A Few Players the Jazz Would Love to Have Back

September 22nd, 2013 | by Kyle Hunt

Everyone makes poor relationship decisions at one time or another. Whether it’s letting an unhealthy relationship go on too long or cutting a good thing short, we’ve all experienced the feelings of relief, nausea, and confusion that directly follow a breakup. Sometimes you end a relationship because it’s truly for the best, but other times you regret the decision almost as soon as you say “goodbye”.  Interestingly enough, relationship mistakes are just as common in professional sports as they are in the dating world.  No one will soon forget the famous “Curse of the Bambino” that resulted from the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth, or the Oilers parting ways with Wayne Gretzky, or the Oklahoma City Thunder refusing to pay James Harden his money last summer.

If you think about it, the Jazz have also made their share of relationship mistakes over the course of their history. Some of their dismissals have been applauded, while others have left a painful sting that won’t soon diminish. It’s never easy to find a player who puts up consistent numbers, but once you do, you need to hold onto them like the whole future of the franchise depends on it—because it does. As Jazz fans, we’re not torn up about parting ways with players like C.J. Miles, DeShawn Stevenson, or Kosta Koufos, but we do care about the ones that actually made an impact. If the Jazz want to avoid vetting their roster of talented players unnecessarily, someone needs to point out where they went wrong. To help with this, I’ve compiled a list of the players the Jazz should have never let go.

  1. Deron Williams – This is complicated. Clearly Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams had a strained relationship, but looking back, couldn’t someone figure out a way to mend it? Deron Williams is the best player the Jazz have seen since Stockton and Malone and the only one to take the Jazz past the first round of the playoffs since that era. During his career in Utah he averaged over 20 points, 10 assists, and 1 steal per game. There is no doubt in my mind Williams could have done great things with the young team of today. I heard recently that Williams actually endorsed Sloan for the Nets head coaching job after they released P.J. Carlesimo. Now that Sloan is in Utah again, couldn’t we work something out?
  2. Dominque Wilkins – Unfortunately, the Jazz didn’t even give this one a chance. Utah drafted “The Human Highlight Film” with the third overall pick in 1982 but shipped him off to Atlanta the very same day.  Just imagine ‘Nique performing his nightly acrobatics in a Jazz uniform. In his glory days, Nique averaged nearly 30 points per game and just over 6 rebounds.
  3. Kyle Korver – Say what you want about his rock star hair, but Kyle Korver can shoot lights out. In his final year with the Jazz, Korver averaged 53% from beyond the arc – setting a single season NBA record. He also currently holds the 12th position on the list of all-time leaders in 3 point percentage, in addition to his 87% average from the charity stripe. How did the Jazz allow Korver to leave as a free agent?
  4. Al Jefferson-Granted Big Al and Korver both left as free agents, but the Jazz could really use Jefferson’s strong post play and consistent rebounding in 2013-14. In his three seasons with the Jazz, Jefferson averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. On a team filled with young talent, Big Al would have been a much needed veteran presence and a nightly scoring threat. Hopefully someone else can step up in his stead, or else…


Kyle Hunt

Kyle Hunt

Kyle Hunt is an avid sports fan who follows college and pro basketball extremely close. He is a regular college basketball contributor for the Deseret News and runs his own sports blog in his spare time. During the day Kyle works as a digital marketing analyst, improving the credibility and web presence of more than 25 high-spend clients.
Kyle Hunt

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  1. Claudemir says:

    Al Jefferson? Are u kidding? hahaha

  2. casey says:

    Big Al eh?? Hmmm….. I’m not sure how many ppl are going to be missing big al :P

  3. Jay Gold says:

    I liked where you were going until I saw Al on the list. Personally, I don’t think I could possibly be less torn about letting him go.

  4. Dwilde1 says:

    You totally missed the point of this last off seasin didn’t you. You must be bored trying to find anything to write about. Even some thing as rediculous as this stupid article.

  5. Brett says:

    If we had been able to keep Dominique we would not have drafted Malone (as they played the same position). We might have been a better team and therefore maybe missed Stockton as well. As for me I would much rather have those two and Wilkins. He only averaged that many points because he was a volume scorer, not an efficient scorer like Malone.
    As for Big Al – No Defense + No Passing once he got the ball = Bad team player. Glad he is gone!!

  6. Berik says:

    Big Al? yeah I will not miss Big Al at all. Sure he put up numbers but man was i sick of his lack of defense and how much he screwed up the offense with his ball hog mentality! To be effective on offense you have to move the ball, and quickly! every time Big Al got the ball I just wanted to rip my hair out. He would stand there holding the ball for 10-15 seconds then shoot a stupid jumper or “push shot”. Maybe he would of made a difference if he would of taken the ball to the rim more often and got the other teams big guys in foul trouble and gotten to go to the free throw line where he shot a pretty decent percentage. I am with you Brett, Big Al “bad team player”

  7. JR Stewart says:

    DWil, DFav, DWil, DFav, oh and I forgot about Enes the Menace and the rest of the trade package, plus the cap flexibility. Can the Jazz keep all the trade goodies and get him back at a reasonable salary?

    The Jazz needed the $1m to meet payroll or fold. Keep Nique, no Jazz.

    Kyle was a victim of too many overpaid players and not enough salary, the Jazz would have loved to keep him, but couldn’t afford him due to overpaying prior players.

    Big Al? Big salary Al? Black hole Al? Ball stopper Al? Great mentor and guy, but what will the defense be without him?

    So, I guess I can give you Kyle.

    What about Wesley Matthews?


  8. Roy Smith says:

    You lost credit with DWill. I lost interest at Big Al.

  9. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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