The Utah Jazz have the deepest front court in the league. The have six legitimate big men that can all score who all have had nights were they themselves are the key to a Jazz victory. Their back court on the other hand leaves much to desire. They have average, at best, point guards all playing way more minutes than they should. The team is fighting to stay in the playoffs with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers hot on their heels. It is their inability to acquire a star in the lead guard position that will lead to them being caught and ultimately finishing their season on the outside looking in.
Up until the middle of last year, the Jazz had all-star Deron Williams manning the point. He was the catalyst for the whole offense. He always attracted double teams and created mismatch issues on every play. He has left for greener pastures with the Brooklyn Nets and the Jazz have been unable to replace him.
What they have done is brought in four veterans as stop gaps to play the point guard position. Due to their limited depth in the back court they end up playing two point guards at the same time hoping to use their passing abilities to get the ball to the big men. Unfortunately the lack of talent of each point guard leads to the opposition back court dominating. This is the single reason for their losses.
Mo Williams and Randy Foye get the majority of the minutes. Neither one of them is a true point guard. They are both shoot first guards without the mentality to get others involved. Williams has played for three other teams in the league and has been given a shot to start in every city. He has no issues scoring baskets but does have issues running the offense and playing defense. Foye has bounced around the league as well never really allowed the opportunity to run a team himself. He can fill up the stat in sheet in the points column but has the same issues as Williams.
Veterans Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson are their backups. Tinsley used to play with a New York city in your face attitude but is now just in it to cash checks. Watson is a capable backup with a high basketball IQ but shouldn’t be depended on to lead a team and play huge minutes. The combination of four point guards takes up almost fourteen and half million dollars in cap space. It’s a high sum to pay for what should be your bench players.
On the bright side, all four are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Their salary hits come off the cap and a lot of money will be freed up to sign or draft a quality point guard. There might be some interesting players available in free agency but like I have stated many times who wants to play in Utah if they had to choose? The best bet for the Jazz is to draft a point guard. That is how they acquired Deron Williams. He had to play in Utah. Unfortunately the draft isn’t heavy in franchise changing point guards. Therefore the team could trade one of their big men in a trade for the polished NBA point guard. Another option is missing the playoffs and hopefully receiving a high lottery pick to use in a trade.
Options are out there for the Jazz to get the point guard they need. The trade deadline is fast approaching and that might be the best avenue to trade one of their expiring contracts or a big man to solidify their point guard position for the future. The Jazz have always had their best shot at going deep into the playoffs with the likes of Williams and John Stockton paving the way for the team. Without that quality point guard the team will stay in the middle of the pack for years to come.
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