Now that the evil witch of the west has been disposed of and there has been sufficient time to let the anger and sadness from the Jazz's second round loss simmer down I can rationally take a look at what I would do if I were Kevin O'Connor. And lets face it, we all think that we could do a better job so I hope that the Jazz brass are reading this and take it to heart.
This part of the off season should just be called, "Open the vault for Deron and give him what ever he wants". If I were Larry Miller I would give him Karl and John's car dealerships and change the name of the stores to D-Will Automotive Group. This is the guy who can lead the Jazz to the promised land and I am pretty sure that the Jazz will take care of him accordingly. They might have to stray into luxury tax land for a year or two until they can get rid of the Kirilenko contract, but Deron is worth it.
Trade the draft pick. Ask yourselves, is there anything at all that the Jazz can get with the 23rd pick that will help them get over the hump? We are already one of the 5 best teams in the NBA right now, lets see if we can get a team that is in rebuilding mode to give something up that we might be able to use later. We already have 13 guaranteed contracts for next season and I am pretty sure that they will try and resign CJ Miles again taking it to 14. NBA rules limit teams to 15 and the Jazz like to keep one spot open for flexibility (which I think is a great idea) so why lock yourself into another guaranteed contract. If you were going to take a flyer on a Euro and stash them overseas for a few years that would be OK, but if the Jazz use the pick on another shooting guard or 7 foot project with bad feet I am going to throw my remote across the room.
Ask Coach K to teach Boozer how to play defense this summer. Actually, if could just try and get Boozer to give a damn about defense that would be sufficient. Lets face it, this version of the Jazz is never going to be able to lock teams down, but they have to be able to slow them down. I think the D-will and Ronnie Brewer back court is capable so we really need the front court to do their part. Hopefully they can learn to play better team defense the longer they are together, but Boozer and Memo have to show more desire on that side of the floor. I guarantee you that if the Jazz put in an incentive clause for Boozers next contract that gives him some sort of bonus for making the any of the 3 all NBA defensive teams the effort would be there.
Start shopping, specifically AK. The Jazz do have a couple of tradeable assets, but we are going to have to swallow pretty hard if we really want to get rid of AK. He has three years left on his cap killer deal there is going to be some garbage in return, but maybe it will only be on year of garbage instead of three. If you package AK with Morris Almond and our first round pick that we are getting from the Knicks in 2010, we might be able to do something that does not completely suck. Miami for example has Mark Blount and Udonis Haslem or you could talk to Milwaukee about Bobby Simmons and some spare parts. The point is, there is a team out there that would like to take a flyer on AK if we sweetened the pot a bit with some other stuff. This trade will be a lot easier to make after the Olympics because you know that AK is going to average something like 20 points, 10 boards, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals.
After the draft is done we will have a better understanding of what the Jazz and other teams have I will put together a post draft plan with more specifics.