Players I'd Like to See in a Jazz Uniform
September 7, 2009 -
Occasionally when watching other teams I’ll think to myself, “Man, I’d like to see that guy in a Jazz uniform.” I remember always feeling that way about Jeff Hornacek when he was on the Phoenix Suns and would regularly torch the Jazz with a barrage of 3s whenever the two teams played. I was absolutely ecstatic the day I heard that Utah had traded for him.
With three weeks remaining until the start of training camp and nothing happening on the free agent or trade front, this seems like as good a time as any to list my top-3 potentially attainable players at each position that I would like to see the Jazz pursue. I use the “potentially attainable” disclaimer because as much as I would love to have LeBron or Dwight Howard on the Jazz, I’m not quite delusional enough to think that could ever happen.
Point Guard – This is the one position on the Jazz where the starting job is completely set in stone. On the other hand, backup point guard has been a revolving door of sub-par talent for years. Rather than scraping the bottom of the barrel for a decent PG content to play 10 minutes a game, I would prefer to see the Jazz pick up a combo guard who could give Deron some quality rest and also effectively play beside him in certain lineups.
1. Jason Terry – Explosive scorer and quick defender. Not likely that Dallas would let him go for anything Utah would be willing to offer, but you never know.
2. Kirk Hinrich – Good shooter, strong defender, and heady player. He is a little overpaid, but his skill set would be a great fit for the Jazz.
3. Mo Williams – The one that got away... and I’d love to have him back. I still can’t believe the Jazz failed to match his offer from Milwaukee a few years ago.
Shooting Guard – This position has been a continual weakness since Hornacek retired. Brewer has made nice progress recently but is really more suited as a small forward considering his lack of outside shooting. The Jazz need an SG who plays tough D, scores consistently, and can hit the three.
1. Eric Gordon – Young, explosive guard with a decent stroke who can also get to the rim. Undersized for a 2, but still a good perimeter defender. Tons of upside.
2. Rip Hamilton – Great shooter and solid defender. Would be great coming off screens in the Jazz offense. Not sure how much he has left, but I’d like to find out.
3. Courtney Lee – Really came on strong at the end of his rookie season. I just like his game. He’s a great shooter and excellent on-the-ball defender. The kid has star potential.
Small Forward – Not long ago, this was the strongest position on the team. In a few short years, however, Harpring’s health and Kirilenko’s productivity both took a nose dive. Depending on who they play beside on the wing, the Jazz need a small forward who’s a disruptive defender and can either get to the hoop or hit outside jumpers.
1. Caron Butler – Does most everything well. Not a great 3-pt shooter, but
deadly from mid-range. He’s also a good defender and passer.
2. Gerald Wallace – He’s like a mesh between Brewer and Kirilenko, but with a better offensive game. Need to pair him with a great shooter.
3. Shane Battier and Tayshaun Prince (tie) – Neither of these guys has gaudy statistics, but they are both great defenders and team players who can knock down open shots.
Power Forward – Now that Millsap has been signed, the Jazz could use a taller, athletic player behind him who can provide energy, rebounding, and shot blocking.
1. Josh Smith – Young and incredibly athletic. He would vastly improve the Jazz’ interior defense. He’s also quick enough to play SF, helping to ensure him starter minutes.
2. Tyrus Thomas – Rumored to be a bit of a head case, he appears to have matured this past season. He’s the athletic shot blocker the Jazz have been longing for, and he still has upside.
3. Rony Turiaf – He’s a pure energy player and outstanding shot blocker with a limited offensive game.
Center – With Millsap undersized at PF and Okur playing small for a 7-footer, the Jazz need more size up front. If they go after a center rather than trusting Koufos to develop, I’d like to see them acquire a legitimate 7-footer who can be a defensive presence in the middle.
1. Andrew Bogut – Not a prolific shot blocker, but he has a nice, well-rounded game and would definitely improve the center position.
2. Tyson Chandler – Athletic rebounder, shot blocker, and alley-oop recipient. Seems like an ideal complement to Memo.
3. Joel Pryzbilla – Good rebounder, shot blocker, and weak-side help defender. Not much of a scorer, but he’s definitely tough.