Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mailman

It's only fitting that the Mailman's birthday is celebrated on the same day as the Days of '47 celebration in the state of Utah. The Mailman was one of the great men to come through this state. No question... he was a warrior.

"I hope someday somebody will walk up to my kid without me there, and say, 'Let me tell you about your dad.' And I hope it's not anything sports related."

"A strain... What's a strain?" Good article from the D-News.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Way I See It...

The NBA free agency period is slowly starting to wind down and most players have made their intentions as to where they're going to play. Miami was the big winner this summer, while teams like Chicago and New York made a postive dent. It seems like the discrepancy between the "haves" and the "have-nots" has continued to widen. The Lakers seem to retool with an additional set of players to compliment their currently stacked roster, while teams like Golden State and Minnesota remain in stagnant mode. The West will once again be brutally tough and competitive for our Jazz. Here's how I see it shaking out... Everything hinges on the health of star players.

1. LA Lakers - Out goes Jordan Farmar and possibly Shannon Brown. In comes Steve Blake and Matt Barnes. The core remains remarkably the same... Kobe, Fisher, Artest, Odom, Gasol and Bynum. How do you stop this team? I envision another 3-peat on the horizon. Yuck!
2. Portland TrailBlazers - The rise of the Blazers will start this year. They're big... Oden, Camby, Pryz, Aldridge. They're athletic... Batum, Roy, Matthews. They're deep... Bayless, Fernandez, and Babbitt. And they're experienced... Dre Miller. This team is ready to blow up.
3. Dallas Mavericks - I don't know what to think of the Mavs. They're a solid regular season team with limited ability to win in the playoffs. With Dirk, they'll always be competitive. Perhaps this is the team that will drop out. But, I don't see it. Kidd, Marion, Butler, Terry and their youth (Beaubois and Jones) will keep them in the hunt.
4. Utah Jazz - Al Jefferson should have a huge year. He'll replace Boozer admirably. Millsap will get more opportunity. And we have the best point guard in the NBA. The Lakers always await us though...
5. OKC Thunder - OKC made the right moves this summer. They got bigger with Aldrich and added depth shooters with Daquan Cook and MoPete. Westbrook, Harden, and Green will improve and Durant will be an MVP candidate.
6. Denver Nuggets - Still much of the same for the Nuggets. Perhaps with the return of Coach Karl, the Nuggets could regain higher positioning in the West. However, nothing has changed with their team. Al Harrington will provide some additional bench scoring.
7. San Antonio Spurs - Tim Duncan won't allow this team to fall out of playoff contention. Despite getting older, the Spurs will still be a solid team. Perhaps they can improve with better continuity and the addition of Tiago Splitter from Euroball. However, Phoenix absolutely destroyed these guys in the playoffs last season and causes me to think... they could be done.
8. Houston Rockets - The Rockets will be the deepest team in the NBA. From player 1-12, they're very solid. With a healthy Yao, Houston could actually rise up to #4 or #5. Scola, Martin, Battier and Ariza will keep them in contention without Yao.
Phoenix - On first thought, losing Amare will be devastating to the Suns. Who will they play in the post? However, on second thought, Turkoglu, Childress, and Warrick were solid additions. This was a deep and talented team to begin with. Even without Amare, Phoenix could sneak into the playoffs.
New Orleans - The Hornets still have Chris Paul
LA Clippers - The Clipshow could easily rise from the ashes. They could be the most improved team from last year. Blake Griffin will make a huge difference.
Memphis - This team has improved over the summer. With a few breaks, the Griz could outlast another injury prone team for a playoff spot.
Sacramento - Youth. The team of the future.
Minnesota - A long ways to go...
Golden State - A longer ways to go...

Go Jazz!

Monday, July 19, 2010


From today's D News (not exactly sure why this wasn't the lead, instead of a piece on Kosta Koufos maybe getting traded from Minnesota to Cleveland):

PROPS FOR HAYWARD: Jazz newcomer Gordon Hayward was rated as the No. 1 rookie in summer-league play in the online Courtside Analyst's last data-based rankings (as of July 15).

Two players with NBA experience — third-year Memphis center Joey Dorsey and Denver sophomore Ty Lawson — ranked ahead of Hayward overall.

But the Jazz's No. 9 pick in last month's draft was rated ahead of the likes of top pick John Wall (10th), Evan Turner (9th), DeMarcus Cousins (5th), Wesley Johnson (13th) and Derrick Favors (15th) in the rankings that factor in a variety of statistics and results.

"The best rookie so far has been Utah's Gordon Hayward," wrote the author, tywill33. "He was exceptional in the Orlando Summer League."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Offer or Not to Offer

According to Wes Matthews... he was never offered a contract.
"They said that I was a priority, but they never made me an offer. They never offered me anything. I'm sure that if they would have made an offer, it would have been a fair offer and I might have taken it."
As a restricted free agent, the Jazz used the strategy of having Wes Matthews find his market value to determine his offer rather than offer him a contract outright. What should the Jazz do in situations like this one? Like Millsap, Wes Matthews was a restricted free agent. We had the opportunity to match any contract he came up with. The Jazz, I suppose, didn't want to bid against their own qualifying offer... and it came to bite us in the behind. Would Matthews have accepted a low-ball offer from the Jazz? I don't think so... but we'll never know. How should the Jazz have negotiated through this scenario?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raja and Wes

Welcome back Raja. You will clearly look mighty fly in white shorts.

Kevin O'Connor said this morning he was looking for a guard who could D up and shoot the three but that those were hard to find. Consider it found!

Maybe we'll get you back one day too, Wes. But for today it's good-bye. And good luck to Portland if they're handing out contracts like that.

One of the craziest offseasons ever for the Jazz appears to be coming to a close. Only time will tell how we do, but here's one fan who thinks we've improved.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bring Back Brew

I never fully understood why we traded Ronnie away. I suppose it was to open up more time for Wes Matthews and save us some money.
Now that big Wes Matthews has secured himself an outrageous long-term contract, it's time for the Jazz to reach out to Ronnie Brewer and bring him back home. I'll admit... Wes Matthews brought more to the table than Ronnie Brewer. He's a more complete player. But what if we signed Ronnie for $15M less? I think Ronnie will cost us just above $4M per season. I think this could be worth the exchange. Apparently, the possibility is more than real. Memphis just signed Tony Allen. And we're battling the Utah Jazz East (Chicago Bulls) for Ronnie's services. Other players we could reach out to (instead of matching Wes Matthews' contract) are Roger Mason, Shannon Brown, Antoine Wright, and maybe 19 pt 1st half... Joey Graham. These guys should come much cheaper than Wes and provide close to the same production. Plus, the Jazz need to make due with their mid-level and bi-annual exceptions. We still need to add a big guy (other than Fes) that will attempt to fill Boozer's empty shoes. Do any of these low budget PFs bring a cheap-gain appeal to our team? Sheldon Williams, Kwame Brown, Craig Smith, Josh Powell, DJ Mbenga, Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong, Ike Diogu, Lou Amundson, Anthony Tolliver... It's like we're buying Keds at the DI or something. We only have about $2-3M to spend on a post player. Hopefully, one of our summer league hopefuls, Augustine or Davidson, can make a difference in fall camp. As the great 80's group Bananarama once sang... It's a cruel summer! And it has been for the Jazz...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Matthews Mayhem

Boy, we're getting pilfered. This is kind of depressing. The Jazz are placed in a tough spot once again. Wesley Matthews just signed an offer sheet for 5 years and $34 million. Apparently, the offer sheet is front-loaded for $9 million next year.
I hope the Jazz are considering their options. They have 7 days to make a decision to match or not. Other "cheaper" options could be available. Ronnie Brewer might be one of those other options... to bring him back.
I'm happy for Wes Matthews. I raved about his play all last season. Going from undrafted to receiving a $34 million contract over the course of one season is an amazing success story. Kudos to him. As much as I like Wes, I don't think the Jazz should match the contract. Let Portland reap what they offered.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boozer To Chicago reports that Carlos Boozer has agreed to sign with the Chicago Bulls for 5 years and $80 million. If true... Best of luck in Chicago, Carlos. It's been a good run.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rookie Review

The Jazz signed their two NBA draft picks and recently announced the Rookie Team to play down in Orlando, Florida.

One of those players signed was Jeremy Evans of Western Kentucky. Evans will participate with the Rookie Team and was our 2nd Round draft pick this summer. If you're asking... "Who the blazes is Jeremy Evans?", then you're not the only one wondering. I've never heard of the guy. And I'm supposedly the "Draft Guru". Frankly, I remember watching him play once in the Sweet 16 with Courtney Lee, a couple of years back. I'm amazed we drafted him. He must have left an amazing impression on Jazz brass. Apparently, Evans is an athletic marvel... yet skinny (196 lbs) and under-developed for a 4-year senior. His numbers were very underwhelming... 10 pts, 7 boards, and 1.8 blocks per game. Perhaps he can prove us wrong during the Summer League.

I'm intrigued to follow our Jazz participants this summer. Of those who could potentially surprise are Jermareo Davidson, Paul Harris, and Tyrese Rice. Davidson possesses the requisite size, athleticism and length to play on the interior for the Jazz (6'10", 230). He had a solid career at Alabama and found opportunities to play in the NBA for Golden State and Charlotte. Harris nearly made the team last fall despite having ankle problems. He's a tremendous rebounder and defender for a guard (very similar to Othyus Jeffers). Rice can shoot and run a team. He's got great instincts at the point guard position. We'll have to see if anyone can replicate the success of one past summer league star, Wesley Matthews.

In this environment, I believe Sundiata Gaines and Othyus Jeffers ought to shine. They have the hunger, staying power and experience to prove they belong. Both guys put up awesome numbers at the D-League level against similar type of competition. It'll be interesting to see what our boy, Tadija Dragicevic, will do. I expect us to bring home the Summer League championship trophy this year, because we've got the tools and we've got the talent (It's Miller-time!). Anything less would be uncivilized...err...disappointing.
Go Rookies! Go Jazz!

Korver to the Knicks?

"The New York Post, meanwhile, reported Thursday that the New York Knicks 'have interest' in veteran Jazz shooting guard Kyle Korver as a fallback plan if other preferred scenarios don't play out."

That is a serious fallback plan.