18 December 2011
5. Utah Jazz
Young stud? Maybe | Cap situation? Getting there. | Likely lottery picks? One (Golden State)
I know what you're thinking: how can the Nets and Warriors not be on this list but the Jazz can? It's a fair question given that they have two near All-Star veterans in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. But the Hornets just copied what the Jazz did last season with Deron Williams: trade the superstar for rebuilding pieces. And I'm not convinced that Jefferson and Millsap aren't next on the list. Not with promising bigs Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings and a host of contenders looking for scoring on the block.
Record-wise, this is a rebuilding organization, too. Forget the final split -- the Jazz were an atrocious 8-17 following the Williams trade. That's a 26-win season translated to a full 82 games season. (I know, who plays 82 games anymore?) The Jazz have a base reinforced with promise in Kanter and Favors and they could be ready to crash the playoff scene in 2013-14.
Their books will be wide open after 2012-13 -- sooner if they unload Devin Harris and their bigs in the near future. The Jazz may be No. 5 on this list right now, but they could be No. 1 by season's end. The seeds are planted.
From Tom Haberstroh ESPN INSIDER...
I have to be honest, I think we are one or two trades away from turning things completely around. I don't know who, but I like the idea of trading Millsap and CJ for a pick and a proven two. I would imagine that during draft time we could trade our first round picks and a player to move up into the top three or four. So we trade our 7 and 11ish picks (assuming we get our 11 and GS's 7) and Jefferson/Millsap to Washington for their two or Sacramento's three pick. Obviously these are just hypotheticals. Just some quick thoughts on the above information.
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