The King of Wishful Thinking

February 24th, 2011 | by K.Malphurs

In 1990 the British band Go West came out with the song “King of Wishful Thinking.” It is equal parts catchy and annoying. Check out the lyrics and you might see some similarities with the Utah Jazz situation right now. Anyway, in the interest of getting over Deron Williams I want to provide the extreme optimistic view on the trade.

  • Devin Harris – Will be 85% the point guard of Deron Williams at 50% the cost. This will provide the Jazz with a solid point guard and financial flexibility.
  • Nets 1st round draft pick 2011– Right now the Jazz have a 6.3% chance of winning the 1st pick. In an ideal world the Nets will keep losing and the Jazz will end up with a top 3 pick that they use on Kyrie Irving. Irving then becomes a superstar point guard.
  • Warriors 1st round pick 2012– In this scenario the Jazz are set at point guard (Irving and Harris), power forward (Millsap and Favors) and center (Jefferson and Okur). They Jazz would use this probable late lottery pick on a dynamic wing. This wing player will be combined with a Hayward for a young, productive nucleus at shooting guard/small forward.
  • Derrick Favors – This is the ultimate stretch, but stay with me for a second. Not many NBA players were really good at 19 years old. Favors was a highly regarded high school prospect (#3 according to rivals) and a highly drafted prospect (3rd pick last year). He has been relatively productive (WS/48 of 0.9) in limited minutes with the Nets. He is a good rebounder and shoots a high percentage. There are obvious faults (outside shooting and passing ability are the primary ones I see), but again he is only 19 years old and from all indications has a ton of talent. Now I know this isn’t fair and I am certainly not making any predictions based on this, but check out the comparasion between Derrick Favors rookie year and Kevin Garnett’s rookie year. Both were high draft picks, who played the post on terrible teams. 

I decided to compare Favors as a 19 year old with other highly drafted post players to see how his numbers compared to other players numbers as either a 19 year old, a rookie or both. Below is the comparisonof the advanced stats with the numbers highlighted in green being better than Favors and the red numbers being worse than Favors. The stronger the color determines the degree of difference. If the cell is not highlighted then the numbers are very similar to Favors current numbers:

The summary is that it doesn’t look like Favors is going to be a bust like Darko, Curry, or Kwame Brown. However, the flip side is that I wouldn’t bet on Favors being as productive as Love or Howard. Since I am being optimistic though I decided to focus on the remarkable similarities in offensive rating, defensive rating and WS/48 between KG and Favors.

Anyway, the goal of this post is to provide optimism to the Jazz fans that might be spending too much time refreshing Chad Ford’s mock draft lottery. The draft is four months away and it is looking more and more likely that June 23rd is going to be an important day for the Jazz organization.


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  1. E. Stevens says:

    Enjoyed the analysis. Solid work! Here’s to hoping he has a Malone-like work ethic, and the ability (and humility) to learn from Big Al and Millsap.

  2. CJ in Brooklyn says:

    The chart is very helpful.

  3. Jovan says:

    I’m a freshman at USC majoring in print journalism, but NBA writing in particular. Please check out my analysis and thoughts on the trade! Thanks!

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