signs of life and if Mo Almond can shoot like he did in the D-League, the minutes might not be there for CJ

Orlando said...

We need to unload Harpring, but his contract is horrible: no one is taking him for a couple of years. Hart/Collins may be traded, but I doubt they will until midseason at which point the acquiring team only has to pay half their salaries.

I'm really blah about CJ: he's an average offensive player/terrible defender. I'm not sure his basketball IQ is ever going to improve. If we can keep him on the cheap for a year, sure, let's do it. But anything more than that is too much.

UtesFan89 said...

I think we need to give CJ another shot... but that involves giving him some playing time, which isn't exactly guaranteed though.

Pasty Gangsta said...

I think I need to take this opportunity to stake my claim as one of the best NBA Jam players of all time, especially when partnered with fellow blogger Golden Griff. We spent many a night in Rising Stock's basement, pounding him into submission in Jam until, out of total frustration, he would throw the controller and stomp out of the room. What can I say? We were dominant.

Orlando said...

I've seen CJ play enough to know that:
(1) he is a talented offensive player
(2) he does not have a good understanding of team defense.
(3) his basketball IQ is really low.
He may come around in a few years and become a really nice player - he definitely has the talent. But if I were a betting man, I wouldn't wager on it happening.