You Know What’s Cool?

February 28th, 2011 | by Mychal

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?

Overpriced Groceries

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.

 

Do you really want to pay $18 for milk?

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.

A Billion Dollars Cool

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.

 

If Favors was stock he'd be Apple pre-iPod. Buy now.

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.”

 

Mychal

Latest posts by Mychal (see all)

  • no-cover
    Uncategorized
    6
    November 19th, 2012

    JazzRank 2: Al Jefferson

    Easily the most consistently powerful emotion I feel when I watch Mad Men is guilt. Obviously I feel a healthy degree of...Read More

  • JazzRank 4: Gordon Hayward
    Gordon Hayward
    0
    November 13th, 2012

    JazzRank 4: Gordon Hayward

    I should begin this JazzRank entry on Gordon Hayward with the following disclaimer: If you’re expecting me to do anything...Read More

11 Comments

  1. Ashly Mae says:

    Only have one thing to say…Mychal, you are cool.

  2. Gussomer says:

    The author states “Then in the next (i.e., 2012) draft they will have 2 more lottery picks.”

    I understand the Jazz will have the Golden State draft pick in 2012 and I presume they will also have their own first round pick, but I do not understand how these can be determined to be lottery picks. Can you elaborate please.

  3. Mychal says:

    @Gussomer, The possibility for two lottery picks in 2012 is if the Jazz were to miss the playoffs in 2012 they would then own their own 2012 1st round pick and Golden State’s 1st round. It should be remembered that Golden State’s is protected 1-7. So if it were to fall anywhere from 1-7 the Jazz would have to wait another year before receiving it. Good question.

  4. Gussomer says:

    I would be surprised if the Jazz are not a playoff team next year, thus eliminating any chance for that second coveted lottery pick. With all of our rookies and Al Jefferson having a year under their belt…and with hopefully a SG signed in the offseason, I see the Jazz being much improved. But, certainly the future looks glowing!

  5. josepi says:

    So how will a new CBA affect this plan? My thinking is that with lower max contracts the Jazz will also be buying their next players for less than all of the teams that maxed out their caps this year for the forseable future. The Miami Heat, LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls won’t have cap room again for a few years, vs the Jazz who could potentially have a lot of young and especially cheap talent from the draft and still have money to sign great veteran roll players. Am I right?

  6. ITSTHEHYPE says:

    Fantastic article also a great reference to the social network coolest line in the movie. Jazz are defiantly a front court driven team, although as much as i hate to say it i think Millsap needs to be moved for some assets, maybe not this year but, in the next year and a half. In part because i don’t think he is long enough to compete in the playoffs and we have Favors who is gunna beast. I heard through twitter that Phoenix was looking to get him for Lopez and Pietrus? My feeling is that we could probably get more. Not so high on Lopez. Maybe during the 2011 draft get some decent wings, Upcoming picks or a Quality Center? Thoughts?

  7. Wasatch says:

    Mychal, you make it seem as if the Jazz were smart and knew what they were doing all along. Please. They have flushed 68 million dollars down the toilet by paying that to Kirilenko. Thats more than what Stockton made in his ENTIRE career . Are you kidding me? And I dont buy that they would have gotten only bad contracts in return for a AK trade. They had a chance to trade for Marion whose contract was expiring earlier than AK’s, 3 years back. They didnt proceed with that. I remember two more trade offers with Vince and T-Mac which would have gotten ride of the AK contract earlier.
    Giving him that contract and deciding to not trade him for the duration was the single biggest franchise mistake in the last 10 years. I am not sure how you can defend that . All the mess that happened this year would not have happened if AK was’nt here.
    Deron was more frustrated at the management than Sloan, but he vented it out on his coach on a day to day basis, because that’s whom he interacts with the most. If the Jazz had managed to get a darn shooting guard after Hornacek left they could have avoided plenty of mess.

    And it is funny how the idiots in the SLC media are justifying this Deron’s trade and missing the big point. The big point is NOT whether we should have traded Deron or not(I think we would have, at some point) but how did we even arrive here? That is the big point.

    Until last year KOC was talking about having patience in young guys and “internal improvement” to make the team championship-worthy. Only a year later , the team is all blown up and we are back to 2003-2004. In other words, within 6 years we have had to rebuild twice. Does anyone in SL tribune or Deseretnews have the guts to criticize KOC/miller and point out how this previous rebuiding exercise has been a failure? No. They are all busy toeing the company’s line and calling how great of a trade this is and how the genius KOC managed to net us a lotto pick like Favors for Deron.

    From a team that made it to WCF just 3 years back, we have regressed to a team that might not make the playoffs at all this year.
    And in all this, Kirilenko has somehow managed to outlast Larry Miller, Jerry Sloan, Phil Johnson and Deron.

    Shame, shame. Utter mismanagement.

  8. Wasatch says:

    And adding to above, the prospect of accumulating first round picks in a weak-ass draft class like 2011 is’nt all the exciting, especially considering the history of Jazz’s first round draft performance in the last 10 years. The picks have a bright chance of being even more underwhelming than Gordon Hayward. And even Favors is’nt a surefire all star either. The guy has potential but it remains to be see how he develops that potential into a winning game. Lack of competetive fire is something that Favors has been criticized for, a lot.

  9. Wasatch says:

    “I would be surprised if the Jazz are not a playoff team next year, thus eliminating any chance for that second coveted lottery pick. With all of our rookies and Al Jefferson having a year under their belt…and with hopefully a SG signed in the offseason, I see the Jazz being much improved. But, certainly the future looks glowing!

    Right, thats what everybody ssaid 3 years back. For the Jazz it is always about the “future”. It is always the next year, the next decade. Not now. When it comes time to pay Fvors they might cheap out again like they did with Wes or Boozer. here are no guarntees that we might be able to re-sign all these young guys once these rokie contracts are up.

    Greg Miller is a cold calculating bastard. Making the playoffs is more important for him than winning a championship. He needs to make the playoffs to watch his bottomline- a loyal season ticketholder fanbase. Beyond that anything else is gravy. Championship? who cares? If it comes fine, if not we’ll just try to field a “competetive” team and keep selling the BS that the Jazz are contending for a championship. This strategy has worked well for him these past years, except for Fragilenko’s contract

    • Mychal says:

      @Wasatch First of all thank you for reading. Always appreciate another perspective. All the points you presented are very good points. Most of which I had no intention of covering in this post. But to answer some of your points:

      Kevin O’Connor does not have a crystal ball. I know we wish that our GMs are infallible but they are bound to make mistakes. I did not write this to exonerate any individual. In my opening paragraph I said I did not write this to touch on that subject. But since you brought it up let’s talk about AK’s contract extension. When AK was given his max contract he had just pulled off one of the best all-around seasons by a player. He had accomplished the 5 x 5 multiple times. He was a defensive force to be reckoned with. He was highly sought after. If the Jazz didn’t sign him to a max contract there would have been other teams who would have gladly done it for them. AK’s fall from grace would be the equivalent of Kevin Love getting signed to a max contract after this year and never coming near to the rebounding force he once was. KOC is not a moron for signing him. He thought he had one of the best all-around players to ever grace the game. AK wasn’t even near his prime at the time. No one knew he would regress like he has.

      Now on to the bad contracts. You seem to see that AK’s trade value is not very high. So if you were a GM from an opposing team and the Jazz were to offer him for an up and coming player and 2 of your solid rotation players would you pull the trigger? Of course not. Even if you are a team that’s rebuilding and trying to cut salary you would want some incentive for taking on a player who does not play to his value. You would expect the team to scratch your back because you are doing a huge favor by taking 17 million dollars off their books. You would undoubtedly ask the Jazz for some draft picks, ask for them to take a player that has not panned out for you, and then you might be willing to part with what the Jazz asked you for. Trades like this are like asking your buddy to take the bar tab for their full night of drinking. If they’re leaving with the girl you want to be compensated for doing your friend a favor because you don’t get any benefits for just paying out of your pocket for something you never got the chance to enjoy.

      I personally don’t think the Jazz will be the playoff team next year. Honestly I hope they aren’t. The Jazz have a chance to pull an “OKC”. I miss D-Will as much as the next guy but there is a reason that a PG driven team has only won the championship ONCE (Isaiah Thomas led Pistons). Jazz also are doing a preemptive strike before the new CBA. If the Jazz took on huge salaries and the salary cap was decreased (which it will be; just a question of how much it will) they are putting themselves in a great position to take advantage and be in a position to make a great move. With Deron they would have been tied up financially with limited flexibility. With the prospect of a franchise tag being available in the new era of the CBA re-signing Favors won’t be a big deal. Plus the coaches job is to think about now, the GM’s job is to think about the future. KOC was doing his job.

      Remember when the Sonic’s sold the farm and traded Ray Allen and started the rebuilding process? They got some skinny kid named KD out of it and accrued draft picks that resulted in Westbrook, Ibaka, Green, Harden, and Aldrich. Who thinks that was a bad move now? Rebuilding is always a brutal process. It takes a leap of faith. I see your point how the 2011 draft will be weak but it will be weak because young players are worried about the new CBA and are waiting til the next year. If the Jazz miss the playoffs in 2012 they will have two draft picks in a DEEP 2012 draft.

  10. Wasatch says:

    “Plus the coaches job is to think about now, the GM’s job is to think about the future. KOC was doing his job.

    Yeah, his job is to always think about 5 years from now, not the present season. Whereas GMs of other teams, notably the elite teams are always looking to win NOW.
    They make moves to win now, not after 5 years.

    Look I am not criticizing the Deron trade at all.
    But do you admit that this previous rebuilding exercise was a failure? It is funny how no one wants to talk about it and everyone has already moved on to Favors. KOC was talking about championship contention until last year and within a year everything has been turned upside down and we are back to square one. If I did a job like that in my office I would be fired. This team has regressed every year since 2006-2007 until it has become a lotto team and NOTHING was done to fix that. Is’nt that a failure? Where is the shooting guard that everyone including Deron had been demanding these past few years? It never came. They let go of Wes, Boozer, Korver. And they stuck to Fragilenko.

    “So if you were a GM from an opposing team and the Jazz were to offer him for an up and coming player and 2 of your solid rotation players would you pull the trigger? Of course not. Even if you are a team that’s rebuilding and trying to cut salary you would want some incentive for taking on a player who does not play to his value”

    Jazz were actually offered Marion and they refused it. Dumb or one-sided trades happen all the time. Look at the Gasol trade. We ourselves got Al Jefferson for virtually nothing.
    So I dont buy that AK was untradeable.I definitely would have taken a disgruntled player from another team, like say Marion, if his contract was coming off the books earlier than AK’s. Even throw in a pick or two. It doesnt matter. Jazz were going to pick in the late first round mostly anyways, since they had a winning team back then. They bungled it up by not pushing to trade AK aggressively. And I suspect it was as much because of Larry Miller’s idiotic emotional attachment to certain players as it was due to KOC’s ineptitude.

    I dont know what they were expecting for AK. Lebron? AK was a 18 mil/yr guy playing like a 8 mil/yr guy, at best. So they were going to get only an above-average player in exchange for him. You just take the money and run.

    And with regards to future, I dont quite share the unbridled optimisim that you seem to have. Why?

    Because, there are a lot of ifs and buts for the Jazz to become even a playoff contender let alone be a champonship contender. Their picks would have to be good which is not a guarantee.
    “I see your point how the 2011 draft will be weak but it will be weak because young players are worried about the new CBA and are waiting til the next year.”

    Nope, even other wise it is considered weak, based on mock drafts. And the Jazz dont draft well at all in first round, which is another area of failure for KOC. Look at all the first round busts that we have had in the last decade. Except for Deron, who was a no-brainer pick anyways at No.3

    And the Jazz would have to pay atleast two more stars besides Favors(if at all he develops into one) in order to be a contender. That will always be a perennial challenge. Getting that one star has not been difficult for the Jazz, but getting the right kind of supporting cast around him and paying them has been the problem.

    why do you think that would change? SLC is not a great destination for NBA free agents anyways. Which means, retaining current players would be as much of a challenge if not more than getting new players for this team.

    I see no championship contention for next 3 years.This, from a team which made it to WCF in 2006-2007.Meanwhile KOC can go ahead and plan for the year of 2020 because it is always about the next decade for the Jazz.

    Do they have a vision for bringing a championship to this city? Apparently not.
    If you read the company vision or goal of this management it would say “Do whatever it takes to field a “competetive” team that would keep the regular season ticket holders hopeful and try to keep making the playoffs. And sell bullshit to the fans about aiming for a championship i the meantime”.

Leave a Reply