There Better Be A Second Act
December 28, 2009 -
When I learned the Jazz had just traded away Eric Maynor (along with Matt Harpring’s contract) to the Oklahoma City Thunder for nothing more than cap relief and the rights to some former 2nd-round pick who will never play in the NBA, my first thought was, “This had better only be the first move.”
The Jazz wouldn’t really trade away their promising rookie 1st-round draft pick (who also happened to be the best backup point guard they’ve had in nearly a decade) just to save a few bucks… Would they? Teams committed to winning don’t just give away young talent without getting a quality asset in return. No, the Jazz must be clearing that cap space in preparation for a bigger deal that will bring in a true impact player...
In fairness to the Jazz front office, the “few bucks” they save is actually around $12 million when you combine the salary and luxury-tax impact from dumping Harpring’s contract. That’s a lot of dough, especially for a small-market team. Still, it doesn’t exactly send the message to your season ticket holders that you are committed to winning.
Back in June, I wrote an article entitled Five Mistakes the Jazz Could Make This Summer. With this trade, Utah has now made three of those five mistakes (although they waited until winter for this one). Fortunately it’s not too late for them to repent. With one aggressive deal, the Jazz could fix all three transgressions and land back on the path to salvation. The mulit-million-dollar question (literally) is will they have the stones to make it happen? I'm skeptical.
Farewell Eric, we barely knew thee. I was disappointed when the Jazz drafted you, but you managed to change my mind in only a few short months. Best of luck in OKC, and try not to make the Jazz look too foolish for giving you away.
In the meantime, I’ll sit here waiting and hoping for Act II.