Today is question 19 of 20 questions to Jazz camp. If you have a question please submit it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @lockedonsports or facebook Locked on Sports
QUESTION 19 – Will Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson finish the year on the Jazz roster?
One out of every two questions submitted to me for the 20 questions was somewhat related to this issue. Both Jefferson and Millsap are free agents at the end of the season and the Jazz have two young players in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter on the roster so the question makes sense.
However, let me ask you why not? The Jazz were a playoff team last year with Jefferson and Millsap leading the way. This year the Jazz are attempting to move up in the Western Conference standings and Millsap and Jefferson were arguably the two best players on last year’s roster.
Moving into his third year Favors is hopefully ready for and will command a larger role Favors compliments the play of both Jefferson and Millsap, with Jefferson he adds a defensive presence and another player to work the glass, With Millsap the Jazz are terrifically athletic and Millsap’s superb mid range game will allow Favors to work inside or more on the pick and roll.
The simply answer to the question is I don’t know, but the paradigm of the question needs to be adjusted. The assumption is the Jazz can’t continue with all four bigs on the roster and again I would say why not?
They were a playoff team last year, Favors and Kanter should be better making the Jazz more formidable. Moreover, the Jazz could be one of the few teams in the NBA who can handle an injury to a front line player without a huge drop off.
Finally, the versatility of Millsap and his ability to play the three in the big line-up that was dominate defensively last year allows for more freedom for Tyrone Corbin in finding minutes for his players in the front court.
The Jazz have been very consistent about their plans. They are playing to win. If something is available that can make the team better then they will pull the trigger. However, the Jazz are not going to unload a high quality player simply because there is a supposed log jam without improving the team. The idea of a logjam of bigs is like too many good chocolate chip cookies or too much powder or too much …… I am not sure it exists.
One negative impact of the lockout is the Jazz were unable to learn a lot about different combinations . Jefferson only played 300 minutes with Favors last year and Millsap played just 170 with Favors at the 5. Therefore, there is still a lot be learned on how these players all complement each other.
If the Jazz are going to make a move with the front court it will be another franchise determining move. The Jazz are astutely taking in all the data, all the information and every opportunity to be certain that they make the correct decision. The beauty of how Kevin O’Connor built this situation is the Jazz have time to evaluate the situation to make sure they make the best decision possible.