Much has been said about the emotional toll the Deron Williams trade has brought upon Jazz fans. Much has been written on the cause of it. Much has been hypothesized with “what ifs”. I would like to touch on none of that today and look at the Jazz state of affairs as it stands right now. Where are the Jazz now and where are they going from here?
Many people were frustrated that the Jazz didn’t trade away Kirilenko’s albatross contract for a SG or Millsap for a capable wing. Why would they do that? They don’t know what this team is yet.
When I lived out in the middle of nowhere Montana I had two options for groceries. You could get groceries at the tiny grocery store in town and pay double what those groceries were worth for the convenience of not having to drive out of town, or you could make the hour drive for less expensive groceries and get a way better value for what you paid. If the Jazz would have traded for a SG using Kirilenko’s contract odds are they would have had to take at least 75% or more of his contract’s value back in salaries. Guaranteed most of those players’ salaries would not be expiring contracts. The Jazz would have been paying for overpriced groceries.
The Jazz have a chance in the next two drafts to select at least two guys from the lottery slots. On top of that they have a chance to select four players from the lottery slots. FOUR! What teams have four lottery picks in the next two drafts? Here’s another thing to think about: how many teams will have had 6 lottery picks from 2010-2012? 1. If the cards fall right the Jazz will end up drafting six times in the lottery in 3 drafts. The Jazz currently have Favors & Hayward, two possible in this draft, and two possible in 2012 draft. Let that melt over you like a warm butter.
There’s a scene in The Social Network where Mark Zuckerberg and his friend Eduardo are speaking with Sean Parker. Mark’s best friend Eduardo has been trying for weeks to convince Mark that they need advertising on this site to become profitable. Then there is this exchange in the movie:
Eduardo Saverin: “You know what, settle an argument for us. I’d say its time to start making money from theFacebook but Mark doesn’t want advertising. Who’s right?”
Sean Parker: “Neither of you, yet. TheFacebook is cool. That’s what it’s got going for it.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Yeah.”
Sean Parker: “You don’t want to ruin it with ads because ads aren’t cool.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Exactly.”
Sean Parker: “It’s like you’re throwing the greatest party on campus and someone saying it’s gotta be over by eleven.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “That’s exactly right.”
Sean Parker: “You don’t even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?”
Eduardo Saverin [giving evidence at the deposition]: “A billion dollars. And that’s what shut everybody up.”
To have compromised future cap flexibility for something that limits your progress in the future like bad contracts (which is what the Jazz would have received back to complete AK trade) would have been “throwing the greatest party on campus and someone saying it’s gotta be over by eleven.” Just to get a guy who is a proven commodity they would have had to give up future cap flexibility and take on a lot of salary.
The Jazz don’t even know what the Jazz are. Are they a PF-driven team? A Center-led team? If they draft Irving are they PG-driven? If they draft Barnes would they be SG-driven? To compromise all that flexibility now would be taking their chips down.
Right now the Jazz have something going for them. They have a future. With Deron Williams that future had the potential of ending in a disastrous way if he were to leave via free agency. The Jazz traded him for two players, Devin Harris and Derrick Favors, and 2 1st round draft picks. Those 2 1st round draft picks will most likely be lottery picks. Then in the next draft they will have 2 more lottery picks. They also have Ante Tomic in Europe who would be a mid to late 1st round pick if he were to enter the draft now. There’s a lot to be excited about.
As Sean Parker said, “You don’t even know what the thing is yet. How big it can get, how far it can go. This is no time to take your chips down. A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A Billion Dollars.”
People may have mocked the Jazz for trading Deron Williams now but do you remember what Eduardo said after Sean Parker made that remark?
“And that’s what shut everybody up.”