Jazz should be patient with young players

When I heard the rumors of a done deal between the Lakers and Jazz over the weekend, I was absolutely appalled. The deal would have sent Carlos Boozer to the Lakers for Caron Butler, Devean George and Vlade Divac. Former NBA player and current ABC analyst Jack Haley reported the rumor but after a couple days of mayhem, it seems to be just that: a rumor.

Before I get into why the trade was asinine, I don’t want this to sound like I am disappointed in the Jazz. They did not start this rumor and unless it was confirmed that they were even close to a deal (Haley is not a confirmation), then I have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

It was a silly deal from top to bottom. The Jazz would trade away a big man, something they still need, along with a player leading the Jazz in points and rebounds. In return they would get a player in Butler who plays the wing – like the Jazz don’t have enough of those types of players. Along with Butler, who wouldn’t add much to the team the Jazz would also have the “pleasure” of adding Divac, a 7-foot center who would sit on the bench more than he would be found on the court, and another wing player in Devean George, who would be a waste with the Jazz.

But even if the deal was somewhat sweet, should the Jazz even consider trading Boozer? Obviously if the deal is sweet enough, then they could pull together, but the team and Kevin O’Conner need to realize how young their players are.

This is not to say the Jazz were considering such an offer since Haley isn’t exactly a great source, but listen my words of wisdom on how to build a team. Actually, one word would suffice. Patience.

The team has clearly struggled this year, but the Jazz clearly have potential.

They started the season with only one loss in their first 10 games and were as high as No. 2 on ESPN’s power rankings. Then point-guard problems (by the way, I hate Carlos Arroyo, in case you wanted to know), coupled with the injury to Andrei Kirilenko, devastated the team and it forgot how to win games.

Because it is a young team, it’s expected for the bunch to take their lumps. With Boozer, Kirilenko, Raja Bell, Mehmet Okur, Kirk Snyder, Chris Humphries and Raul Lopez (cross your fingers) there is plenty of hope, probably not for a championship for at least a few years, but still hope for a good foundation.

The whole premise behind my argument goes hand in hand with the argument opposed to the 23,432 lineup changes by Jerry Sloan. This team just needs to spend time and mature together in order for them to again become a winning organization. Running players out just because they haven’t performed up-to-par for one half of a season is insane.

The prospect of trading Boozer just boggles my mind. Sure, he has had his ups and downs this year, but he is just 23 years old and leads the team in points and rebounds. There is no way a team is going to give up equal value in return for a trade and they need to acquire size, not give it away.

My advice to the Jazz is to not trade any of the pieces away and look for either a point guard (Chris Paul) or a center (Andrew Bogut) in the draft. The Jazz will have a high lottery pick, and so if they played their cards right and decided to lose all of their games (this would be my decision), they would have a great chance of getting the top pick. Losing all of your games now is a better option than giving away the future of the team.

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