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The Jazz should dump C.J., among others

Watching the first pre-season game the other night, one thing was clear to me:  the Jazz need to get rid of some players, the first of which is C.J. Miles.  I don’t know what Jazz management sees in him, but he’s been in the league seven years now and hasn’t seemed to progress much at all.  Despite his length and speed, he doesn’t play good defense.  Despite his size and athleticism, he doesn’t rebound.  Most of the time, he isn’t a good shooter.  While he’s a decent ball-handler, he doesn’t get to the basket and score much, doesn’t create open shots for his teammates, and doesn’t shoot many free throws.  Newcomer Alec Burkes played his first NBA game on Monday and already looks like a more effective player.  Basically, he’s a waste (except for the few occasions where it gets hot and hits a bunch of three-pointers, which is about 1 in every 8 games).

From what I understand, the Jazz have had opportunities to trade him in the past and declined because they think he has amazing potential.  I think we’ve given him enough time to blossom.  If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not going to happen.  Matching a contract offer a few years ago to keep him was a mistake because it kept them from keeping other players who have gone on to do great things (see Wes Matthews, now tearing it up in Portland). 

Al Jefferson needs to go too, and loosing Millsap wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.  Derek Favors is the future power forward of the Utah Jazz franchise, and he needs to be starting and playing 35 minutes a game.  He needs to be happy and treated fairly so he wants to stay here when his contract expires.  He needs minutes to grow and develop as a player.  Millsap is a good player, but he demands minutes and he’s not taking the Jazz anywhere if he’s the best big man on the team.  They can’t both play together because they’re undersized at their position.

Jefferson is weak on offense, and even weaker of defense.  He scored a lot of points last year because the Jazz ran a lot of plays for him.  But if you watch him play you’ll see that he’s soft and doesn’t have any moves on the low post.  He has no outside jumper, and if he’s double teamed he is a terrible passer.  He’s too small to play center, and doesn’t have the skills to be an effective power forward on a winning basketball team.  All he’s doing is taking minutes away from Favors, who is younger, less experienced, and already a more effective player on both ends of the floor than Jefferson. 

Enus Kanter looked bad on Monday against Portland, but they drafted him so they might as well see what he’s got.  If Okur continues to play the way he did Monday, they should look to give Kanter more playing time.  He can at least rebound the basketball and if he focuses on defense, could give the Jazz a much needed interior presence.  Memo has an expiring contract, so he might be good trade-bait in a few months.  The Jazz should seriously look at moving him.

The Jazz are in desperate need of a young, talented point guard, and better interior defense.  The way I see it, C.J., Millsap, Memo, and Jefferson are all up-for-grabs.  Let’s get something done.

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