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  • New Year's Resolutions

     
    Walking back to the court for the second half of Wednesday’s game in Minnesota, one of the Target Center security officers stopped me to ask if I was a Jazz player or coach. I thought it should have been obvious given that I was carrying a laptop and notepad.
    After getting back to my seat, I realized what I should have said: Neither, but I like to think of myself as a general manager sometimes. With that in mind, it’s time to offer some New Year’s resolutions and suggestions for the Jazz as they go forward with an 18-14 record.
    That includes a just-completed 8-7 December. I don’t doubt that the Jazz will put together a nice run at some point in January and February - - they have each of the previous two seasons - - but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look at some things now.
    1. Reach conclusions about Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Miles, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews.
    Three of the Jazz’s four wings will be free agents this summer, so it’s important for the Jazz to prioritize who they want to bring back and who they would be willing to watch leave. I’ve often thought about it in terms of having a pot of money - - let’s say $8 million or $9 million for the position - - and trying to decide how to spend it.
    You can make an argument for each of the four. The Jazz have made no small investment in the development of Miles and Brewer. Both have high ceilings that they haven’t come close to reaching. Korver can be a reliable shooter and key contributor if healthy. Matthews has been a great fit from the day he arrived and is both young and cheap.
    Maybe you decide to commit to Miles and Brewer while trading Korver this season or allowing him to sign elsewhere. Maybe you trade Miles and commit to re-signing Brewer as a restricted free agent while making an offer to Korver. The key point is, there are a lot of things for the Jazz to consider with this group of four.
    2. Commit to one of the young centers.
    From the day they drafted Kosta Koufos, I wrote about the difficulty in trying to develop two young centers simultaneously in Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko. They are different players, but the Jazz have had trouble finding minutes for one, let alone both. How much have Fesenko and Koufos played this season? Did you guess 256 combined minutes?
    Their opportunities to play have been sporadic at best. I felt for them in the Orlando loss, with Fesenko getting summoned from the bench cold late in the third quarter and Koufos in the final seconds of the fourth. They’ve been caught in a downward cycle where they’ve struggled in the minutes they’ve been given, which leads to even fewer opportunities.
    I think the Jazz would have the most success in trying to turn one of them into a player by parting ways with the other. It also might give them a small measure of cap and tax relief, trading Fesenko or Koufos for a future second-round pick, for example.
    (Fesenko, by the way, threw down a dunk off a rebound drill at the end of shootaround Wednesday in Minnesota - - it feels like a week ago - - that was so ridiculous, it just makes you shake your head. He is a freak of a big man with his size and athleticism. The question is whether he'll ever put it all together.)
    3. Decide whether there’s a player on the trade market worth giving up the No. 8 pick for.
    Going into the season, the unprotected first-round pick the Jazz were owed from New York looked like it would deliver a franchise-changing player to Utah. Now it’s looking more like a mid- to late-lottery selection, with far greater unpredictability.
    If the lottery was held today, the Jazz would have only the eighth-best chance of winning or moving up thanks to the Knicks’ recent success. A No. 8 pick could bring the Jazz a future star. However, it also could bring them a one-year college player who will need several seasons to develop, which doesn’t work with the current Deron Williams timetable.
    The Jazz would do well to ask whether there’s a player worth acquiring even if it costs them the pick. Not only could the Jazz add a more proven talent (albeit with a long-term and potentially inflated contract), they could use the pick as sweetener to move a bad contract of their own.
    There’s players out there that make a lot of sense for the Jazz - - Caron Butler is one that leaps to mind - - but we’ll see in what direction other teams decide to go.
    4. Resurrect Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko
    After signing a two-year contract extension last summer, Mehmet Okur has struggled all season, including his 4-for-17, six-turnover nightmare Thursday. This is especially problematic as Okur is signed through the 2011-12 season. It’s imperative that the Jazz do everything to salvage Okur’s season and get him headed in a positive direction.
    Kirilenko remains the most expensive bench player not named Tracy McGrady in the league. If he played like he did in the Jazz’s victory over New York in November, there wouldn’t be any problem. However, Kirilenko’s inconsistency is maddening and his contract contributed to the Jazz having to give up Eric Maynor to ease their luxury-tax burden.
    Feel free to contribute any of your own resolutions for the Jazz. We all know that everybody who watches their fair share of games likes to think of themselves as a general manager sometimes, too.
    --Ross Siler
     



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  • #2
    Re: New Year's Resolutions

    Set Fess free and let him play!!

    I just don't know about the NY pick anymore. I worry that if the Jazz trade it away, the Knicks will suddenly go on a 30 game losing streak.

    I think you enjoy the game more if you don't know the rules. Anyway you're on the same wavelength as the referees. ~Jonathan Davies, 1995

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    • #3
      Re: New Year's Resolutions

      Originally posted by paterooski View Post
      Set Fess free and let him play!!
      Move Memo and split his minutes between Kosta and Fess.

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      • #4
        Re: New Year's Resolutions

        (Fesenko, by the way, threw down a dunk off a rebound drill at the end of shootaround Wednesday in Minnesota - - it feels like a week ago - - that was so ridiculous, it just makes you shake your head. He is a freak of a big man with his size and athleticism. The question is whether he'll ever put it all together.)
        That just makes me sick to read. Lose some weight and get in shape, Fess.

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        • #5
          Re: New Year's Resolutions

          Originally posted by WeberJazz View Post
          That just makes me sick to read. Lose some weight and get in shape, Fess.

          Or is that Osterfess.

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          • #6
            Re: New Year's Resolutions

            (Fesenko, by the way, threw down a dunk off a rebound drill at the end of shootaround Wednesday in Minnesota - - it feels like a week ago - - that was so ridiculous, it just makes you shake your head. He is a freak of a big man with his size and athleticism. The question is whether he'll ever put it all together.)

            That just makes me sick to read. Lose some weight and get in shape, Fess.
            Greg Miller - make him spend a summer with the Mailman. It would work wonders. It did for Donyell Marshall. Malone has been retired for 5 years and is still in better shape than most players on the Jazz.

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