Thursday, July 16, 2009

If We Lose the Booz

The Deseret News, citing an article from Yahoo! Sports (which I could not find), reported that Heat executives are "working furiously to deliver" a three-way deal that would send Carlos Boozer to Miami. In exchange, the Jazz would receive Udonis Haslem and Dorrell Wright. The third party would be the Memphis Grizzlies. Utah would move Wright's $2.8 million salary to Memphis, with Memphis getting a mixture cash and draft picks.

If this deal is legit, the mixture of cash and picks to Memphis should not include the Knicks' pick that the Jazz have. Why? With Boozer's exit imminent, Utah needs to replace his scoring more than anything.

Let's talk scoring options and strategy: Is Deron Williams now Utah's 1st option when it comes to putting the ball in the basket? If so, that is a dramatic departure from how the Jazz's offense has been run under Frank Layden and Jerry Sloan. Moreover, Williams as a 1st option also does not play to his strengths of running the offense and distributing the basketball. He was actually our leading scorer last year, but I think most would agree that a) this is attributed to the injury-riddle season; and b) the Jazz's 8th-place finish and quick first-round exit is not satisfactory.

Historically, the Jazz have had the most success with their 4 being scoring option #1. Does Paul Millsap become the 1st option just like Malone and Boozer were? If so, Jazz fans should not expect Millsap to produce similar point totals. Millsap does a lot of great things, but anyone who paid attention last season saw that his numbers went way down when teams recognized how Utah was using him and adjusted their defense accordingly. In particular, Millsap struggles when defended by someone with great length. And without another scoring option to draw this type of defender elsewhere, the Jazz will not be successful with Millsap being their 1st option on offense.

Maybe there will be no "1st Option". Maybe Okur, Brewer, Miles and/or Kirilenko pick up the slack. Before Joe Dumars destroyed the Pistons by trading for Allen Iverson, their version of this model was successful. Who was their first option? Billups? Sheed? Rip Hamilton? Tayshaun Prince? Its hard to say. Regardless, the Jazz will need to get points from somewhere, and the proposal mentioned above, like others we've seen, does not solve this problem by itself. Thus, keeping that draft pick and hoping for a terrible upcoming season from the Knicks may be the Jazz's best solution.


Orlando said...

Udonis Haslem is about as close of a clone to Paul Millsap as exists in the NBA. Getting him just means we have a similar power forward on the bench.

The Jazz will struggle to score next year. The Knicks pick cannot be included in this trade. If anything, Memphis is getting some second rounders for their troubles.

(P.S. I loved your joke about CJ Miles picking up the scoring slack).

Draft Guru said...

While Udonis Haslem is a nice piece for a possible trade, I'd expect/hope we'd get more out of the deal than just him (Boozer > Haslem... by a large margin). We at least ought to be the recipients of future picks and cash considerations (not Memphis).

It's true. This type of trade would be a move for the future... relying on the Knick's pick (and hopefully Miami's) in 2010 to replenish our roster with talent. Without Boozer, next year could be a struggle for us. AK, Memo, Millsap and Brewer will have to step up.

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