In 2004 the Jazz gave up Keon Clark and Ben Handlogten in a trade with the Phoenix Suns, who had recently fleeced the New York Knicks. It was one of those strange trades that still don’t make much sense, but it worked out great for the Jazz*. Clark and Handlogten never played a minute for any other NBA team besides the Jazz. Somehow the Jazz got Gugliotta, a 2004 1st round draft pick and this protected Knicks pick. Here’s how NBA.com described the trade before the draft:
It was Feb. 19, 2004, when O’Connor and the Jazz sent backup centers Handlogten and Clark (who played in two games for Utah) to the Suns. In return, they got Gugliotta, the No. 16 pick in 2004 (Kirk Snyder), a 2005 second-round selection (which they traded), cash, and the Knicks’ No. 1 pick, a pick they probably coulnd’t use until some ridiculous wait forever into the future — 2010. Phoenix had no idea it would turn into this. No one did, because it was impossible to see the Summer of LeBron coming six years away.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh gets the heartache, but not the blame. His predecessor, Isiah Thomas, did the deal (on Jan. 5, 2004) to acquire Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski from the Suns for Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Maciej Lampe, the rights to Milos Vujanic and two first-round picks. Phoenix flipped one of the picks to the Jazz about six weeks later.
*Side note – Coincidentally, the Jazz played the Knicks in Madison Square Garden the day after the trade was announced. The scoring leaders for the Knicks that day were Stephon Marbury, Tim Thomas, Shandon Anderson (remember him Jazz fans?) and Penny Hardaway. That’s how long ago the trade happened. Oh yeah, the Jazz won 92-78. The ESPN recap began thusly: “Stephon Marbury had an unhappy 27th birthday, getting booed at Madison Square Garden in a Friday night fiasco.”
With the 9th pick in the 2010 NBA draft the Jazz took Gordon Hayward from Butler University to help replace the impending departures of Kyle Korver and Wes Matthews. Hayward was America’s darling after leading Bulter to the NCAA title game and very nearly winning the whole thing. Unfortunately for Hayward, his whiteness and overall appearance as a tall Jr. Jazz player, combined with the built up anticipation Jazz fans had after waiting years to steal the pick from the Knicks led to boos in the ESA on draft night.
The season is only 12 games old and Hayward is still four months away from being able to order a beer at the bar. Even future All-Star Deron Williams struggled was benched for Keith McLeod for 32 games. Still I can’t help but worry about Hayward. Here are the top 5 things that worry me:
It’s too soon to worry about Gordon Hayward, but it is hard not ignore the signs. If only one or two of the above were true, it might be easier to shake off my concerns. It also might be easier to hear my former Stats professors screaming “small sample size.” Instead, as pointed out by fellow SCH contributor Mychal Lowman, I find myself cheering for him like a supportive parent rather than a fan. I keep thinking “Good job, Hayward. Good eye, son.” Which is not what we should expect from a number 9 pick in the draft.
Kevin O’Connor has a smug way of trying to prove people wrong through his personnel decisions but it stings to see Wesley Matthews dropping 30 points in Portland and have Hayward just looking thrilled to be there.
To his credit, Hayward seems mentally strong and understands that it’s a long season and he’s still adjusting to the NBA. His teammates like him and everyone in the organization seems prepared to be patient and allow him to make progress without a lot of pressure. The upcoming homestand for the Jazz will be a great opportunity for Hayward to make some progress.